Big Creek Group Expresses Discontent Over GOB’s Acquisition of Port of Belize

Big Creek Group Expresses Discontent Over GOB’s Acquisition of Port of Belize

The Big Creek Group of Companies is up in arms over GOB’s acquisition of the Port of Belize and the lack of consultation on the decision. Last Friday, the owners of the Big Creek Port fired off a letter to Prime Minister John Briceno expressing disappointment in the port’s acquisition and detailing how it will create an unfair playing field. The company says “GOB’s lack of communication and consultation with us makes it clear that there was no intent to collaborate to improve the port’s landscape in Belize. Instead, it was a decision made in secret driven by political considerations and not consistent with prudent economic or business practices.” The port’s owners say they categorically reject the utilization of government funds, influence, or security to enhance a facility that directly competes with theirs. The company believes GOB continues to emphasize the welfare of POB stevedores and the residents of southside Belize City at the expense of those in Southern Belize, which raises serious concerns about the lack of representation and attention afforded to the people of the south and the employees at the Port of Big Creek. The group’s Director, Zaid Flores, tells PM Briceno “I am most disappointed in your decision, especially after you had personally given us your assurance that GOB would not acquire the port and put us through the very same experience you and your family continue to bear with SMART. There was no need to nationalize POB to settle the government’s debt.” Flores added that “the reality is that the POB will not be able to repay this debt without increasing Port tariffs, which you refused to do despite our repeated requests. This is where the problem lies – GOB does not play by the same rules or standards to which private entities are held.” In ending, the company asks to be given the same benefits as the POB and questions how GOB will deal with the dredging at the POB after having twice rejected the former owner’s request

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