The Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is drawing the attention of the world’s two economic super powers with its launch of the world class project, The Pearl of the Caribbean.
China and the United States are already positioning for their involvement in a development that is regarded as a nation building project in Saint Lucia and which is set to extend the international footprint of the world’s thoroughbred industry with the creation of the first racecourse on the island, the Saint Lucia Turf Club.
The eyes of the world were drawn to Saint Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean last Friday when an Official Ground Breaking Ceremony was officiated over by His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Allen M. Chastanet. The two were joined for the sod turning ceremony by Teo Ah Khing, the Chairman and Founder of DSH Caribbean Star, which is behind the project.
The following morning a senior representative of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCECL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Saint Lucia and DSH Caribbean Star Limited to play a lead role in the project’s development. CSCECL was one of two major Chinese construction firms that was in attendance at the Ground Breaking Ceremony with China Communication Construction Company Limited (CCCC) also represented.
The signing of a tripartite MOU comes at a time when America’s thoroughbred industry is abuzz with discussions about the project, its creation of a racecourse and thoroughbred industry and the opportunities this will entail. The United States, which has the world’s largest thoroughbred industry, is only four flying hours from Saint Lucia and is a logical supply location for thoroughbreds and for owners.
“The interest in Saint Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean both locally and internationally since Friday’s Ground Breaking Ceremony has been exceedingly encouraging,” said Ng Chee Choy, Project Manager of the Pearl of the Caribbean.
“This is a development that has significant implications not only for Saint Lucia but for the region. It presents a myriad of investment opportunities and it will bring with it numerous benefits locally, not least of which is job creation.”
Saint Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean proposed Masterplan
Saint Lucia’s Pearl of The Caribbean is a multi-billion dollar development situated on 700 acres in the south of the island. While the creation of a world class racecourse will be a feature of stage one of the project, the Pearl of the Caribbean will also include a marina, a resort and shopping mall complex, casino, Free Trade Zone, extensive entertainment and leisure facilities as well as architecturally designed villas and apartments.
Teo Ah Khing, the Chairman and Founder of DSH Caribbean Star
“Saint Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean is a project that will be constructed with the people, for the people,” said Chairman Teo in a speech during the Ground Breaking Ceremony.
“It will drive new opportunities across the nation in established industries like international tourism, business, leisure, retail, digital media and real estate. And it will create a new equine industry with the building of a state of the art racecourse that will create a positive economy for the country and which can be a uniting force.
“And horse racing, or the ‘Sport of Kings’, does this so very well by creating events like Royal Ascot that are platforms for business and touchstones for enthusiasts and investors. The success of such events is heightened even further with the support of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth, and that of her family including her grandson Prince Henry of Wales whose company we are honoured to share today.”
Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Allen M. Chastanet
Prime Minister Chastanet described the project as “bold, courageous and different” and one that could be transformational for his people.
“The horse racing track is just the beginning,” said the Prime Minister. “The idea of building a world class horse racing track here in Saint Lucia with horse racing as only the beginning part it. It will create jobs for young people, particularly here in the south. You hear the numbers with 45% unemployment among our youth. I meet so many of them that want something to do and something that they could be great at. This is going to create opportunities for them to become professional, an opportunity to become world class.”
The Prime Minister spoke further about the unique features of the location and the project: “We have a world class deep water harbour, international airport and over 10,000 acres of undeveloped flat land. There is nowhere in the Caribbean where that opportunity exists better than it exists here in Vieux Fort.”
Construction on Saint Lucia’s Pearl of the Caribbean is set to begin in 2017.
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