Optimism over the Chinese Wyndham SilkRoad Ark project
Groundbreaking ceremony for $500m project near Komave Village as representativs fly on private jet from China
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.”
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.
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.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, has welcomed the investment of such a large magnitude.