Ingraham Sticking To His Guns in China Visit

Wednesday 20th, October 2010 / 09:21 Published by

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said he will be sticking to his guns while negotiating the Baha Mar proposal when he heads to China later this week.

Mr Ingraham said that his message will not be new when he sits down with the government of China for talks on the Baha Mar project.

“We told the China state construction company from the first time we saw them more than a year ago that it was not possible to have that number of foreign workers on a job site and have the Bahamian content being so low. Nothing has changed. We have been telling them that for more than a year. It appears that some people don’t take us seriously, or alternatively think we are so desperate that we will do whatever we are asked to do. But our strength is not weakened,” he said.

While pleased that the Import-Export Bank of China is willing to invest $2.6 billion in the Bahamas, Mr Ingraham stressed that his government is concerned about ensuring that the maximum benefits are derived by Bahamians and that the project helps, not hurts, the economy of the Bahamas.

Mr Ingraham has expressed concerns with the labour component of the Baha Mar deal, which calls for the influx of over 8,000 Chinese workers.  He has also been critical of the plan to increase hotel room inventory by thousands of rooms, all at one time.

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