Monday 22nd October, 2018-Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne has addressed concerns being expressed by a cross section of the public on the privatization of the island’s port facilities.
According to Cabinet, Global Ports, an international company, seems poised to win the contract to manage the local cruise ports. But the decision has been met with criticism by some who believe there may be nothing left for the state to control.
Speaking on the Browne and Browne Show at the weekend, the prime minister in justifying the privatization of the cruise facilities, clarified that Global Ports if successful, will manage the facilities, with the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda remaining the owners. He underscored the importance of the move to boost the struggling cruise industry.
The head of government acknowledges the concerns being expressed, but declared that his government will only seek to privatize entities that are not profitable.
Global Ports is proposing to advance the monies required to construct the Oasis capable pier in Antigua, pay off a debt that remains outstanding since 1997, and enhancing the cruise passenger experience by constructing more shops and other amenities.
The company also plans to make Heritage Quay more attractive than it is now.