Nicaraguan Parliament revokes concession granted to Chinese company to build canal

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By Daniel Villatoro García

The concession to the Chinese company was annulled through a reform of Nicaragua’s Great Interoceanic Grand Canal Legal Regime Act.

The concession to the Chinese company was annulled through a reform of Nicaragua’s Great Interoceanic Grand Canal Legal Regime Act.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly of Nicaragua removed the concession of building and managing the project of an interoceanic channel through the Central American country to the company Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development (HKND) Group, of Chinese investor Wang Jing, presented at the time as one of the richest men in China and among the 200 most affluent in the world.

The concession to the Chinese company was annulled through a reform of the Law on the Legal Regime of Nicaragua’s Great Interoceanic Canal and the Creation of the Authority of the Great Interoceanic Canal of Nicaragua, which was approved as a matter of urgency and unanimously by the deputies, at the request of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

This reform repealed the Framework Agreement for Concession and Implementation in relation to the Nicaraguan Canal and Development Projects, published in the Official Journal La Gaceta on 17 June 2013, in which the concession to the company HKND Group had been granted, in addition, the Special Law for the Development of Nicaraguan Infrastructure and Transport Atsiteente a El Canal, Free Trade Zones and Associated Infrastructures, published in the Official Gazette on 14 June 2013.

In its explanatory statement, the Nicaraguan Executive explained that, “taking into account the ever-changing national environment as an international one,” it is necessary to adapt some laws to deal with these changes and maintain optimal management within the State of Nicaragua.

Son of Ortega will be in Gran Canal Company

Specifically, the amendment states that the Directorate of the Great Interoceanic Canal Authority of Nicaragua will now be chaired by a delegate of the Minister of Infrastructure Transport, and the vice-president by a delegate of the President of the Republic for the Caribbean Coast.

The Secretariat will be exercised by the Adviser for Investment, Trade and International Cooperation of the Presidency of Nicaragua, Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, while the Directorate will coordinate with the competent authorities of the Government on all matters relating to the planning and operation of the Grand Canal of Nicaragua, and will be the representative of the actions of the State of Nicaragua in the Great National Company of Nicaragua.

It will also be responsible for approving and promoting the representation of authority in companies or corporations, national or international, whether private, state or mixed and having actions or in which it is a member.

Chinese businessman is presented as swindler

The amendment was introduced after the newspaper La Prensa published a report on Chinese businessman Wang Jing, whom they presented as a fallen misfortune swindler, based on Chinese media reports.

It was on July 3, 2012 when the Sandinista majority of the Nicaraguan Parliament approved the controversial Law on the Legal Regime of the Great Interoceanic Water Channel of Nicaragua and the Creation of the Rector Institution, Authority of the Grand Canal of Nicaragua, promoted by Ortega.

A year later, the Nicaraguan Assembly approved the concession of construction and administration to the company HKND Group, of Chinese investor Wang Jing, presented as one of China’s richest men and among the 200 wealthiest in the world, who would invest $50 billion, offer 50,000 jobs, and double the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the five years of construction.

The canal, which would unite the Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean, would cross the south of the country from east to west, with a humid track 278 kilometers long, 230 to 520 meters wide, 30 meters deep.

HKND received the administration for 50 years, plus another 50 years, if it so wishes, in exchange for a payment of ten million dollars each year during the first decade, and the right to one percent of the assets of the “subprojects” that would rise to 99 per cent at the end of the concession.

This artice has been translated after first appearing on Tunota