Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial is calling for Prime Minister, Keith Rowley to be warned and take heed of what is happening in Antigua where for the first time in 25 years, the Sandals Resort will be shutting down for three months due to a dispute over concessions with the government.
In a newspaper article published by The Daily Observer dated 18th July 2017, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Gaston Browne said temporary closure of the Sandals Grande Antiguan Resort and Spa is “an act of hostility” and a play for concessions. “It is what I think it is; it is clearly an act of sabotage and I am saying that no investor should be able to treat our people in that way”, stated Browne.
PM Keith Rowley and the team currently engaged in negotiations with Sandals International to construct a resort on Tobago’s No Man’s Land must be cognizant of these developments and seek to protect the country’s interests from unscrupulous investors. We cannot allow investors to come into our country, give huge tax concessions over lengthy periods and then have them negatively impact upon our economy by sabotaging what little benefits are to be derived from their business operations.
The PM should also know that on 10th May 2017 it was reported by CNBC that Sandals Resorts International was exploring strategic alternatives including a potential sale of the company; this can be indicative of possible financial instability. This would definitely have a negative impact on Trinidad and Tobago’s current negotiations with Sandals as many stakeholders within the tourism sector are now NOT supporting this venture in light of recent developments.
MP Ramdial is calling for PM Keith Rowley to come clean with the country and give an update on current negotiations with Sandals International in light of recent negative developments with our Caribbean counterpart, Antigua & Barbuda.