Bahamas Contractors Welcome Baha Mar Project

The Bahamian Contractors Association has welcomed the news of Baha Mar securing a minority partner, with the group already looking at strategies to work out language barriers with the thousands of Chinese workers approved to work on the project.

"It's good news and we're extremely pleased to be able to successfully negotiate the loan financing to bring in the project," BCA President Stephen Wrinkle told Guardian Business. "My understanding is the intent was to commence the road relocation and construction on the commercial village as soon as possible... in large that work would be left to Bahamians workers.

"We already know we'll have an inherent language barrier [and] that is going to present problems across the board."

It's a statement centered around the thousands of Chinese workers expected to come in at various stages of the project to construct the essential areas of the project. Over 3,000 direct jobs are expected to be created for Bahamians during construction alone.

To minimize communication issues, Wrinkle said the latest news he was privy to - which pre-dated the recent signing - would have local and construction workers operate separately.

"It's going to be difficult to work with someone you can't communicate with because they don't understand you," he said. "[Baha Mar executives] have been trying to divide the scope of work up so areas that are not essential can be done by Bahamians. . .but the essentials are going to be carried out by China State.

"But we have had many discussions and one of the things we're sure of is Bahamians will participate as much as possible."

As of Tuesday, the $2.6 billion Baha Mar project is back on track as Chinese partner Export-Import Bank of China has signed on the dotted line. The 1,000-acre Cable Beach site will soon give way to huge construction, much of it done by China State Construction Engineering Corporation, which has been officially given the contract.

When complete the resort will provide 6,500 direct jobs for Bahamians and a further 1,500 jobs in related industries.

Source: The Nassau Guardian