Some things we should know about Global Ports Holding as the Government moves towards a negotiated Heads of Agreement with the company…

file photo overlooking the Prince George Wharf.

NASSAU| At a press conference on Sunday 24th February, 2019 the Minister of Tourism announced that the Government had selected Global Ports Holding as the successful bidder for the re-development and management of Nassau Port and that the Government will enter into negotiations for a Heads of Agreement with that company.

The Committee’s recommendation and subsequent approval by the Government is a matter of grave concern. Granting approval to Global Ports Holding would be unconscionable as it would essentially place the remainder of Nassau’s waterfront in the hands of the “Bay Street Boys”. Never mind the report by Global Ports Holding that Arawak Port Development Ltd (APD) is no longer a partner, but rather an advisor to GPH. It’s nothing more than a sham. The public has aired, extensively, that it will not support approval being granted to APD to participate in the operation of the Port of Nassau principally because:

  • APD currently enjoys a government created monopoly, which comes with a protected 20-year exclusivity, to be the only cargo port operator within New Providence.
  • APD is controlled by some 19 wealthy Bahamian families who hold 40% of the shares in APD. It is a small special interest group that has essentially controlled the Bahamian economy for decades (particularly the Bay Street) having economic control over New Providence waterfront
  • Placement of the Port of Nassau under the control of APD essentially places the entire waterfront of central New Providence under the control of the same selected few. The exception would be Potters Cay Dock which APD has publicly stated that it wants to control / manage, because imports from abroad circumvent using APD at Arawak Cay by clearing at other ports of entry before docking at Potters Cay.

Additionally, media reports are replete with information pointing to Global Ports Holding lack of a clean, corporate, public record. Among these are:

  1. A June 1st 2018 report by Caribbean360 in which the Prime Minister of Barbados cited a contract signed on May 8, 2018 which saw the Government agreeing to a deal with a company called Global Ports Holding PLC that would grant them a 30-year concession to operate the Cruise Pier for what she called a paltry BDS$34 million (US$17 million), in exchange for the Barbados Port Inc. to collect charges from cruise lines. Under the agreement, the Government would receive one-sixth of the current passenger charge, and one-fifth of any increase in certain other charges. “I will ask the Attorney General as well as the lawyers for the Port to advise on this as a matter of urgency, particularly since this contract seems to be tied to a Berth 6 contract which started with concrete piles being built in the Port in advance of any contract being entered into.”Read more:
  2. It was reported on 27th March, 2017 that the Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has found the country’s largest terminal operator and several terminal operators under the control of Global Ports Holding guilty of price fixing. See attachment.

We at Bahamas Press for the interest of the public want every Bahamians to watch this one closely.

Stay Tuned! We report yinner decide!

How will the USA feel with Turkey controlling both of the foreign ports closest to the Mainland US. – (Havana Cuba and Nassau Bahamas)?

 See link to article by Turkish news publication Hurriyet dated 11/05/2018 with English translation.

İş adamlarına düşenin, Türkiye’nin tanıtımını yapmak olduğunu vurgulayan Kutman, “Her bir liman, bir Türk büyükelçiliği gibidir. Geçen hafta 5 günde 7 ada ülkeye gittim. Hepsinin limanlarını almaya çalışacağız inşallah. Hepsi de Türkiye’nin nerede olduğunu bile bilmiyor. Dolayısıyla bu bir tanıtım. Hem turizm açısından, hem ihracatçılarımız açısından çok önemli. Biz Amerika kıtasının maalesef kuzeyinden güneyine fazla değer vermemişiz ama para da orada şu anda. Kalkınıyorlar, sıkı büyüyorlar, Amerika da iyi gidiyor. Limanlar, 2018 için bir numaralı sektörümüz olacak. Amerika kıtasında alacağımız limanların çoğunluğu Karayipler’de.” diye konuştu.

The CEO of Global Ports, Mehmet Kutman co-founder and CEO of Global Ports Holding is essentially is saying that businessmen have a responsibility to present Turkey to the rest of the world.  “Every port will be like a Turkish Embassy.  Last week I visited 7 island nations in 5 days.  We hope to control all of their ports (with unsolicited proposals).  None of them know where Turkey is.  Therefore, it is a presentation of our country.  It’s important for both for tourism and for (Turkish) exports.  Unfortunately, we have not valued the American continent from North to South but that is actually where the money is at the moment.  They are developing and growing solidly, America is also going well.  Ports will be our number one sector in 2018.  The majority of the ports we will secure/control in the American continent are in the Caribbean.”