Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2015 Contents NOVEMBER 26 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG19
The redevelopment of the near 200-year-old Sam Lord s
Castle into a hotel managed by the world s largest hotel company
will bring with it 3,000 local jobs, Prime Minister Freundel
Stuart has disclosed.
Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony at the 57-acre site
in the eastern parish of St Philip on Monday, he said the new
Sam Lord s Castle Barbados, A Wyndham Grand Resort is also
expected to bring in significant amounts of foreign exchange.
"The macro-economic implications of the project cannot
be understated. The hotel will employ in excess of 1,000 persons
after completion, and is also expected to generate approximately
2,000 additional jobs in other sectors of the economy. Foreign
exchange earnings to be made by the property are estimated
at over US$70 million a year, with a direct contribution to the
GDP of US$35 million," Stuart said.
"The people of St Philip will gain social and economic benefits
from the project. Residents of this parish will be able to earn
income as entrepreneurs, service and produce providers and
hotel employees. A number of farmers in the area will now
have another market for their produce, and artistes and craftsmen
will also reap a similar benefit."
The prime minister also contended that the BDS$450 million
(US$275 million) project was a signal that the confidence of
the international community in Government s economic devel-
opment strategy was being restored.
The development will involve the construction of an upscale
resort hotel comprising 350 guest accommodations, 100 vacation
ownership units, a destination spa, a conference centre and
various services and amenities.
Stuart said it had been designed to utilise the most sophis-
ticated, state-of-the-art, and environmentally sustainable tech-
nologies, which would make it a prototype in the tourism sector.
He added that the hotel would specifically target summer busi-
ness and assist Barbados in its quest to become a true year-
The prime minister told the audience that the commencement
of the project, which is being financed by the Chinese, would
represent the beginning of a new era in Barbados cooperative
relationship with the Asian country.
"This project will be the forerunner to even more projects
between the two nations. It will spur cooperative efforts in
other areas in and outside of the tourism sector," he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Barbados Wang Ke said this project
was just one of several her country intended to finance.
"We have every reason to expect a promising future of China-
Barbados cooperation for mutual benefit," she said.
Construction is expected to start next year and the keys to
the property handed over in 2018. It will be managed by Wyn-
dham Hotel Group.
Sam Lord s Castle was once a beautiful Georgian mansion,
built in 1820 by Samuel Hall Lord. Legend has it that Sam
Lord acquired his wealth by plundering ships, which he lured
onto the reefs off the coast, by hanging lanterns in the coconut
trees. Captains mistook these lights for Bridgetown and wrecked
their ships on the reefs. The property was run as an exquisite
hotel for many years but it was subsequently abandoned and
then was destroyed by fire in 2010. www.caribbean360.com
Barbados will rehabilitate sections of two
major highways to lower transport costs and
improve road safety with a US$25 million loan
approved by the Inter-American Development
The IDB loan will finance the rehabilitation
and improvement of approximately 31 kilometres
of key segments of Barbados primary road net-
work, including drainage, construction of side-
walks, rehabilitation of associated bridges and
culverts, and safety features along with a pilot
for outsourced performance-based routine road
It will also contribute to the strengthening of
transport sector governance through capacity
building within Barbados Ministry of Transport
and Works (MTW) in the key areas of transport
planning and asset management, maintenance
financing, technical standards for quality control
and assurance, gender parity, and road safety.
These primary roads---the ABC Highway and
the Charles Duncan O Neal Highway---connect
Barbados touristic, industrial, and business areas
with the Bridgetown Port and the Grantley
Adams International Airport.
This road network supports transportation
for Barbados productive sectors, which consists
primarily of tourism, light manufacturing, quar-
rying, and agriculture.
The project will also provide funds for insti-
tutional strengthening to improve transport
sector planning, road maintenance financing,
civil works project implementation and super-
vision, and sustainability, the IDB said.
It is expected that this project will contribute
to sustainable growth in the Barbadian economy
through interventions to rationalise and improve
public sector efficiency and by supporting private
sector participation and development through
greater involvement in the transport sector.
In the last 15 years, Barbados has undergone
a rapid increase in the number of motor vehicles
on the roads affecting traffic flow and patterns.
The growing volume of traffic on the roads,
especially at peak periods, is a cause of increasing
public concern. This has worsened local transport
logistics and has increased the number of road
accidents; and indirectly, the loss of man hours
and quality of life; all of which are important
to a tourism-focused economy.
In recent years, regular and periodic main-
tenance and infrastructure upgrading has not
been sufficiently financed to keep the national
road network in good condition. Caribbean360
Brazilian Monica de Oliveira
thought she d forever left
behind those days of worrying
about getting her daughter
As part of a wave of poor Brazilians to enter
a basic sort of middle class in recent years,
de Oliveira was a Latin American success story.
But for how much longer?
Biting recession in the world s seventh
biggest economy is starting to undermine the
country s widely lauded progress in dragging
some 40 million people out of poverty, starting
De Oliveira knows what it s like to be one
of them and now she s afraid her family is
sliding back. She and her husband had a com-
bined monthly salary of about US$500 working
as security guards in Caieiras, near Sao Paulo,
and both have been laid off.
One by one their little luxuries have dis-
appeared. Family outings on the weekend are
over, the dream of a new car and bigger house
is on hold. Even interest payments on debts
are no longer feasible.
"Soon there will be no new clothes for my
daughters. We won t go to the circus, we won t
go out to McDonalds," de Oliveira, 36, said.
"I wanted to pay for them to study, to give
them a better life."
She s far from alone.
Of the masses lifted from poverty under
the leftist presidencies of Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva between 2003-2010 and his current suc-
cessor Dilma Rousseff, some three million
families will reenter poverty in the next two
years, economist Adriano Pitoli, from Ten-
dencias consultants, predicts.
At the economic peak in 2010, when GDP
grew at 7.5 per cent, Brazil seemed to have it
Demand, especially from China, for Brazilian
commodities such as iron ore and beef, created
a boom reaching the lowest rungs of society,
with many getting first time access to pre-
viously inaccessible goods like air conditioning
and consumer products.
"Before we felt that things could only get
better," de Oliviera said. "Now, jobless, we
The macroeconomic outlook gives no reason
for people like de Oliveira to feel optimistic.
Recession has been officially underway since
the second quarter of this year, with GDP
forecast to drop three per cent, and is forecast
to last two years, the first time that has hap-
pened since 1931.
Inflation is on course to hit double digits.
Unemployment has been rising for eight
months, reaching the highest rate since 2009
at 7.6 per cent. Making matters worse, Rouss-
eff s battle with a hostile Congress has created
gridlock and could still lead to an often threat-
ened impeachment trial. Meanwhile, economic
reforms demanded by markets sit idling and
investors, already dealing with a vast corruption
network uncovered at Petrobras national oil
corporation, are spooked.
On the micro level, rising interest rates make
debt payments ever harder for ordinary Brazil-
ians, removing them from their role in the
last decade as the drivers of a powerful domes-
tic economic expansion.
"If we consider the population which came
up from poverty to the middle class, we see
people with low education, without savings,
and taking jobs which require few qualifica-
tions," Mauricio de Almeida Prado, director
of the Plano CDE think tank, said.
"Now all these people are very vulnerable,"
One of those vulnerable people is Ana Paula
Rodrigues, 35, who worked at a supermarket
checkout. She finally made enough money to
buy her children a computer, some video
games and a few pairs of better shoes than
usual; all things that she d never enjoyed herself
in her life.
Enthusiastic about the future, she took a
risk a year ago, leaving her job and entering
a course on security guard work so that she
could try for jobs paying double her US$260
salary at the supermarket.
The result? She can t find that job and now
finds herself risking the loss of everything,
with a low-qualification and low-paid job
with the municipal government her last hope.
Bdos: Over 3,000 jobs coming with redevelopment of historic property
Brazil's new middle class
faces plunge back to poverty
Barbados gets IDB
help to improve
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