Distinguished guests, Esteemed members of the media Ladies and
Gentlemen… good morning and a warm welcome to you all.
It gives me enormous pleasure to be here today for this groundbreaking
Today is yet another day in Antigua and Barbuda’s leap towards fulfilling
the expectations of the people and bringing another major investment The
LABAHIA Hotel Resort & Condominiums – between the Adams
Investment Management (Antigua) Ltd., and the Government of Antigua
and Barbuda that will provide jobs, safety in housing, and the
international acclaim that we in this country strive for as a tourist
destination second to none.
It is very appropriate and I must say a welcome courtesy to involve the
local community and interested stakeholders in a ceremony such as this
My Ministry, my Prime Minister, and the Cabinet in which I serve, have
sought out and continue to attract credible investors with the expertise to
assist in this country’s transformation and sustainable national
This right thinking government wants only the best for its people in this
era of high competitiveness.
It is precisely why we are here to endorse the progress made that has now
led to the occasion of this groundbreaking ceremony.
We have attracted the attention of highly professional investors in the
construction and development business; and we have achieved under the
assertive leadership of this Gaston Browne-led administration, tangible
benefits that this country can be justifiably proud.
Let it be known, that we in Antigua and Barbuda are extremely grateful
to the directors of Adams Investment Management Group for their
decision to choose Antigua and Barbuda as a key place in which to bring
their comprehensive experience to bear fruit for the good of this nation.
Adams Investment’s mission, wherever it has gone, has demonstrated a
track record of providing award-winning innovative designs, outstanding
craftsmanship, state-of-the-art finishes, while bringing the functionality
and unique living to work spaces for every lifestyle. Antigua and
Barbuda is getting some of the best from the best!
So I reiterate, that through Adams Investment Management Antigua
Limited, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has found a worthy
joint venture partner. A partner capable of the kind of development that
we require, with the expertise for building a modernised physical
infrastructure in the interest of the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
The general focus of this project, and beginning at this groundbreaking
site, means that we are enhancing the prospects for success in our hotel,
housing, and industrial amenities, which are all integral components in
21st century national development.
Our new partnership with Adams Investment Management Antigua
Limited, while placing the country on a trajectory to fast becoming the
economic powerhouse in the region, will be specifically adding value to
our tourism product, the main economic lifeline in this country.
Ladies and gentlemen an impressive development will be built here at
Friars Hill. Being more particular, I am advised that the multi-storied
investment will boast 120 one and two bedroom fully furnished self
contained luxury condominiums and several penthouse suites. In
addition, the resort will include a 24,000 square ft. futuristic conference
facility, a 300 capacity car park area, restaurants, a gym, tennis courts,
gardens with walking paths, essential shops and an Olympic size
swimming pool for an investment totaling US $52 million. I am also
informed that the project has already received approval in principal from
the Development Control Authority. This is indeed heartening as the
total construction phase is projected to run between 18 – 24 months, to
ensure that we all realize the benefits of this new investment as quickly as
Given the absence of a state-of-the-art conference centre on island, and in
light of the Government’s vision for our country’s development, this
conference facility will be a welcome addition to our tourism product and
now allow us to actively promote the destination as one that can attract
business from the lucrative “Meeting, Incentives and Conference Events”
We envision that within the next two years Antigua and Barbuda will be
hosting local, regional and international conferences to utilize these
facilities in a Caribbean environment second to none. while at the same
time capitalising on the opportunity for business travellers to vacation
with their families.
For our part as the Government of Antigua and Barbuda we are
intricately involved. We are acutely aware of opportunities, possess the
political will to act, and far-reaching in our ambitions to forge good
business and person-to-person relations, we have decided to vest 10 acres
of the Friars Hill land to the fulfillment of this project.
No matter how big, how innovative and how exciting the project is, and
how much it means to those involved, the Government of the day has to
be able to create the enabling environment.
Ladies and Gentlemen the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party
administration stands determined to utilize the monetary and all other
available benefits that can be derived from the CIP to enhance this
country for the benefit of all citizens and residents, and those that will
visit our shores.
With this major investment here at Friars Hill, comes another avenue for
us to shape and utilise the skills present in the workforce, while
expanding the technical knowledge that can become available.
Our priority as a caring Government is to put to work our greatest
resource – the Antigua and Barbuda human capital. Our people will get
many jobs and I might also add that they will be good paying jobs! The
opportunities for employment and the provision of goods and services
that will flow from this fascinating project, will ultimately lead to growth
and improvement in the lives of our people.
Moreover, this location given its proximity to the major centres is ideal
situated. We are located within 5 minutes from the City of St John’s, The
“Golden Friars Hill Rd Mile”, with a host of business and shopping
amenities. The delightful Dickenson Bay, which is a part of our major
hotel beltway, along with the adjacent Cedar Valley Golf Club are also in
This suggests that this development will be very important even as we
formulate plans to improve the road works and other physical
infrastructures leading to and from here. With the property also being 10
minutes from the Airport, It maintains that delicate balance between
tranquility and convenience that is ideally suited to either the leisure or
As a forward thinking Government with creative solutions we have
ensured that this parcel of land, through our partnership, will be of major
significance and mutual benefit to all parties. While development and
construction will begin shortly, the payment for the land, which is some
US $1.3 million dollars, is to take place after the project has been
But the ultimate success of this project and in fact any project often rests
on the relationship between the investor and the workforce and the
Government here in Antigua and Barbuda.
To that end, our Hon. Prime Minister Gaston Browne, and the Cabinet in
which I have the honour of serving, have pledged and will give its strong
commitment of support to enable that this project is not just completed,
but done so without cost overruns and minus the man-made hurdles that
can stymie a project of real potential and benefits for this nation.
We also will entitle this project, in which the returns will be lucrative for
our people and add to the portfolio of the Adams Investment
Management Group. This means that Adams Antigua Investment
Management Limited will be entitled to enjoy all the privileges, and
concessions necessary that are accorded to other CIP projects.
From what I envisage this morning, a lot of effort has gone into making
sure all of these initial aspects are above board and transparent, which
will allow the project to be completed as expeditiously as possible. We
shall therefore all reap the benefits of this grand project in quick time.
As the Minister of Tourism, Economic Development Investment and
Energy, thank you for the opportunity to be part of this groundbreaking
celebration today. It is truly an honour for me personally to serve in an
administration that has been demonstrating month after month to the
people of this great nation our proactive abilities in attracting new
investment and facilitating the economic growth of our nation.
This morning I would also like to recognise the investors and project
developers, Mr. Imtiyaz Adam and Mr. Farman Ramjohn, both respected
and well known accomplished businessmen from the Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago who have made the bold decision to make a
tangible investment in our country.
On Behalf of the Government and People of Antigua and Barbuda we
extend best wishes. We congratulate you and commend you for your
vision in partnering with us in our own vision to develop and transform
our beautiful country into an economic powerhouse in this region. Thank
you for helping to position Antigua and Barbuda on a path to experience
meaningful economic development for all our people.
I am confident that what has been started on these 10 beautiful acres, is
only the first step in the start of a mutually rewarding partnership with
the Government and People of Antigua and Barbuda. We therefore wish
you continued success in all your endeavours.