Government Defends Deal with Global Ports

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Prime Minister, Gaston Browne said no jobs will be lost at the St. John’s Development Corporation (SJDC) as the government defends deal with Global Ports Holding (GPH).

GPH will take over the management of cruise ports in the country while investing US $83m toward the development of the local Tourism Industry.

The trade union representing the workers at SJDC expressed concern about the deal last week.

“I want to reiterate here, there will be no displacement there will be no severance or let’s say terminations. We intend to maintain the full employment at SJDC”, Prime Minister Browne said at press conference today.

The company agreed to pay off the outstanding balance of a decades-old loan, renovate Heritage Quay Shopping Complex and provide a grant to support local entrepreneurs.

“Global Ports will pay us a head tax of US $1. It is expected that within 24 months we should get to at least a million tourists so that will yield us at least US $1m a year”, the Prime Minister revealed.

Tourism Minister, Charles Fernandez said even if GPH fail to attract many passengers to the country “we are guaranteed the head tax on 600 thousand passengers”, he said.

In other words, the group agreed to pay the government at least US $600k annually under the terms of the agreement.

GPH will also complete the construction of a fifth berth in the St. John’s Habour to accommodate Oasis Class Ships, which are currently the world’s largest cruise ships.

Work will also be done to redevelop Fort James beach with the addition of amenities to include zip-lining and an amphitheater.The group is expected to recoup its investment through profits gained through the project.  

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Agreement one thing and interpretation another? Hmmm.
    Why here in Antigua it appears like we hate dated/old/antique things?
    Why don’t we seem to know hence can’t appreciate such?
    Redcliffe Quay outdated and to be updated?
    Don’t we realize that tourists come for a change , not the same old sterile, concrete jungle look they are accustomed to!?
    Wow! Without vision the people will perish.

  2. The MOA states that the government must defend GPH, no smoking gun in the headline.

    83 million dollars over 30 years is 2.8 million dollars per annum. ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE ABLP ADMINISTRATION CANNOT COME UP WITH 2.8 MILLION DOLLARS PER ANNUM?

    THE GOVERNMENT WILL GET ONE MILLION DOLLARS PER ANNUM, HOW MUCH WILL GLOBAL PORTS GET?

    REMEMBER NO TAXES, DUTY, OR LEVY WILL BE COLLECTED FROM GPH FOR THE NEXT 40 YEARS.

    • Stop tell lies. The only thing the government has given up is management of the cruise port and what has been an obstacle around its neck.They still get portions of the head tax ($1.00 usd per head) for the first 3 years, and then it goes up to 1.50 usd. The max head tax is currently set to 6.00 usd but during the summer months government currently tends to charge only 1.00 usd to some major cruise lines. Guy even after all of this (max 6) they have been operating at a loss because the existing loans eat up all the revenue and its government that has to subsidize not only for payment to staff there but also at times payments for the loans due to short fall in revenue After 20 years they (gov) get an additional 6.25% of whatever head tax GPH is charging. GPH will now pay off the loan. GPH will also start paying corp tax., which stands at 25% .The major thing here is the increase in passengers from around 600K to at least one million in a few short years. The biggest benefit to government from cruise passengers is the avg spend per person. The last figure I saw was 65 usd per head. With GPH increasing the amount of visitors, this then means at least another 26 million usd in our economy. With the added attractions this deal will help enable, it is expected that we will see a significant increase in the per person guest spend

      • So $1 per head, and projected one million passengers, isn’t that ONE MILLION DOLLARS PER ANNUM?
        Where is the lie in that?

        It is a concession agreement, no taxes will be collected. Where is the lie in that?

        How much will GPH make over the period verses what the government purse will collect? SPEAK ABOUT THAT NAH……

        • Again its 1.00 for the first 3 years, it then increases to 1.50. Later we get an additional 6.25% of whatever the head tax is at that time + corp tax. In addition they increase the # of visitors. This deal aids us in increasing he visitor spend because they will help to uplift the area and also provide funds (5 million usd grant) for local business persons to utilize in investing. They also build renovate the existing stores and build more. They pay off the 21 million usd loan (at 9%)which we have had for some 19 years yet the principal has decreased by only about a million.

  3. THIS 20TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2019 PLEASE REMEMBER THESE WORDA FROM THE RASTAMAN

    STAKE HOLDERS THAT HAVE CONTROL OF BITS AND PIECES OF THE ANTIGUA COOPERATION WILL COME TOGETHER FORM THEM SELF INTO AN OFFICIAL BODY AND RUN THE COUNTRY THROUGH CLANDESTINE TATITICS.

    THE PLATFORM IS BEING BUILT ALL THE HOTELS, PORTS, WIOC, ALL THE BEACH FRONT LANDS, YACHTING INDUSTRY, TELECOMS, ETC.

    THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO OVERALL DEVELOPMENT TATICS TO PREVENT THE DOMINATION OF THE PEOPLE WHO CAME TO LIMIT THEM TO A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF HOLDINGS IN THE OVERALL DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF THE ANTIGUA COOPERATION.

    SO THE PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT WILL END UP WITH A MINIUM HOLDING IN THE COOPERATION, WHICH WILL GIVE THE PEOPLE WHO CAME THE POWER AND AUTHORITY TO OPERATE WITHOUT DUE CARE. SLAVERY

    HISTORY IS RELEVANT FOR ONE THING ONLY AND THAT IS TO ENSURE THE NEGATIVES OF THE PAST NEVER REPEAT ITS SELF AGAIN….. (Rastaman 20.2.19)

  4. I really hope the agreement with Global Ports includes a provision about the maintenance of buildings, not just the initial construction.

    Anyways PM, you can go ahead and terminate the SJDC employees, as 99% of Antiguans would actually be fine with that course of action.

  5. The government PR machine has failed and the opposition is making use thereof. That is why you have ABS TV and Radio to educate and inform the people and don’t give those opposing to muddy the water. When I hear people like Anthony Stewart speak on the Big Issues on Sunday I wonder why no one is reminding him of his stewardship of SJDC. A company he left banckrupt Having paid a local company millions to dredge the harbour while nothing was done and the this government had to come in and break the agreement and letting the local company keep the millions of dollars, while bringing in a Dutch Company out of Trinidad, Boskalis to do the work for far less. In the mean time Antigua lost several Cruise Ships making a call to our port. The Account Receivable, which is a list of people at the Heritage Quay was so large with people relating to the politicians owing so much money and never pay a dime in rent, I mean when you have people like Anthony criticizing this government you need to remind them of their own mess and shut them up.

    • Honestly, I don’t think they have. Listen keenly, the average Antiguan is not even listening to the opposition dribble on this. Watch Stuart from DNA, who everyone knows failed at the port, try to sell the notion that better could be done. Recall sending a FM messeage to the host asking him why is he not speaking about Sturat’s time at the port when his Chairman fired him.Then there is the release of the giveaway agreement (Mou with John Maginley’s name) for the entire port(not just cruise) to Sweet Homes Holdings which the PM has shared

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