Why Barbadians are upset about hotel investment from China

In Barbados, Sam Lord’s Castle is a renovated estate from the 1820s that became a popular hotel before falling into ruin following a devastating 2010 fire. To bring it back, local government has turned to China for financing, generating some controversy among locals. 

On Nov. 23, the Barbados government broke ground on a $200-million restoration backed by a loan of up to $170 million from the Chinese Export-Import Bank.

But not everyone is excited about securing help from a Chinese company. According to Global Atlanta, skeptics have "denounced terms" that will allow the Chinese contractor, China National Complete Plant Export-Import Co. Ltd., or Complant, to fill an estimated 60 percent of the project's construction jobs with international workers. Government officials have claimed that the hotel will generate 1,000 direct jobs and 2,000 more for the local economy, and that it will bring in $70 million in foreign exchange per year.


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The hotel will be operated by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts when it opens in 2018, and will have 450 rooms. The local government hopes that the branded property will attract visitors year-round and boost airlift from the U.S.