Social services


Guyana sued over nationalisation debt

26 November 2002

A British company has taken a case to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) seeking £12m compensation. In 1976 Booker plc was awarded £13 million by the Government of Guyana when Guyana’s sugar industry was nationalised. This was to be paid over 20 years but in 1989 Booker agreed to defer repayment on the understanding that the industry would be re-privatised. When the government did not go ahead with privatisation Booker went to ICSID. If Booker succeeds, Guyana will be forced to break its HIPC debt relief agreement with the World Bank.