(Jamaica Observer, 9.Jan.2019) — The Opposition has come out against Government’s decsion to use legislative action to take back Venezuela’s 49 per cent share of Petrojam.
Shadow minister of energy, Phillip Paulwell said the Opposition is against the “hostile takeover” of the shares in Petrojam from the Government of Venezuela, according to a press release yesterday.
Paulwell said the move is premature and rushed expropriation of the shares is unwarranted, as both sides were in talks to reach a negotiated settlement.
He said it was particularly premature given the fact that the Zacca Committee — which was appointed to look at the future of the Petrojam Refinery — is scheduled to report in May 2019 on its findings and recommendations.
In any event, he said, no apparent effort was made to use any international arbitration organisations to settle any dispute, which may have arisen between the two governments, especially in light of reports that a settlement price was the only outstanding issue.
Paulwell said the expropriation will cause ripple effects to be felt in the local and international investor community for some time. This hostile approach is uncharacteristic of Jamaica, and may, in fact, be detrimental to our future negotiating capacity with other foreign investors, he shared.