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Minnis Calls For Details Of Baha Mar Negotiations

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis has renewed calls for the government to fully disclose the details of negotiations with Chinese stakeholders to complete and open the embattled Baha Mar resort.

Dr Minnis insisted that the government was engaged in "desperate dealings" to jumpstart the shuttered $3.5bn project.

“What we have now is the PLP engaged in desperate dealings with the Chinese that are clouded in secrecy," he said in a statement on Friday.  

"The PLP promised Baha Mar was going to lift our economy, that it would deliver 5,000 good paying jobs and help elevate our tourism industry. None of this happened, so why should Bahamians trust the PLP to negotiate a secret deal with the Chinese?  

"What is this Government giving away? The Bahamian land, citizenship, taxes or what? The people have a right to know! Will Bahamians be employed to finish the construction? Will our Bahamian contractors get the money they are owed, or will the PLP sell Bahamians' birthright out to the Chinese? We don’t know the answers to these critical questions because the PLP is hiding the details of their negotiations from the people."

Baha Mar was initially expected to open in December, 2014, but the property is currently in receivership.

Last month, Mr Christie revealed that two firms, one with ties to Bahamian investors, have been shortlisted as the court-appointed receivers of the project move closer to deciding which entity will acquire the West Bay Street development.

However, he said the final decision is solely at the discretion of receiver managers who were in Beijing, China, at the time negotiating a contract to remobilise and complete the project as soon as possible.

Mr Christie said China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) along with the resort’s general contractor China Construction America (CCA), its subsidiary, were also participating in the talks.

On Friday, Dr Minnis pointed to revelations from the Department of Statistics that indicate the Bahamas has been in recession for two consecutive years, with the economy contracting by 0.5 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively, in 2014 and 2015.

“The Central Bank of The Bahamas confirmed what many of us already know - the continued failure of this Government to get Baha Mar open and operating is hurting our economy," he said.

"Their report noted many economic failings, including a real GDP decrease of 1.7 per cent, and placed the blame squarely on the Baha Mar debacle. It’s been over a year since Baha Mar went bankrupt, yet in that time this Government has only offered up more empty rhetoric and a series of broken promises.  

"None of which has put the 2,000 people who lost their jobs back to work, nor helped the Bahamian contractors that are owed tens of millions of dollars get what they are rightfully owed.”

Dr Minnis lamented that the stalled resort has become a testament to the continued failures of Prime Minister Christie and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration.

“No doubt with an election around the corner they are in a feverish rush to seal a secret deal to get it open," he said.

"Yet what will they give away to do it? The Bahamian people are tired of the secret deals being made by the PLP and their continued empty rhetoric and broken promises. The FNM stands for transparency and accountability.  

Dr Minnis added: "We will work every day for the Bahamian people and work to create the jobs they so desperately need and deserve.”

Comments

arussell 1 year, 1 month ago

Good luck getting that information. Clearly this corrupt government dont care about the Bahamian people.

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

"

BlockqChina’s project to build a replica Manhattan is taking shape against a backdrop of vacant office towers and unfinished hotels, underscoring the risks to a slowing economy from the nation’s unprecedented investment boom. The skyscraper-filled skyline of the Conch Bay district in the northern port city of Tianjin has none of a metropolis’s bustle up close, with dirt-covered glass doors and construction on some edifices halted. The area’s failure to attract tenants since the first building was finished in 2010 bodes ill across the Hai River for the separate Yujiapu development, which is modeled on New York’s Manhattan and remains in progress. “Investing here won’t be better than throwing money into the water,” Zhang Zhihe, 60, said during a visit to the area last week from neighboring Hebei province to look at potential commercial-property investments. “There will be no way out -- it will be very difficult to find the next buyer.”uote . "Built for over a million people, the city of Ordos was designed to be the crowning glory of Inner Mongolia. Doomed to incompletion however, this futuristic metropolis now rises empty out of the deserts of northern China. Only 2% of its buildings were ever filled; the rest has largely been left to decay, abandoned mid-construction, earning Ordos the title of China’s Ghost City. Last year I travelled to Inner Mongolia for myself, to get a closer look at the bizarre, ghost metropolis of Ordos… and the experience, as I would discover, was far stranger than anything I could have prepared for." . BlockChina's big ambitions stumble at Bahamas resort NASSAU, BAHAMAS/BEIJING JUNE 30 | BY TIM MCLAUGHLIN AND MATTHEW MILLER China's push to extend its influence in the Western Hemisphere has hit an embarrassing setback at an unfinished, $3.5 billion resort and casino project in the Bahamas.

A series of construction delays, funding squabbles, lagging inspections and faulty work at the Baha Mar resort in Nassau have led to contention and finger-pointing in recent months among the local developer, a Chinese state-backed contractor and China's export finance bank.

And on Monday, Baha Mar Ltd, developer of the 2,323 room resort located alonquote . "China's White Elephants: Ghost Cities, Lonely Airports, Desolate Factories

When you drive the new expressway to the airport in the Chinese city of Luliang, you are as likely to come across a stray dog as another vehicle. When I recently drove it, a farmer was riding in a three-wheel flatbed truck and heading in the wrong direction. But it didn't matter. There was no oncoming traffic.

That's because the city's $160 million airport, which opened in 2014, gets at most five flights a day and as few as three. Officials began building the airport when this coal town was still booming. Since then, though, global commodity prices have plunged as China's old industrial economy has sputtered. The airport has become a white elephant.

October 15, 20154:44 AM ET

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banker 1 year, 1 month ago

As iterated, the world is strewn with unfinished Chinese Construction projects. The biggest black eye domestically is the West Kowloon Arts Hub in Hong Kong. http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1527725/west-kowloon-arts-hub-delays-threaten-choke-hong-kong-drama-and-music They had an ambitious project to build theaters and performance venues totaling $21 billion the first of them to be finished in 2015. Well none are open yet and the cost has ballooned to double that. Work has stopped and they don't know when they will finish.

Here is the kicker. A colleague of mine has a client who is a world renowned theater facilities producer. He had a good pensioned job as a director for a national arts center. He was lured to Hong Kong with the promise of building 15 dream venues and then he thought that with those accomplishments, he would be an in-demand arts consultant.

It didn't turn out that way. They got the same treatment as Baha Mar and they have no date to finish. And this is a showcase piece in the heart of Hong Kong.

If they can't do it in Hong Kong, it will never get finished at Baha Mar.

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Economist 1 year, 1 month ago

Dr. Minnis you had the power to effect a Freedom of Information Act when you were in power. You don't have the information because you failed to do you job 5 yrears ago when you were in power.

Why should I think that you will do anything more if you lead the FNM in 2017?

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kaytaz 1 year, 1 month ago

The PM did say open for Xmas ......he didn't say which xmas

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 1 month ago

The money trail needs to be followed when it comes to the bank accounts and clients' accounts at law firms that are ultimately beneficially owned by certain politicians and government officials and their "favoured" consultants, advisors and business cronies. The corrupt political elite and their equally corrupt business cronies in the private sector have accumulated great wealth from massive fraud perpetuated against the interests of the Bahamian people. We are daily being robbed by these scoundrels whose sole interest is to maintain their ability to continue stealing the wealth of our country for themselves, leaving the rest of us barely able to make ends meet. We have far too many in government today who are mega-millionaires, and they did not become so on their government salary. The Chinese down the road may actually be of great help to us in uncovering a lot of this massive fraud and bringing those responsible to justice.

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

So why are they letting the same China Construction and China Bank proceed with construction at The Pointe by Sheraton before they complete Bah Mar and get it open? Can you imagine how scandalous it would be to allow these Chinese to "almost complete ". The Pointe with Chinese labor, Chinese materials and Chinese financing. They didn't finish the first project (Vah Mar). so what make you think they gonna finish two?

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BaronInvest 1 year, 1 month ago

You'll see them purchase and finish it once you can buy the property for 1$ when in return you promise to complete and open it. Meanwhile they can focus on The Pointe.

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Then take a hint from this: There is a dispute going on in the South China seas. China is has occupied and is trying to claim some islands. The disputed involved China, The US, the Philippines and several other countries. Despite The international court ruling against China having any claim to the islands, China is refusing to vacate or give up possession of the islands. The situation is expected to escalate as the US and other countries are claiming rights of passage through sorrounding waters which will be denied if China is allowed to keep the islands

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