A Chinese contingent is expected in Barbados “very soon” to carry out a final assessment of Sam Lord’s Castle ahead of construction on the 58-acre site.
Word of this has come from Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Barbados Wang Ke, who also disclosed that a number of Chinese funded projects were to be carried out in the region over the coming years.
She made the comments at a media briefing with Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Maxine McClean to report on the outcome of the first Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC)/China Forum in Beijing, People’s Republic of China earlier this month.
The Sam Lord’s Castle project, which is expected to employ 60 per cent Chinese labour, will be funded by China Exim Bank to the tune of about US$200 million.
“As far as I know a team from the China Exim Bank is going to visit Barbados very soon. They are going to have an on-the-spot inspection and interact with relevant shareholders for them to make a final assessment,” Wang said.
“If it is approved they will submit the whole project to the government for it to be ratified . . . . So we are looking forward [for] the project [to] proceed very smoothly and we are expecting an early start of construction of this project which will be very conducive to the tourism in this country and further to the improvement of economic financial status of this country,” she added.
As part of the project, which is expected to last about 18 months, the nine-bedroom castle will be restored and a 450-room hotel will be constructed and then operated by international hotel chain Wyndham.
The ambassador said there were other major projects which the region would benefit from.
“Those are mainly infrastructure projects like expressways, roads and seaports,” she said.