“The Cayman Islands Government has looked into news reports that China Harbour Engineering Company was debarred by the World Bank; and has found no evidence that China Harbour committed any misconduct or illegal acts that resulted in sanctions by the World Bank.
“Our research found that China Communications Construction Company and all its subsidiaries were debarred from World Bank funded projects as a result of China Communications becoming the designated successor to China Road and Bridge Corporation.
“Our understanding is that this action is a follow-on from a 2002 project in which China Road and Bridge was involved. China Communications was deemed by the World Bank as “designated successor” under new World Bank rules that prescribed that successor organizations would be subject to the same sanctions applied against the original firm.
“A press release on the World Bank website dated July 29, 2011 says, “This action is based on recent changes in the World Bank sanctions system to clarify that successor organizations – through purchase or reorganization – will be subject to the same sanctions applied to the original firm.’
“Accordingly, the press release goes on to say, ‘China Communications is the designated successor entity to China Road and Bridge Corporation which, along with six other firms and one individual was debarred by the World Bank for eight years, beginning January 12, 2009’.
“It is evident that China Harbour is far removed from any wrongdoing that resulted in the original sanctions placed on China Road and Bridge by the World Bank.
“The far-reaching effect of the World Bank debarment of China Road and Bridge only relates to China Harbour because it is a subsidiary of China Communications, which inherited the debarment from its predecessor. Neither China Harbour nor its parent company, China Communications, has been sanctioned by the World Bank for fraud or any other misconduct actually committed by those companies.
“In view of these findings, the Cayman Islands government does not see cause to believe that China Harbour is legally or morally responsible for the actions which led to the original debarment of China Road and Bridge Corporation by the World Bank.
“There is therefore no indication that valid grounds exist for discontinuing our dealings with China Harbour.
“Given the many years of discussing and negotiating the port project, this government believes that China Harbour offers the best value for money to the Cayman Islands; namely because China Harbour is the only company to offer the Islands terms that would enable us to attain realistic value for the leveraging of our assets.
“The Cayman Islands government remains vigilant and will only conduct business with companies that can pass the closest scrutiny. The Cayman Islands government has conducted and will continue to conduct appropriate due diligence before any binding final agreements are signed.”