Internet Radio

Harmon explains presence aboard jet in China; announces new majority investor in Bai Shan Lin

 

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon (seated left), Chairman of the Guyana Civil Aviation Larry London (standing second from left) and top officials of Baishan Lin in an aircraft in China. Seated (at extreme right) is a Guyana government official.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon (seated left), Chairman of the Guyana Civil Aviation Larry London (standing second from left) and top officials of Baishan Lin in an aircraft in China. Seated (at extreme right) is a Guyana government official.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon Thursday night explained his appearance in a photograph with Chinese company officials aboard a private jet in China, saying that several Chinese companies that intend to invest significantly in Guyana assisted with transportation.

Harmon said his meeting with the Chinese companies’ representatives coincided with his visit to China on official government business in March, 2016.  He has already said that himself and a senior official had gone to China to meet with a Chinese company that had had an outstanding sum of US$5 million for government’s 20 percent shares in the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) company.

I visited the People’s Republic of China on official Government business in March 2016.

The Minister of State said the Ambassador of China to Guyana, who was in country at that time, made arrangements for him to meet officials of four companies, which had signalled their intention to make significant investments in Guyana.  These Companies were located in Beijing, Shanghai, Hebei and Heilong Jiang Provinces.

“In this regard, because of the significant distances involved and the limited time available on that trip, the Ambassador made arrangements for these companies to provide transportation, both air and land, for me to travel to their respective Head Offices,” he said.

Harmon recalled that on the March 27, 2016, one such arrangement was made for him to visit Long Jiang Forest Industries Group, a Company situated in Heilong Jiang Province.  The Long Jiang Forest Industries Group is a state-owned company that had acquired 55 percent of the shares in Bai Shan Lin and is intended to fully take over the company in 2016.

In apparent direct reference to the photograph of him with several Chinese persons aboard the plane, he said “two officials from the Long Jiang Forest Industries Group, along with two officials from Bai Shan Lin, accompanied me on the aircraft on the flight from Beijing to Heilong Jiang Province to attend the meeting.”

The Minister of State used the opportunity to announce in his statement that at that meeting,  the Vice Director of the Company, Mr. Wong Dong Xu, in the presence of officials of Bai Shan Lin, assured that the Company’s officials would be be in Guyana by May 2016 to complete due diligence for the takeover, and to satisfy and expand on the obligations of Bai Shan Lin to Guyana.

“I used the opportunity to convey all of the concerns and expectations of the Government and people of Guyana with respect to foreign investment generally and those with respect to Bai Shan Lin in particular,” he added.

He said the Ministry of the Presidency made no official release on those matters at that time, “since a prerequisite to that release would have been a formal briefing of the President and Cabinet.”

The Minister of State said the publication of a lone photograph without seeking to investigate and report on its context was not the work of the Ministry of the Presidency.  “I wish to make no comment on the motivations for its publication.”

Harmon has already reportedly said in the privately-owned Kaieteur News newspaper that someone was apparently out to destroy his political career.

  • KassemB

    ‘Harmon explains presence aboard jet in China; announces new majority investor in Bai Shan Lin’
    Why the son-in-law, the Business Minister not on the trip and seems not in the loop?

  • Emile_Mervin

    1. In 2012, NICIL sold Government’s shares in GT&T for US$30M of which the sum of US$25M was received. The balance of US$5M was to be paid within a period of two years, but that account is yet to be settled.

    2. Financial analysts questioned why NICIL consented to an agreement that forces Guyana to petition a United Kingdom (UK) court to resolve financial issues.
    Guyana’s options in trying to recover the outstanding US$5M from Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group are limited. To recover this money, Guyana finds itself in a begging position. Up to recently, no known actions were actively being taken to recover the sums owed. This is despite the fact that the payment is long overdue.

    3. Alternatively, the government can seek the intervention of China’s Ambassador to Guyana, Zhang Limin. Harmon said that is the course currently being pursued and he has undertaken the task to speak to the Ambassador.

    COMMENTARY: THERE IS NOTHING IN THE DEMWAVES NEWS ITEM ON HARMON’S STATEMENT THAT ADDRESSES THE OUTCOME OF THE PURPOSE OF HIS TRIP TO CHINA, WHICH WAS TO COLLECT THE OUTSTANDING BALANCE OF US$5M IN GT&T SHARES FROM A CHINESE COMPANY.

    THE MEDIA NEED TO DO THEIR JOB AND DEMAND AN EXPLANATION FOR HARMON ELUDING REFERENCE TO THE REAL PURPOSE OF HIS CHINA VISIT, AND IF “BK” ALSO WENT ON THE TRIP TO LOOK AT BUYING A PLANE THAT GOVERNMENT CAN RENT.

  • george wiltshire

    Come on APNU you ran on a slate of transparency. Every one in this country saw the arrogant manner of the pppc. Why would you want go down that road? I am not a career politician. Please recognise your responsibility to the people who supported you. Know there were those who are enjoying our discomfort.

  • SYL

    Its show boating time! If the head cook don’t know the menu, who else would know. The president has to crave a way out to have info. before, and don’t be like kids who “I DON’T KNOW ” Do you think Putin or Castro don’t know all the ins and outs of their govt. operatives? Its 21 st century with technology all over , so don’t try fool the masses, you’re only fooling yourselves.Greed ! greed! stupidity for wisdom, can’t even fool a kid now much less adult. They just don’t care, but who does’t care shall feel the consequences.

  • rudeo

    Can anyone say what would have been the uproar if the PPPC had been in that position? Investors paying for trips to discuss their proposed investments….ha ha….and one of the companies taking major control of Bai Shan Lin…..it gets better! ……go APNU+AFC….go

  • PETER

    I have heard of spin doctors but harmon sounds more like twisty and twirly, harmon states that a Chinese state owned company bought 55% of Bai Shan Lin, that means that the Chinese government now owns 55% of all the prime forestry and housing land that the pppc sold off to Bai Shan Lin at rock bottom prices, the pppc already sold oil exportation licenses and rights to another Chinese company, Granger might as well hand over the rest of Guyana to the Chinese because it seems that the pppc sold most of Guyana to them and now harmon is selling the rest without the people’s approval.