Hague-based port operator APM Terminals is investing US$2.5bn in its five Latin American port terminals between 2012 and 2018, Joe Nielsen, the company's Latin American director told BNamericas.
"We like what we see in Latin America and that is why we have committed to invest these US$2.5bn," Nielsen said on the sidelines of BNamericas' LatAm Ports & Logistics Summit in Panama City.
APM's terminals include one at Santos port in Brazil and another at Callao in Peru, and the company is currently building a container terminal in Moín, Costa Rica and a container terminal at the Mexican Pacific coast port of Lázaro Cárdenas.
The company sees more potential in Latin America than many other regions around the world due to the changing demographics that continue to drive up consumption.
Business in the region has increased much faster over the past five years "than anyone with a crystal ball would have thought possible," said Nielsen.
The most interesting countries from a macroeconomic point of view are those in the Pacific Alliance, he said, namely Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico, "but we still have a very keen eye towards Brazil, even though the macroeconomics might not have lived up to expectations over the last 12 months."
However, APM Terminals' experience in Latin America has not been without its
Hong-Kong based Hutchinson Port Holdings (HPH) contested APM's concession for a second container terminal at Lázaro Cárdenas, while the full opening of the company's terminal in Santos has been delayed by 18 months due to the local authority's failure to complete dredging works.
APM Terminals invested some US$1bn in the terminal but although construction is complete it cannot receive the larger vessels due to the lack of dredging. "The loss due to delaying cargo around Santos port has been estimated at US$700mn per year," said Nielsen.
Costa Rica threatened by Politics
Lack of clear leadership, internal chaos in the main political parties and parliamentary fragmentation are threatening Costa Rica's business climate.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Contradictory statements over the legal certainty of the project for a mega container port in Moin ($1 billion), made by the very probable next president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, and the founder of his party (Citizen Action) and deputy chief of the legislative group, Otton Solis have generated understandable alarm in the business community.
The Costa Rican-North American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) expressed its concerns, and its leader, Humberto Pacheco, said: "We believe that the candidate (Luis Guillermo Solís) is very good, but we have concerns especially over the extreme wing that exists in the Party, which is still at this point contradicting their candidate with public demonstrations such as those you heard. "
While the presidential candidate had come down on the side of respecting the concession contract with the Dutch company APM Terminals, specifically noting that there would not be a review of that concession, the elected deputy Oton Solis expressed his intention to scrutinise it, ie "spy , inquire, search with diligence and care, and go through something in order to find something hidden. " (Definition by the Royal Spanish Academy).
Source: Prensa.com and Nacion.com