Consensus reached on Baha Mar Project, says Prime Minister

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Prime Minister the Rt Hon Hubert Ingraham speaking to the media about his recent trip to the People’s Republic of China, during a press conference held Sunday, November 14, 2010 at the British Colonial Hilton.

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Hubert Ingraham announced that a consensus has been reached on a number of significant issues related to the proposed Baha Mar Cable Beach Development, following talks with the principals during his recent visit to the People’s Republic of China.

During a press conference held Sunday, November 14, 2010 at the British Colonial Hilton, the Prime Minister commented on some of the significant elements of his visit, regarding bilateral and multilateral issues.

“As a result of candid discussions with the Chinese Export Bank, the China State Construction Company, and following upon discussions between those companies and their partner, Baha Mar, I can advise that consensus has been reached on a number of significant issues related to the proposed Baha Mar Cable Beach Development,” he said.

Firstly, the construction value of works to be subcontracted to Bahamian contractors and subcontractors has been doubled from $200 to $400 million, the Prime Minister disclosed, adding that Bahamians will also work on elements of the core project.

“This will be the largest award of contracts to Bahamian contractors on a single project. Contracts will be awarded to large, medium, small scale and individual contractors. This is in keeping with my Government’s commitment to deepening and broadening economic opportunities for all Bahamians,” he said.

Secondly, China State Construction and Baha Mar have agreed to an extensive and comprehensive training and retraining programme.

In this vein, Baha Mar has agreed to establish a training and service academy, which will provide extensive training prior to the opening of the various hotels and other amenities. The academy will be permanent, offering ongoing graining opportunities for employees and prospective employees.

The academy in conjunction with Human Resources Departments and Baha Mar’s hotel/casino brand partners will put in place training programmes through the academy up to 24 months before opening.

Approximately 7,000 employees will be hired and trained by Baha Mar 12 months before opening. And, it is expected that a number of the Bahamian construction workers in a variety of trades will be interested in filling ongoing maintenance positions, as they will be familiar with the projects mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure.

“Such training will help to empower the Bahamian people by advancing wealth-creation, providing extensive opportunities for professionals and securing jobs and livelihoods. Such broad agreement will pave the way for this large-scale project which will assist our economic recover,” the Prime Minister said.

HE said however that a third matter of interest to the Government which is not yet clearly agreed to is the phased entry into operation of all the new hotel rooms and the continued operation of the Wyndham Hotel, immediately following upon the completion of all the new hotels.

The Prime Minister said that Baha Mar and the China Eximbank advised him that Hyatt would invest $40 million into the development. Rosewood Hotels and Resorts and Morgans Hotel Group will invest $10 million each. Also, CSCEC will invest $150 million into Baha Mar.

According to the Prime Minister, approval for the project will likely be approved by the end of November; contracts for Bahamian firms to be issued in December and work to begin in January 2011.

Debate on the request for work permits for more than 8,000 Chinese workers for the project is set to take place November 17 – 18, 2010 in the House of Assembly.

  • media

    Wilard, Wilard, what we ga do with you. Hubert Ingraham told the people of the Bahamas he would not see more than 2 terms or ten years, you didn’t shake your head then right? Or how about his promise to the people of Grand Bahama 19 years ago [1991] to build a brand new state of the art hospital. Almost two decades and that city have yet to see any new healthcare facility for the Freeport Community. You didn’t shake your head then right?

    Now on Ingraham continuing as leader of the FNM. We on good authority say what we mean and mean what we say. We don’t back down from our commentary. WE TOLD YOU OUR readership that Hubert Ingraham will not go into the next general election as leader and we stand by that! We don’t dither like Ingraham! We have said that and we stand by that!

    Watch him, his actions he said SPEAKS LOUDER than his words.

    We report YINNER DECIDE!

    BP

    • Ashley Barry

      It is argued that the Bah mar project will push the Bahamas further into slavery, while Agri-Expo’s will give Bahamians an opportunity to become traders with international companies and become less dependents on foreign goods and food suupplies.Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

      • @Ashley Barry

        I would wish to impart hope, as your question suggests that you would appreciate a good word, but LIES and TRICKS are not my forte.

        In seeking an answer to your question regarding future trade opportunities with international companies, you would first have to locate the writer of that speech or press release to find out what motivated their optimistic projections.

        Yup, you heard me correctly. I am saying that the reader (that speech-reading politician)
        of the brilliant prose is seldom the writer!

        While questioning the source of the idea, you would also need to find out if Chineese/Bahamian Agri-business partnerships was the intended transmission, since we have heard of no new source of Agri-business loans for Bahamian farming enterprises.

  • We knew that BAHAMIANS will be working on the CORE of this project and Bahamian contractors will be allowed to bid on some of the works Before the PM went to China.Before the PM’S departure he said that the government wants Bahamar to be built and opened in stages,the PM also said he will REDUCE the amount of Chinese workers from 8000 plus to a lower number.Well after the trip to China we heard that Bahamar WILL NOT be built in stages and there WILL BE 8000 PLUS CHINESE WORKERS.The PM and the FOREIGN NATIONAL MOVEMENT (FNM)can spin this FAILURE of a trip as much as they want,the truth is the CHINESE CONCEDED NO CONCESSIONS TO THE PM.As for economic empowerment if the PM had faith in Bahamians he would HAVE SOLD ALL OF BTC TO BAHAMIANS.I knew and expected the PM to run again for the PM just like a JONSER IS ADDICTED TO THE SWEETNESS OF POWER!!!

    • media

      Kevin as we said, like a CHINESE PEASANT be bowed down to the leadership of the Chinese Government and came back cussin himself for his statements on Baha Mar before he left.

      Then he went to King Sol and said, “PAPA I’ve failed you!”

      BP

  • Finally, I was just saying to myself, as important as thousands of Bahamians saw Mr. Ingraham’s Press Conference yesterday, BP decided not to utter one word of it. BP put up some old out dated information from Mr. Roberts.

    Well, we have to accept it, BP is PLP central and that is what it is.

    I listened to the press conference yesterday and while Mr. Ingraham announced that he will run in 2012, I recalled BP remarks that the FNM leader is about to step down.

    I just shake my head – yes Ingraham is the obstacle to a PLP win and BP hates that.

    I pray God’s blessing upon Mr. Ingraham as BP continues with the hate of Hubert and the FNM.