Solomon Islands PM embraces crooked Chinese company based in PNG
A crooked Chinese company based in PNG is reaching out to the Solomon Islands government in search of new contracts. The General Manager of China Harbour Engineering Company recently met with the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare – see news report below.
Mr Sogavara, who described China Harbour Engineering as a ‘reputable’ company and ‘genuine investor’, seems unaware the firm has been blacklisted by the World Bank for fraud and condemned by the courts in Bangladesh and the government in Jamaica.
In case Mr Sogavara has not been properly briefed, here is a ‘greatest hits’ list that highlights China Harbour Engineering’s disconcerting record:
- China Harbour Engineering Company’s parent company, and all its subsidiaries (including its PNG subsidiaries), have been blacklisted until 12/1/2017 by the World Bank for all contracts related to roads and bridges, owing to “fraudulent practices” (Source: World Bank 2011).
- The courts in Bangladesh found that China Harbour Engineering Company paid bribes to the son of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, who was then sentenced to six years in prison. (Source: The Hindu 2011)
- In 2012 an Audit was conducted by the Jamaican government into two major infrastructure projects, one of which was awarded to China Harbour Engineering Company. The Minister for Transport, Works and Housing claimed,
“The report from the forensic auditor has unearthed wanton disregard for the conventions and procedures established by the Government of Jamaica for project implementation, administration and management. These breaches of existing procurement guidelines have drained precious budgetary resources and undermined the very foundation of public institutional integrity” (Source: Caribbean Analysis 2012).
- China Habour Engineering Company negotiated with the Cayman Islands Premier to build and run a major port facility. This deal was stopped, when the UK government blew the whistle over the procurement arrangements. Later it was revealed the process had been fast tracked by the Premier, in violation of legal process (Source: CayCompass 2013).
Perhaps Mr Sogavara and his staff should also read some previous coverage given to China Harbour Engineering on this blog:
- Pacific Games Contract Blowout Whiffs of National Provident Fund Fraud
- Parkop Hands Over K300m to Chinese Multinational Slammed by World Bank for “Fraudulent Practices”
- Road Contracts awarded to Crooked Companies blacklisted by the World Bank
- MCC not the only major Chinese enterprise on World Bank corruption blacklist
PM meets potential Chinese investor
PM’s press secretariat | Solomon Star
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Wednesday met the general manager of a Papua New Guinea-based Chinese company interested in investing in Solomon Islands.
Mr Ma Jianhua, General Manager of China Habour Company (PNG) Limited, enlightened the Prime Minister about his company which he said is a state-owned enterprise specialised in survey and design, marine engineering and construction of roads, bridges and wharfs.
Mr Jianhua told the Prime Minister his company also provides support to its clients to get financial solutions for their infrastructure development needs.
“I first visited the Solomon Islands two years knew the country has a good investment market for my company.
“We pledge to provide quality service and the best returns for our clients,” he added.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the interest of China Habour Engineering Company.
“We are open to any genuine investor that wants to help us drive our private sector and I am pleased to know that your company is a reputable company doing business in 80 countries including Papua New Guinea,” Mr Sogavare said.
He added that, “Solomon Islands is in dire need to come out from where we are now in terms of development and we have ourselves to blame for restricting ourselves from other potential investors”.
The Prime Minister said there is investment potential in Solomon Islands for the company and he is encouraged to hear that the company can also help its clients access financial solutions for their infrastructure development needs.
“My challenge right now is ensuring developments in Malaita Province but I’m hearing people saying that investors are afraid of going to Malaita.”