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Mitchell Says Investors Won’T Be Scared Off

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell yesterday dispelled notions that government’s handling of the Baha Mar bankruptcy ordeal would “scare off” potential foreign investors.

Mr Mitchell accused persons opposing the government over the matter of “mischaracterising it out of spirited wickedness.”

According to the Fox Hill MP, the government to date has treated the Baha Mar matter as “a straight out commercial transaction.”

“If you, in your home mortgage, say, owe Scotia Bank or FINCO or Royal Bank of Canada and you default on the loan, the bank will foreclose,” Mr Mitchell said on the sidelines of a Rotary Club of Nassau meeting.

“Either you pay or the bank forecloses. So there is no different thing here. In every Bahamian mortgage, there is standard provisions which allow for the bank to enforce its security and that, I believe is all that is contemplated.”

He added that it made little sense for local creditors to depend on foreign courts and laws to protect their interests.

He insisted: “It is Bahamian debts, Bahamian property so it should be adjudicated here in the Bahamas.

“Winding-up actions are available in our company law, where companies are unable to pay their debts.”

Both the Democratic National Alliance and the Free National Movement have, in recent weeks, questioned the government’s motives and actions in regard to Baha Mar.

During his national address on the $3.5bn mega resort, FNM Leader Hubert Minnis said the opening of the resort was a “matter of utmost national importance” to the country.

At the time, Dr Minnis said while he respected the government’s decision file a winding up petition against Baha Mar in the Supreme Court, he required more details on the ramifications of the liquidation process.

On Tuesday, FNM Chairman Michael Pintard labelled the government “contradictory” for saying it was again willing to observe talks between Baha Mar and its Chinese partners.

He went on to suggest that the government’s move to liquidate Baha Mar would have consequences in the international community.

However, Mr Mitchell brushed off those suggestions, stating: “We have a job to do.”

“With our young people – to get them to understand how this is in their larger and better interest and I am talking in particular about the workforce.

“I think we need to have a detailed conversation with them about why this is in their best interest and how the government is working assiduously to make sure the resort can open, that it can open as quickly as possible and that people can start making money and income to feed their families.

“That is the only interest any government has,” he said.

Mr Mitchell has been pulled into the Baha Mar spotlight with recent comments made by him about Baha Mar developer and CEO Sarkis Izmirlian.

During an Independence Day speech in Exuma, Mr Mitchell hit out at the developer, who has permanent residence in the Bahamas.

He suggested that if Mr Izmirlian had criticised the government in the Pindling era, he would have been booted out of the country by the respective minister of immigration.

However, he added, times have changed since then.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Ian Winder on Wednesday denied Baha Mar’s application to recognise its bankruptcy filing in a US court.

The ruling allows for the government to move forward with its winding-up petition against the Cable Beach resort.

Comments

BaronInvest 4 years, 11 months ago

"He suggested that if Mr Izmirlian had criticised the government in the Pindling era, he would have been booted out of the country by the respective minister of immigration.However, he added, times have changed since then."

He still thinks you should have no right to criticise the government even if you invest 900 million dollars ? How do you even remotely think anyone would want to invest here ? That's the type of comments that drive investors away...

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GrassRoot 4 years, 11 months ago

Communication is not how you meant to say it, it is what the recipient thinks you said. Or positively: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But this beauty is an old, ugly witch.

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Romrok 4 years, 11 months ago

People invest in the Bahamas to make money, simple as that, not so you government types can steal their money and make threats. Why the hell would anyone invest here when you just conned a long time resident and tax payer outta $900 mil?

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Hogfish 4 years, 11 months ago

bey freddy yous a dumb fuck nah.

in this case the bank (gubment) taking the man house before it even get built and he had a chance to finish paying.

how thats going to look for other people who want to build ?

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 11 months ago

Can anyone remember The Bahamas during the late 1980s - 1992??????? This is where we are again today .................... Perry and his Cabinet need to quit now ............ and this Bahamar saga will tarnish our FDI reputation at a time when Cuba is going to be the hot ticket for FDI

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B_I_D___ 4 years, 11 months ago

Yeap...at a time when they should be trying to ATTRACT more investments this way BEFORE Cuba gets a foothold, they are going to drive all those FDI $$'s to Cuba and we will wither away as has beens.

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asiseeit 4 years, 11 months ago

Fred Mitchel is full of crap! I doubt he would run to a country and invest his money when there was a chance the government of that country could steal his investment. Go waste our money traveling the world, that is all you are good for!

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newcitizen 4 years, 11 months ago

I thought if you were about to get foreclosed on, the PM would call up the bank manager on your behalf and make them stop?

That's why Christie is so mad at Sarkis. If he just had of waited to declare Chapter 11, Christie would have called up the manager of the Chinese Bank and it would have all been fine.

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Bahamian_in_London 4 years, 11 months ago

Foreign investor puts $900m of his own money into Bahamas. Employs 2,500+ Bahamians. Can't get the resort finished because the Chinese contractor refuses to their work. Loses confidence in the Contractor as them not performing means the resort doesn't open and China ExIm owns the development. Wants to get rid of the contractor and put more money into the business, but needs protection before doing so, so files for Chapter 11. Bahamian Government do everything they can to help the Chinese that employ zero Bahamians. But no, I'm sure no foreign investors will mind at all and will be lining up to put money into the Bahamas....

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TheMadHatter 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh there are LOTS and LOTS of investors all over the world who are willing to come here and invest $900 million dollars knowing that the govt can just snatch it away from them whenever it feels like it.

In fact, I saw a list of their names online the other day.

Let me think, now, - I'm trying to remember that website ... uhm, no wait - it's not coming to me. Let me try to remember. I'll get back to you ...

TheMadHatter

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wave 4 years, 11 months ago

BULLSHITE, if you think for one minute that the financial world is not looking at the mess this government has created, your sadly mistaken. I must ask, Freddy how can you look at yourself in the mirror and live with what you see?

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm trying to decifer who is more dangerous, Fred Mitchell or Perry Christie and Brave Davis. Who would you prefer to have as the villain? The Evil genius or the Bumbling Doofus? We're screwed either way I guess.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 11 months ago

Freddy Boy is a pseudo-intellect, i.e. a wannabe genius who ain't gonna ever be more than the churlish worthless twerp that he has always been.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 11 months ago

We should thank God for the Cuban Revolution (1959) that turn some of the US investors to our country ............. now we have come full circle and the tide is ebbing ................. This is time for savvy statesmanship and networking .................. not empty bravado and loose talk

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crabman 4 years, 11 months ago

As it was said, so shall it be written, time does not dull or hide the most important lesson that we have learned from our leaders and i quote "All for me baby, all for me".

It is obvious that if we stay the course it will soon be mandatory that we all learn Cantonese so that we will be able to understand what the REAL leaders of our country are saying.

Bend or Break, baby..............................

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Cobalt 4 years, 11 months ago

Why eryone mad?

Un y'all vote fa da PLP?

Das wat ya is get when ya tired ah wat ya gat!

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banker 4 years, 11 months ago

Fred just says stuff that he thinks will resonate with the dumbest Bahamians. Unfortunately, he has sunk so low, that he is now below the level of the dumbest Bahamians, and even they don't believe him any more. Fox Hillians are a good strange breed. They will give you the benefit of the doubt until you destroy all doubt. Fred has now crossed that line. He couldn't win another election in Fox Hill or anywhere. He should become more acquainted with the truth, and seek to attain the level of human again.

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Emac 4 years, 11 months ago

@Cobalt-Why should the innocent suffer for the guilty? Unfortunately everyone suffers. We all have to drive on the same streets as these asses and we all share the same space as the corrupt ignorant masses. I don't think anyone who comment on these pages voted for the PLP, save birdie and Tal.

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