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Government Satisfied Global Ports Arrangement is Best

Tuesday 19th February, 2019-Government is re-assuring citizens and residents that there is nothing to be fearful of as it relates to the agreement signed with Global Ports Holding PLC, the company that will manage a large part of the cruise port facilities in St. John’s.

Officials of Global Ports, including its Chairman Mehmet Kutman, joined Prime Minister Gaston Browne and other government officials in a press conference today, to give the assurance that the agreement is in the best interest of the country’s development and that there are no illegalities.

Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin whose chambers sifted through the documents said a meticulous review of the agreement was undertaken and he is satisfied it was done according to law.

Minister Benjamin in reiterated the benefits that will be derived from the arrangement singling, making reference to training and other forms of assistance that will become available.

According to the government, the agreement will allow Global Ports Holding LLC to bring its considerable financial strength and expertise to the expansion project at the cruise port, and to eliminate a debt of US$21 million that has been serviced sparingly for more than twenty years.

Global Ports will ensure that the completion of the dredging, already underway in the St. John’s Harbour, will allow the Oasis Class Ships, capable of carrying more than 6,000 passengers and 4,000 crew, to dock at a fifth berth parallel to the Point Wharf.

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The agreement is for thirty years.

 Prime Minister Gaston Browne today justified the reason for the three decades long agreement, pointing out that the cruise industry in Antigua and Barbuda is in desperate need of a shot in the arm.

The prime minister said the time was now to effect the changes that are required to keep cruise vessels calling on St. John’s.

In the agreement, Global Ports will pay the government a head tax of US one dollar. With a target of one million passengers annually, the yield is expected to be one million US dollars, which will be handed over to St. John’s Development Corporation to offset staff cost.

 

 

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