Op­ti­mism over the Chi­nese Wyn­d­ham SilkRoad Ark pro­ject

Ground­break­ing cer­e­mony for $500m pro­ject near Ko­mave Vil­lage as rep­re­sen­ta­tivs fly on pri­vate jet from China

Fiji Sun - - Sunbiz - FARZANA NISHA Feed­back: farzana.nisha@fi­jisun.com.fj EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL

The ground­break­ing cer­e­mony for the $500 mil­lion Wyn­d­ham SilkRoad Ark Fiji Ho­tel Pro­ject took place yes­ter­day on the Coral Coast. And while there has been a track record for a num­ber of failed Chi­nese in­vest­ment projects here, there is much op­ti­mism about this one.

Fiji Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent, Dixon Seeto, said he un­der­stood there has been proper due dili­gence car­ried out by In­vest­ment Fiji and the Min­istry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. He fur­ther noted the com­pany seems to have the fi­nan­cial strength to back the pro­ject given nine rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the com­pany have flown in on a pri­vate jet to at­tend the ground­break­ing cer­e­mony.

“If they didn’t have that kind of back­ing and fi­nan­cial means, you would per­haps be a bit more skep­ti­cal. From what I can see to­day, I am cer­tain it will take off,” he said. Min­is­ter for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Sid­diq Koya, said this was one of the very first projects that has started as part of the Chi­nese Govern­ment’s “One belt-One Road” ini­tia­tive. “Un­der this master strat­egy the Guang­dong Pro­vi­sional Govern­ment de­vel­oped the New Silk Road Strat­egy,” he said. “The New Silk Road Strat­egy is pri­mar­ily fo­cused to in­crease in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and its trad­ing part­ners, around the world and in the Pa­cific. “In line with this, the Guang­dong Prov­ince has al­lo­cated a sum of US$2 bil­lion for in­vest­ments in the Pa­cific over the next five years.”

And as a re­sult, this $500 mil­lion in­vest­ment source of fund­ing will be through the Guang­dong Prov­ince al­lo­cated funds. Mr Koya said in­vest­ments of this scale are al­ways a wel­come ad­di­tion to our eco­nomic land­scape, es­pe­cially in re­gions, which have lacked in­vest­ment over time. “I un­der­stand that Guang­dong SilkRoad Ark In­vest­ment Com­pany Lim­ited has a num­ber of plans in the pipe­line to con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of Ko­mave Vil­lage through the cre­ation of em­ploy­ment and new sources of in­come,” he said.

“Clearly, this pro­ject re­flects a huge vote of con­fi­dence in our na­tional econ­omy and is a means of en­abling Fi­jian tourism to cap­ture the lu­cra­tive grow­ing Chi­nese trav­el­ers’ mar­ket.”

Tourism ben­e­fits

Mean­while, Mr Seeto be­lieves this pro­ject is go­ing to be a good de­vel­op­ment for Fi­jian tourism. “Any ma­jor brand com­ing into Fiji and adding more in­ven­tory gives a scope for the tourism industry to grow and this is linked with the growth and the fleet ex­pan­sion by Fiji Air­ways,” he said. “Tourism is mainly two things – one is air­craft ca­pac­ity and seats and the other is the bed. That is the essence of hol­i­day and we have to have the two to mix. “This is a good de­vel­op­ment to grow the industry be­cause as we in­crease the num­bers, peo­ple are go­ing to have to stay some­where.” Mr Seeto said once com­plete, the re­sort can cater for the Chi­nese mar­ket and the own­ers will ob­vi­ously mar­ket the re­sort and Fiji back in China.

Photo: RON­ALD KU­MAR

From left- Guang­dong Silkroad Ark In­vest­ment (Fiji) com­pany Lim­ited gen­eral man­ager, Haolin Li, Min­is­ter for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya, Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to Fiji, Zhang Ping and Guan­dong Silkroad Ark In­vest­ment di­rec­tor, Jun Jin Li at the ground­break­ing cer­e­mony of Wyn­d­ham Silkroad Ark Ho­tel Fiji pro­ject at Coral Coast in Si­ga­toka.

Photo: RON­ALD KU­MAR

Min­is­ter for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Sid­diq Koya, has wel­comed the in­vest­ment of such a large mag­ni­tude.

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