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Malaysian airport experts to manage Argyle International

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Airports in St.Vincent and the Grenadines have not been properly managed, said Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and as a result, the government will not be taking the risk of putting the management of the proposed Argyle International Airport solely in the hands of locals.

Rather, the government has opted to put part of the responsibility of the airport’s management in the hands of Malaysian airport management experts – the Malaysia Airports Company.{{more}}

Dr. Gonsalves, returning from his recent trip to Taiwan and Malaysia made the disclosure at a media conference on Friday, June 16. He said Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has agreed on the policy that the Malaysia Airports Company – the authority that operates 29 airports in the Asian country – will invest in the proposed Argyle International Airport.

He disclosed that a proposal entitled ‘Proposal for Equity Financing of the Argyle International Airport and Management of All State- owned Airports in St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ has been prepared by Dr. Rudy Matthias, Chairman of the International Airport Development Committee (IADC). While in Malaysia, Dr. Matthias, one of the persons who accompanied Prime Minister Gonsalves, also used the opportunity to hold detailed discussions with the investment arm of Malaysia Airports.

“The idea is that we’ll form a local company in which they will be the principal shareholders because you must admit that we have not been doing a very good job over the years in managing our airports. If any body thinks that we have been doing a good job at managing our airports I don’t think that they are as critical as they should be about the management of the airports,” said Dr.Gonsalves adding that he does not know how many airports in the Caribbean are successfully managed.

“The idea is to put between US$10-US$15 million in equity, not loan in the international airport project. When you put money in equity you expect a return on your investment and part of the idea is to have the Malaysia Airports Company manage our airports in conjunction with us.

On August 8, 2005, Dr. Gonsalves put forward a proposal to the nation paving the way for the construction of an international airport at Argyle.

Canada, Cuba, Malaysia, Mexico Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, are some of the countries that have agreed to assist St.Vincent and the Grenadines with the construction of the airport.

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