Prime Minister Perry Christie
By Royston Jones Jr.
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie said he expects a “major move” on Baha Mar that could see the troubled megaresort completed “early in the new year”.
In an interview on Saturday, Christie said he has spent much of the holidays working hard on the Baha Mar matter.
“About two days ago, I wrote a very strong letter to the president of Export-Import Bank of China, setting out the fact that a very significant number of world class operators have gotten involved and made applications for the property to assist to put money into the property, to bring it to a conclusion in opening,” Christie told The Nassau Guardian.
“These are big American companies.
“I’ve seen some of China’s biggest companies come out themselves and they have indicated a preparedness to buy into the development.
“So, in The Bahamas, we have a situation where the construction company has taken a position that it does not want to start construction without paying their sub contractors.
“I’ve argued that I‘m not prepared to accept that those contractors would be paid less than a dollar for a dollar.
“So, I’m anticipating very early in 2016 that we are going to have a major move on Baha Mar.”
When Christie addressed the matter last month, he said the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) is expected to make a decision on a possible investor for the troubled property soon.
It has been nearly six months since operations at the Cable Beach property shut down.
But Christie said the government has a commitment from stakeholders to ensure the convention center will be completed to ensure an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) conference will be held there in March.
“Therefore, I am content with the fact that the receivers and the bank have agreed for a partial mobilization for construction. That in itself would suggest to me that once partially mobilized, it would just expand itself into completing it early in the new year,” Christie said.
This is not the first time that government officials have promised to deliver good news on Baha Mar.
Christie has repeatedly said he expects the parties to come to a speedy resolution and was hoping for the resort to be completed by November.
He also said he received good news about the Baha Mar project in June, days before Baha Mar filed for bankruptcy in the United States.
The substantive bankruptcy claim has since been dismissed.
In October, court appointed joint provisional liquidators gained approval from the Supreme Court to implement a redundancy plan.
More than 2,000 employees were laid off as a result.
Christie said last month that he continues to be optimistic about the development.
The prime minister said he is hoping to get those people back on the job.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian