by Linda Straker
- Warren Newfield has resigned as an Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General to the Government of Grenada
- Anti-business policies cited as reason for resignation
- ICSID award of $65 million against the Government of Grenada cited as example
Warren Newfield, the developer behind the Kawana Bay Project has resigned as an Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General to the Government of Grenada, citing anti-business policies as the reason behind his decision.
“It is with great sorrow but with absolute conviction of no other option that I write this letter to tender my official resignation as Ambassador at Large and Consul General to Florida on behalf of Grenada,” said the 20 May 2021 resignation letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Oliver Joseph.
“It has been an honour and privilege to serve the people of Grenada these past 6 years without pay or other compensation, in helping attract several foreign investors to the island as well as major hospitality, leisure and other businesses. From my office in Miami, I have had the privilege of heading one of only 3 missions to officially represent our island in the United States,” stated the letter emailed from Newfield’s agent James Bourne. “Our efforts were paying off in the form of significant new tourism development projects and real estate investment, among other areas… I have undertaken my duties with a strong sense of responsibility to help advance economic growth, business opportunity and investment to our island.” The letter claimed that these efforts resulted in the creation of several hundred jobs.
Providing details about his decision, Newfield said that conditions in Grenada have changed drastically in the past few years and leadership, previously having the country’s best interests at heart and welcoming to foreign investment and economic development, has been transformed into an anti-business regime.
Citing the recent ICSID award of $65 million against the Government of Grenada due to breaching the agreement with the controlling shareholder of Grenlec as an example, he said, “It is little wonder that in the 2020 survey by the World Bank assessing “ease of doing business” in countries globally, Grenada ranked Number 146th out of 190 nations.”
“I have seen this deterioration firsthand. My own business interests are hardly the only ones to be damaged by the regime’s disregard for investor rights. The government has breached agreements with other businesses. Other than the recent fiasco with Grenlec one only needs to look at the government’s attempt to expropriate the Rex Hotel,” the letter outlined. “I am proud of the spirit with which we began our mission and of the progress we made in getting world-class investors and brands to see the best in Grenada. However, my position as both Ambassador and Consul General has become untenable — I can no longer serve in good conscience as Grenada’s business and diplomatic representative abroad.”
Calling for a change in the business landscape, Newfield said, “I hope you and others will take this action as it is intended — as an appeal to restore reason and the rule of law to the government and bring us back to a place where progress is possible in Grenada. I wish nothing more than a level and rational playing field for those who wish to do business, create jobs and grow the economy in order to ensure a bright future for the youth of our wonderful country.”
Efforts to reach Foreign Affairs Minister Oliver Joseph to comment on the resignation proved futile.