U.S. warns Georgia about Granting of Anaklia Port to Chinese Consortium

04-06-2024 13:01:40 Politic

The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Levan Davitashvili has announced that the winner in the Anaklia Deep Sea Port private partnership selection competition is the Chinese-Singaporean consortium, which will be officially announced in the coming days.

The consortium includes China Communication Construction Company LTD (CCCC) and China Harbor Investment.

The ruling Georgian Dream party dismissed the critical comments about the Chinese consortium.

When asked about China Communication Construction Company LTD (CCCC), a State Department Spokesperson told the Accent that "the PRC company that was awarded the project in Anaklia, CCCC, has been identified by the U.S. Government for its involvement in sanctionable military and intelligence research activities."

"The company was also identified for involvement in the development of weapons and related equipment production, prompting the Treasury Department to add it to an official list of concerning entities in 2021. How infrastructure is built and who builds it matters. Better infrastructure connecting Georgia to global markets and strengthening Georgia’s independence is a good thing. But this builder has a track record of neither.

One of this builder’s previous projects – which like the Anaklia project began as a public-private partnership -- led to the PRC securing a 99-year lease on foreign soil and subsequent visits by PRC “research vessels,” drawing regional criticism. That port, in Hambantota, Sri Lanka is now infamous for unfair and unbalanced benefits it provided to the PRC and not the host nation, Sri Lanka.

The company also has a history of involvement in fraud and corruption. In 2009, the World Bank barred road and bridge projects CCCC financed for fraud," a State Department Spokesperson told the Accent.

The U.S. hopes that the tender process was conducted in accordance with international standards.

"We hope the tender process was conducted in accordance with international standards to ensure that the project will benefit all Georgians and respect their sovereignty. The United States is ready to work with the Government of Georgia to ensure infrastructure development delivers results for the people of Georgia, avoids unsustainable debt, respects workers’ rights and the environment, and does not threaten Georgia’s security and sovereignty, or the security of its Euro-Atlantic partners," a State Department Spokesperson told the Accent.

More context: In January 2020 the Government of Georgia decided to terminate its contract with the Anaklia Development Consortium. The Government said that the Consortium failed to provide pre-construction and construction financial guarantees. The consortium denies this and accuses the Georgian government of purposefully disrupting the strategic project. After terminating the first contract with Anaklia Development Consortium, the state promised to build the Anaklia Deep Sea Port with its own funds. According to the government, the investor will have only a 49% share of the port.


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