By Abraham Jonah, Managing Editor, Middle East Operations
The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) is repossessing concessions currently held by Baishanlin International Forest Development Inc. (BIFDI).
BIFDI was incorporated in September 2006 under the Guyana Companies Act 1991 with the main objective of timber harvesting and establishing downstream wood processing operations in Linden.
The decision came after the company failed to deliver on agreed actions to introduce investors to the Commission and having been given time to prove that it had an acceptable plan to clear an approximately GY$80m debt. In an effort to conclude the matter, representatives of the BIFDI were invited to a meeting on April 8, 2016 to provide an update on its plans to clear the debts.
During the meeting, representatives noted that the BIFDI had suffered financial constraints which affected the establishing of the wood processing facility and that the company was engaging a new partner that would contribute significantly to their investment in Guyana. The GFC Board was assured of the financial strength of the new partner who had committed to pay off the debt owed by the company to GFC.
The BIFDI was requested to submit information about its operations in Guyana, settle its arrears and submit a letter of commitment from the new partner.
To date, the BIFDI has failed to fulfill any of its commitments to the Government of Guyana; effectively failing on the obligations it made, which were accepted in good faith.
In keeping with Forest Governance Practices, the GFC will be formally repossessing the concessions owned by the company and accelerating efforts to recover the debt owed.