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Montevideo, June 13th 2024 - 01:46 UTC



Port of Montevideo ICSID case: President Lacalle pledges to defend national interests

Monday, May 27th 2024 - 08:28 UTC
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Some port users were privileged back in the day, Lacalle argued Some port users were privileged back in the day, Lacalle argued

Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou called for “sustaining the largest port investment in history” and pledged to “watch over the national interest” in the US$ 600 million lawsuit filed by Montecon before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) for alleged “anti-competitive practices” in the Port of Montevideo.

 “We support the largest port investment in the history of the country and the affected businessmen should appeal,” said Lacalle about the “losses and damages” case filed for alleged “anti-competitive practices” in the Port of Montevideo stemming from the agreement between the government and Katoen Natie in 2021.

(See also: Uruguayan State requested hefty sum in damages over Montevideo Port deals — MercoPress )

Lacalle insisted that he would “watch over the national interest so that there will be investments and more work in the port.” He also argued that the lawsuit was “a matter of the businessmen who supposedly see their interests affected and go down that path.”

“I do not agree with them and when one sees what types of users there are in the port, it seems to me that some of them were privileged at the time,” Lacalle added while highlighting the recent understanding with Argentina for the dredging to 14 meters of Montevideo's Port's access canal, something Uruguay had been interested in for “over 20 years.”

Montecon, owned by the Neltume Ports consortium made up of the Chilean Ultramar and the Canadian Atco, claimed that its case before the ICSID was based on the fact that “the Uruguayan State violated the investment protection treaties signed with Chile and Canada.”

For the port operator, the government launched “a series of measures that prevent Montecon from transferring and storing containers in the public docks of the Port of Montevideo, ignoring the legal regime of free competition.”

Montecon stated that the lawsuit was filed “after the unsuccessful closing of a period of consultations and direct negotiations to reach an amicable solution” with the country's authorities.

Categories: Investments, Politics, Uruguay.

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