The Bahamas

CHINA’S increasing involvement in the economy of The Bahamas is inevitably attracting controversy here. Having already invested heavily in Freeport (the harbour, container port, airport and hotels) and in New Providence (the huge Baha Mar project, new roads, a sports stadium, the British Colonial Hilton hotel), it now has plans for the redevelopment of downtown Nassau.

Then, the Prime Minister’s visit to Beijing in January – in order to discuss, among other issues, an air services agreement, opportunities for investment in sectors of the economy like tourism, financial services, agriculture and energy (including BEC), together with assistance in restructuring the country’s debt – has put the bilateral economic relationship under even greater scrutiny.

Not surprisingly, such growing involvement by the Chinese induces fear about a distant foreign country, which is still a communist state but has become an economic powerhouse, acquiring too much control of the affairs of a small nation already closely beholden in many ways to its giant and influential neighbour.

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