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China’s Caribbean Plans Muddled by Delays in $3.5 Billion Resort

The $3.5 billion Baha Mar luxury resort in The Bahamas, long a dream of the Swiss-Bahamian Izmirlian family, was nearly a victim of the Great Recession when investors started pulling out in 2008. Then China came calling.

Thanks to a $2.4 billion loan from China’s export-import bank, 4,000 imported workers and $150 million in equity for a new developer, the project was salvaged. For the Chinese, Baha Mar was a potential showpiece, a calling card as it set out to expand into the Americas with megaresorts and massive construction projects, including a planned $50 billion waterway in Nicaragua to rival the Panama Canal.