OHL participates in the VI Infrastructure Industry Encounter

May 18, 2011

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OHL has participated in the Sixth Annual Encounter of the Infrastructure Industry hosted by ABC and Deloitte under the title Current status and prospects of the transport infrastructure industry. This is one of the main events for the industry and brings together many prominent personalities from the world of infrastructure.

The opening address was given by José Blanco, Spanish Minister of Public Works, who highlighted the strong investment in public works carried out in our country in recent years, stating that this investment has put Spain at the forefront of transport infrastructure. Specifically, he stated, “We are the European country with the most kilometers of freeways and highways, with nearly 14,000. And in 2010 and 2011, despite the fiscal restraint, we will be the European Union member with the most kilometers of high-speed rail put into service.”

Juan-Miguel Villar Mir, Chairman of the OHL Group, Francisco Marín, President of the Construction Division of OHL and Juan Osuna, CEO of OHL Concessions, were present at the event. Specifically, Juan-Miguel Villar Mir participated in the opening ceremonies of the VI Infrastructure Encounter, along with Fernando Ruiz, Chairman of Deloitte and Pedro Solé, CEO of Alstom España. Also, Francisco Marín participated in the Roundtable Perspectives and strategies of infrastructure companies and Juan Osuna spoke as part of the panel entitled International opportunities in the infrastructure market.

The Chairman of the OHL Group highlighted the privileged position held by infrastructure concession companies in our country, since, according to the prestigious ranking by Public Works Financing (PWF), seven of the ten largest concession groups in the world are Spanish. In this sense, he reminded the audience of the crucial role that infrastructure has as “one of the main growth drivers of a country, actively contributing to the increased welfare and productivity of any society.”

Francisco Marín reflected on the outlook for the construction industry and stressed that, after achieving a very important leading role in the long economic upswing in Spain (1995-2007), the industry must now adapt to the current crisis. Therefore, he claimed, the industry should aim to reach half the size of 2007, when, in terms of Gross Value Added, the industry represented 11% of GDP, compared with average rates of about 6% in the European Union .

Infrastructure concessions

Juan Osuna noted that in today’s globalized world, the opportunities to invest in infrastructure concessions “are everywhere.” It is therefore essential, he said, to make an appropriate choice of the country where a company wants to position itself.

In his opinion, when opting for PPP formulas, we must have, among other things, “political and institutional stability, legal security, growth potential, social acceptance of the concession model and the existence of a developed financial market.” The CEO of OHL Concessions concluded by emphasizing that the current financial crisis is defining a new international framework, a framework in which Spanish companies are well positioned, especially in the infrastructure concessions and financial industries.

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