AAPA Celebrates XXIV Latin American Congress of Ports
November 30 - December 3 - Arica, Chile
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas – celebrated last week the 24th edition of its annual Latin American Congress of Ports in Arica, Chile. Continuing to strengthen its status as the premier port conference in Latin America, the Congress gathered from November 30th to December 3rd over 300 delegates from 20 countries in what is known as the “City of Eternal Spring” due to its climate in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert.
With sustainability and port development serving as the central theme for the summit, 40 speakers from 12 countries presented their perspectives while discussing current and future port projects in Chile and Latin America. Debate of strategies and best practices to address environmental sustainability issues were of particular importance, as climate change poses a greater threat to the ports of the region than in other parts of the world. The event also featured presentations from the Chilean Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Andrés Gómez Lobo, and Chilean Minister of Public Works, Alberto Undurraga.
“Arica was an outstanding location to hold the Latin American Congress,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle, “being in a strategic area and handling cargo from southern Peru, Bolivia and northern Chile, the port of Arica's commitment to responsible environmental stewardship and international cooperation gave participants a first-hand example of how sustainability and development can be successfully achieved.”
“Programs like this Congress allow us to strengthen the relationships among our four delegations by exploring the important issues that impact the Western Hemisphere such as environmental sustainability. Through the sharing of ideas, contacts and best practices we can collaborate and tackle together the common challenges that face our ports,” he added.
Furthermore, five candidates – Natalia Hellriegel, Mariano González, Martin Liendo, Carlos Marcelo Marcora and Mariano Taylor – all from Puerto Madryn, Argentina, received their PPM® (Professional Port Manager) Latino certifications during the Congress, raising the total number of graduates from the program to twenty-five since its inception.
Participants also had the opportunity to tour the Port of Arica and take advantage of Arica's unique archaeological heritage by visiting a museum dedicated to the area’s original inhabitants, the Chinchorro culture, whose mummies – estimated at approximately 10,000 years old – are the oldest on Earth.
“We are grateful to Francisco Javier González Silva and the Empresa Portuaria Arica for their excellent work in hosting such an important event,” stated Rafael Díaz-Balart, AAPA's Latin American Coordinator, “we were extremely pleased with the turnout which included attendees from practically every corner of the world, the quality of the speakers, and the warm hospitality of the ariqueños.”