Mar. 2, 2020

Manuel Felipe Gutiérrez


Manuel Felipe Gutiérrez

President, Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI)

“The main challenge of the National Infrastructure Agency for 2020 is to continue the reactivation of 4G projects.”


Manuel Felipe Gutiérrez has been a professor of public law at Universidad de Los Andes, Universidad Javeriana and Universidad La Sabana, and director of the hotbed of research in State Contracting at Universidad de Los Andes. He has been a member of the Legal Secretariat of the Presidential Infrastructure Commission, advisor to the presidency of the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI), director of the infrastructure area at the firm Esguerra Barrera Arriaga, associate lawyer at Arrieta Mantilla and partner of Vali Consultores. He was Legal Director of ALEATICA S.A.S.–IFM Investors' Latin American branch–before joining the Government of President Duque, where he has worked under the leadership of the Vice President of the Republic and the Minister of Transportation in the reactivation of 4G projects. Among his professional achievements are the leadership of the Economic Reactivation Room, a space created by the Government to attend the infrastructure projects of the country that had difficulties, as well as the management of the Vía al Llano, after that a collapse of enormous proportions at kilometre 58 forced its closure for about three months, bringing enormous complications and challenges for the region and the country.

Colombia receives a significant number of tourists and is the gateway to South America in terms of air transportation. What is the status of El Dorado Airport expansion?

The government, through the Ministry of Transport, ANI, and the Civil Aeronautics, is working on an expansion plan for Bogotá's El Dorado International Airport, which has the capacity to mobilize up to 40 million passengers. In 2018, it already received 33 million passengers. Currently, the Agency has under structuring phase two different unsolicited proposals which have the goal to increase the productivity of Bogotá International Airport. The first one, aims for the execution of works within 36 months to increase the effectiveness of the existing infrastructure in El Dorado Airport. The second one, aims for the expansion of the current terminal, the construction of low-cost terminal, and the construction of a third track. These activities will led us to increase the space for aircraft parking and the possibility of new positions in the cargo and maintenance area of the airport.

How to ensure that projects structured by the ANI guarantee economic, social, and environmental sustainability?

In ANI we will seek to strengthen the entity to follow and fulfill the OECD standards, which implies a series of gradually reforms in order to start the fifth generation of concession projects. These projects will have some adjustments, especially in terms of sustainability, understanding the concept for its environmental, social and institutional dimensions. We will make some improvements from the experience and lessons learned from the first, second, third and fourth generation projects. We will also continue with the transparency that has characterized this entity. We will develop this through a public policy document (CONPES), which included the guidelines for the fifth generation of concessions in Colombia.

How, from its functions, can ANI attract foreign investment to Colombia?

ANI is an investment reference at national and international level, recognized in different scenarios to specialize in infrastructure projects. Its purpose is to plan, structure, contract, manage, and evaluate concession projects and other forms of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), mainly in public transport and related infrastructure. Based on this, since its inception, ANI has developed the 4G program, a portfolio of projects with investments of more than USD60 billion, which was considered the most important infrastructure program in the region. This clearly caught the attention of large construction companies and financial institutions worldwide. Thus, companies from more than 20 countries participated in the development of these bidding processes, reflecting the interest in investing in the country in this kind of projects. Then foreign investments funds such as CDPQ or the Chicago Pension Fund, or investment funds such as Blackrock, Macquarie, or John Laing have invested in the secondary market in ANI projects. It is therefore notorious the effort made by the entity to attract foreign investment in the projects in its charge, which lead to business opportunities at a local level.

What are the goals set by the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) for 2020?

The main challenge of the National Infrastructure Agency for 2020 is to continue the reactivation of 4G projects. Now, we have 22 reactivated projects, six that we hope to reactivate during the first half of 2020, and one with significant drawbacks. We also intend to move forward with the implementation of OECD corporate governance standards for the Agency and to issue the policy document CONPES for the fifth generations of concessions that promote environmental and social projects. This will allow us to consolidate the structuring for the new projects that will be awarded soon. We also have CONPES 3918 of 2018 and the National Development Plan 2018-2022 in which some strategies were prioritized. Those strategies prioritized were the reactivation and implementation of programs and projects for construction and maintenance of the country's road network, reactivation railroads, strengthening air transport, improve urban mobility and efficient and safe logistics. These strategies are also set out in the Pact for Transport and Logistics for Competitiveness and Regional Integration, where we contribute to the objective of sustainable development, industry, innovation and Infrastructure. Therefore, the Agency in its strategic plan to work in three areas to contribute and manage the priorities of the sector. First, governance and modern institutionality for efficient and safe transport and logistics. Second, develop PPP projects that advocate intermodality, mobility and sustainability. Finally, develop 4G transport infrastructure.