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Chinese Group Wins $2.5 Billion Tahiti Resort Project
Brief:A Hong Kong-led consortium has been awarded a 70-year contract to build and operate a $2.5 billion luxury beach resort in French Polynesia that the government hopes will revitalize the South Pacific nation's struggling economy.
Headed by a real estate firm, the consortium will finance, build and run the Tahiti Mahana Beach luxury resort, including a convention center, restaurants and shopping malls, the government said in a communique.
Other members of the consortium include Chinese state-owned China Railway International and real estate company R&F Properties, French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch said.
"We think French Polynesia will be the new destination for wealthy tourists from China and other parts of Asia," said Recas Global chairman Ivan Ko.
Ko, who is investing for the first time in French Polynesia, said the main attractions of the region were its pristine environment, original culture and high safety standards.
He declined to give details on the consortium's financing.
Due to open in six years, the complex is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs, a welcome relief for the archipelago which suffers from a jobless rate of more than 20 percent, according to 2012 government data.
Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. Tourism is accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the economy, but the sector has been hit hard by the global financial crisis.
French Polynesia is largely dependent on imported goods and financial assistance from France.


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