Suurbritannia sadamad on liiga avatud välismaistele firmadele

Suurbritannia transpordikomitee on tugevalt kritiseerinud valitsuse lõtva poliitikat sadamate omandiõiguse üle. Oma 15. jaanuaril avaldatud raportis märgib komitee:

38. We are concerned that the ownership of UK ports by foreign companies, particularly those with no prior experience of owning and managing ports, may create instability within the industry. Ports companies with foreign interests may decide on balance that investment and development is best prioritised outside the UK; similarly investment companies may see more profit in selling off ports for land. The Government must recognise the risks and develop an action plan to mitigate them.

Valitsus on tagasi lükanud sellise kriitika omapoolse vastusega raportile 24. juulil:

The Government sees no evidence of instability, nor that owners with foreign interests are in general acquiring UK ports for other than port purposes, nor that they are any more prone than commercially active domestic operators to identify and sell off surplus operational land. Recent ownership changes backed by infrastructure investors and pension funds seeking robust long-term returns are evidence of the attractions of the sector, and reflect global trends towards investment in infrastructure by investors seeking to build value by holding assets over the longer term. In line with Sir Rod Eddington’s recommendations we will be looking to recognise and respond to these changes in financial and infrastructure markets to make the most of the new opportunities they offer, while remaining alert to any new risks that might arise with changing market circumstances. As noted above, the planning system already complements market incentives in a profitable and growing sector to maintain important assets in operational use.

Kumbki pool muidugi ei maini ühtegi sadamaid üle võtnud firma nime, kuid kõigile on selge, et jututeemaks on P&O Ports ära ostnud Dubai DP World ja konsortsium, kuhu kuulub Kanada pensionifond ja Goldman Sachs investeerimispank, kes ostis ära Associated British Ports eelmisel aastal.

Transpordikomitee juhi, Gwyneth Dunwoody arvates võib Suurbritannia sadamate maha müümine välisfirmadele suurendada ebastabiilsust, võttes arvesse veel seda, et firmadel puudub eelnev sadama opereerimise kogemus. Lisaks võivad välisfirmad eelistada investeeringute suunamist väljaspoole Suurbritanniat ning hakata maha müüma sadamate all olevat maad. Selliste juhtude jaoks peaks valitsusel olemas olema varuplaan.

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