China starts building a $2.6bn resort in the Bahamas

Image caption, Tourism is the biggest driver of the economy in the Caribbean

China has started work on a $2.6bn (£1.6bn) holiday resort in the Bahamas, as the country's state-owned companies look to expand their economic presence overseas.

Billed as the largest project of its kind in the Caribbean, the Baha Mar resort is also being funded by Chinese firms.

The resort will include four hotels, a golf course and the Caribbean's largest casino.

It is set to open in December 2014.

Export-Import Bank of China will fund the project, and China State Construction will help build it.

Economic Boost

The tourism industry in the Caribbean was hit by the global financial crisis.

But as economies worldwide start to recover, there are signs that the industry is starting to pick up again.

Image caption, Export-Import Bank of China will fund the project and China State Construction will help build it

The resort project is expected to help accelerate the recovery even further.

The developers say that a project of this scale should help create more than 8,000 jobs across all sectors of the hospitality industry.

During the construction phase, 4,000 jobs are expected to be taken up by local labour.

And once completed, the project may add as much as 10% to the local gross domestic product, the developers claim.

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