Nassau, Bahamas – A front page story in today’s Tribune misconstrued comments made by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in the House of Assembly yesterday. The Prime Minister did not say nor did he infer that the Baha Mar Project was halted because of the PLP stance on Taiwan during the 1990s.
What the Prime Minister did say in relation to Baha Mar was that the project was able to proceed now because the Chinese Government approved the Chinese Export Import Bank granting the necessary funding.
The Prime Minister recalled that it was the FNM that established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China severing ties with Taiwan. Said the Prime Minister “The only reason we have relations with the People’s Republic of China is because the FNM did that and the Chinese regard us as an old friend and they are supporting us in the Baha Mar project.”
The Prime Minister said “Baha Mar is going ahead because the Chinese government is providing the money.” He went on to say that “there was no possibility of Baha Mar being able to get a loan from the Chinese unless The Bahamas government said “yes, please do it.”
The China Export Import Bank is providing funding for the $2.6 billion Baha Mar project. The loan required the approval of the Chinese and Bahamian Governments.
The transcript of Prime Minister Ingraham’s comments is as follows:
THE PRIME MINISTER: They say we should thank them for Baha Mar, well I just want to say a couple words about that. Baha Mar is going ahead because the Chinese Government is providing the money. They never wanted any business dealing with the Chinese Government – they recognised Taiwan. In fact, that’s how the Leader of the Opposition got back in the PLP. The PLP made a deal with the Taiwanese Government to recognise them and not the People’s Republic of China. Ervin Knowles, who was the Minister, got fired, Christie got hired and Ervin Knowles was appointed Ambassador to Taiwan. The only reason we are with the People’s Republic of China today is because the FNM did that, and the Chinese regard us as an old friend, and they are supporting us in the Baha Mar project. And there was no possibility of Baha Mar being able to get a loan from the Chinese, unless the Bahamas Government said “yes, please do it.”