June 30, 2015 – Nassau, Bahamas
Yesterday, without notice, Baha Mar filed a bankruptcy Chapter 11 petition in Delaware USA. This action was taken at a point when my personal intervention over several months with all three parties involved, led to substantial agreement on a packaged solution for additional funding by China Export Import Bank, the resumption of construction work by the general contractor, and the project completion. This is supported by exchange of correspondence as recently as June 26.
The Government wants to reiterate that the number one priority of all stakeholders involved with the Baha Mar project should be its swift completion and opening. It is of great importance to the nation and to all Bahamians that Baha Mar opens successfully. We must all work towards this goal as a matter of national priority. This is not the time to play politics, but rather, we must unite to ensure the best interest of The Bahamas and all Bahamians is met. In the interest of promoting transparency and national unity on an issue that clearly transcends partisan politics, I invite the Leader of the Opposition to attend a briefing on the matter.
The Government remains committed to being open and transparent with the Bahamian people, as it has since the beginning of this project. Any claim that the Government or I have been misleading the public as it relates to the status of Baha Mar is completely false. The Government has been working with all parties and negotiating in good faith, and with an end goal of a successful opening of Baha Mar. The decision by Baha Mar to file for Chapter 11 under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code does not change our end goal.
Negotiations must continue to progress immediately to ensure the successful opening as soon as possible. As previously stated, the Government will not take sides, but rather continue to support all stakeholders in coming to a resolution. As the Government of The Bahamas, we take the side of the Bahamian people, and we are acting to ensure the needs and interests of the people are first and foremost.
This project will provide great economic opportunities for our country. Collectively, our sole focus should be on Baha Mar opening so that the jobs of current and potential employees are protected. This goal should not be and will not be, distorted by politics.