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Taiwan Points To Transparency In EC$54 Million Loan To Saint Lucia

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Taiwan has indicated transparency in the EC$54 million loan financing Saint Lucia secured from the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (Eximbank) in 2020.

Saint Lucia secured the money to fund the St. Jude Hospital reconstruction project.

Amid concerns that the money went to a private account, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) quoted the country’s Foreign Ministry saying that the loan process was transparent and per a contract signed with Saint Lucia.

Fire destroyed Saint Lucia’s St. Jude Hospital in 2009.

Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesman Jeff Liu explained on Saturday that as a result, the then Saint Lucia government secured a US$20 million loan from the Eximbank.

Taiwan’s Overseas Engineering and Construction Corp. (OECC) was entrusted with the reconstruction project.

The OECC is a construction company formed by various Taiwanese syndicates to handle infrastructure projects funded by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the country’s diplomatic allies.

According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, the Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesman said that based on the contract terms, the money could be remitted to OECC’s account in Taipei after the Saint Lucia government approval for the hospital renovation.

The spokesman told the news agency the construction company was willing to provide all remittance details for review by the Saint Lucia government.

Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has announced a probe into how the former United Workers Party (UWP) administration handled the EC$54 million Taiwanese loan financing.

On Friday, a release from Pierre’s office said there was no evidence indicating the monies went into the Consolidated Fund as legally mandated by the Finance (Administration) Act of Saint Lucia.

“Diverting monies raised for the government to privately held accounts significantly limits the government’s ability to adequately account for its usage,” the release observed.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said Pierre explained the matter to the Taiwanese embassy in Saint Lucia.

Spokesman Jeff Liu said the Saint Lucia PM noted that the Saint Lucia government’s action aims to strengthen accountability and financial management.

But Liu explained that Pierre indicated that the probe did not imply concerns about the loan case or the OECC.

In a release last week, Saint Lucia’s United Workers Party observed that the OECC’s bank accounts are based in Panama.

“Like with most development projects, the financing institution pays the contractor directly; therefore, funds associated with the project do not necessarily come into the consolidated fund,” the release stated.

And the UWP accused the ruling labour party government of creating a distraction from borrowing $1 Billion in 2 years and a disastrous decision to borrow $200 Million to rehabilitate the old St. Jude Hospital.

 

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12 COMMENTS

  1. All smokes and mirrors. Let Pierre tell us how come OECC still financed the road works which contractors already had contracts for? But then again, we like it so, we voted for that!

  2. It is a shame on the SLP administration to be so incompetent not to have looked at all documents before involving an other country in their propaganda. Shame

  3. Well, well, well. There go the St. Lucian Politicians again. Both red and yellow are known to be best at roro and trying to make the other look bad rather than seeking to contribute to people’s development.
    The good thing for me was I knew that once it was Richard breaking the news, it would be more roro than substance. So, I was not fooled and did not watch his show. In fact, I do not know how any intelligent person can.
    By the time I heard the full story, I knew it was all nonsense. Anyone who cares to follow would know that many lending institutions/governments now prefer to pay directly to the contractor. And that is decided even at the point of negotiating the loan. X% amount is given to the Contractor up front. Then Y% is disbursed at another point in the development of the project. The balance is given when the project is completed to satisfaction. It boggles the mind that so many people don’t know that when even some local financial institutions practice the same thing when giving a mortgage.
    I wonder when will the current administration stop Richard from being an embarrassment to it.
    Now, I know Richard will put some spin on that and his follows, like Trump’s followers, will swallow line, hook and sinker.
    What is so unfortunate is that we have two political parties equivalent to each other.

  4. So once again this moron pierre is embarassing us. This man is representative of the state of the country. Disheveled and a mess.

  5. Why don’t they concentrate on the Bananes land, Rachael. Our Sea bed, etc.- really smokes and mirrors.

  6. Only a Hack and Fool will believe this nonsense about Taiwan taking their money and depositing it in a private acct. Dem fellas and their cohorts in the public service just looking and digging for things. Is that what the 2 or 3 million for Special Prosecutor is about. SMH. In order to take all u mind off the 200 million to build St. Judes they come up with this Allegation. SMH. When it was said that 200 million is needed to finish St. Judes they said that’s a lie and quoted a mere 10 or 20 million. Now they themselves asking for 200 million to finish the many bldgs they building and calling it a hospital.

  7. And then Yard foul will have this as truth on his so called ‘Zafe Nou’ morning show as gospel truth.

    The blind leading the blind into the abyss of the remains of an island nation called once called St. Lucia.

    Shame on this mal-administration for continuously misleading and misinforming the people.

  8. I guess some people can read and understand. The question is who authorized the transfer of funds directly to a bank account in Panama? Why was there a commission paid for the funds? Why did the funds never went in the GOsL bank account for onwards transfer to the contractor? This press release does in no way let the last administration and government technocrats off the hook. The laws of St Lucia was broken (The Financial Act) and therefore someone must answer. For those of you that think this press release answers the Dr. Kenny and Pm Pierre declaration you think again.

  9. In the press release quote, “The money could be remitted to OECC’s account in Taipei”…. Then why was it remitted to Panama?

  10. I feel very disappointed. Putting people first can never mean drawing them with misinformation, maipris and roro.

  11. They say some people will burn the house down to rule over the ashes. Well after burning the house down, this government is still burning the ashes. I guess smearing the former UWP administration now comes at any cost and by any means necessary to the extent that we are dragging our diplomatic partners into our mess!

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