Prime Minister Gaston Browne is defending a decision to sell five acres of land to a Chinese developer.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister confirmed that the government had sold the land for $10 per square foot – which equates to just over $2 million – to China Construction to facilitate the building of the company’s Caribbean headquarters at Donovans, located behind the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
In a Facebook post, which had the design concept for the development attached, the PM said China Construction had been operating in Antigua for over a decade and is responsible for the construction of VC Bird International Airport, new cargo port facilities and several other buildings gifted to the nation by the Asian country.
Several residents questioned the sale of lands to a Chinese entity, but Browne queried the difference between selling a parcel of land to a Chinese developer, compared to one from the US or UK.
He said the country has sold land to foreigners to include 1,300 acres at Mill Reef and 300 acres at Jumby Bay for development – and that, from time to time, the government must sell land to foreign investors to support the country’s progress.
PM Browne claimed China has done more to develop the twin island state than any other nation, adding in response to comments, “Kindly spare me the Chinese bashing”.