Chinese Investors Luxuriate in Caribbean

Island risk is less of a problem for Chinese investors, than traditional Western names. One reason may be their limited legacy exposure to Caribbean deals. Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises just committed an undisclosed sum, likely in the billions, to buy the still-unopened Baha Mar. The Bahamian resort is the largest in the region. Another Chinese name is behind the $2.6 billion Pearl of the Caribbean development in St. Lucia. And Beijing has now completed a $730 million highway in Jamaica to link Kingston with the resort area of Ocho Rios; related hotel projects are in the planning stages. The message may be that sub-prime can be enormously profitable. As a sign of investor confidence, there is only limited Sino-Caribbean travel connectivity at this time. Air China flies thrice-weekly between Beijing and Havana.

Learn more at the Bahamas Tribune

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Beyond Caparra

Turn Right for Roseau

To the uninitiated, the Caribbean can be a mind-boggling array of small islands, with a few large ones in the mix.

Man with Cigar

Become a geographer. Florida and the Caribbean have the same economic heft as Brazil. Our regional set includes the perimeter economies of Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, as well as the Guiana Highlands.

Relative Economic Size

Comments on this blog focus on Florida and neighboring trade partners. By output, we rank the major islands:

1. Puerto Rico ($103 billion)

2. Cuba ($78 billion)

3. Dominican Republic ($64 billion)

4. Trinidad and Tobago ($29 billion)

5. Jamaica ($14 billion)

Florida dominates the region with state-wide GDP of about $770 billion. The largest perimeter economy is Colombia at $378 billion, followed by Venezuela.

Note: Ranking is based on GDP data for 2014 at market prices.

Source: World Bank, US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, Cranganore.