Rundown Famagusta Port could be virtually given away

North Cyprus shipping agents are concerned about the sale of Famagusta Port to investors, in its current rundown state. However, they told ‘Havadis’ that the port cannot continue running as it exists.

The fear is that because the port has lacked investment, a private company will be able to buy the port for a song.

If no prior investment is made into the port before it is privatised, then the port will be ‘gifted’ to a private company for less than what it is really worth,” said Euro-Med Shipping, Ibrahim Korhan.

Details of the economic protocol, which is yet to be signed between the government and Turkey, include privatisation of telecommunications, water, electricity and the ports.

This prompted fierce disagreement between that last CTP-UBP coalition government, which led to its collapse.

The proposal to privatise some most of the public utilities involves public-private partnerships, using the build-operate-transfer model. The private sector makes investments in a facility, where needed and then takes the profit. After a certain period of time, the business is handed over to the public sector.

Port agents point out that there are other models used in South Cyprus and Malta. One example being the port of Limassol which is undergoing privatisation using a leasing model.

Cyprus Weekly, Havadis

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