Yida Zhang, president of the Yida International Investment Group, spoke briefly at the ground breaking ceremo- ny for the Antigua Special Economic Zone. This historic event took place yesterday, on Thursday April 30, 2015 at Barnacle Point and Guiana Island. Apert from first expressing his love for Antigua and gratitude towards the na- tion’s people, Mr. Zhang went on to say precisely why the YIDA project – The Antigua Special Economic Zone – bears tremendous significance, not just for the twin-isle but in the context of the wider Caribbean and global commerce.
Stating that his presence yesterday was to “cement the relationship with the country,” Zhang proceeded to announce that the development of the re- development of the 8 square kilometres land was “almost complete” in laying the groundwork for the great things to come to Antigua with the 16 functional zones of the Antigua Special Economic Zone. Zhang, to very appreciative ap- plause stated emphatically that:”Phase 1” of the project, “will commence in May 2015 (this month).” Zhang also made a most welcomed and grand announce- ment when he told the attentive audience which included His Excellency the Gov- ernor General, Sir Rodney Williams and, the Honourable Prime Minister Gaston Browne, that “Hard Rock International” is on board and will be the first project which will see a “hotel, casino, cafe, water-park, commercial and other elements”which will begin in 2016.
In addition, the president of YIDA International said that togeth- er with tourism, there will be “economic diversification” coming as value added to An- tigua and Barbuda in the form of YIDA’s international finan- cial centre, a university city, and corporate headquarters which will launch in 2016. Indeed, Zhang’s electrifying passion was fitting the oc- casion and expressive of the dream that Antigua and Barbuda was now firmly set to become the embodiment of progressive and sustainable development.
To that end, Mr. Zhang without reserve or hesitancy asserted that “credit has to be given to the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) for spearheading the historical transformation of the Special Economic Zone not just in Antigua and Barbuda, but for the rest of the Caribbean region.” According to Yida Zhang, “Antigua will become the hub of all commercial activities inside the Eastern Caribbean.” Moreover, and arguably throwing out both challenge and caution, Zhang said that there are “key words” that must be kept at the forefront of everything being anticipated to bring the successes. For Zhang, the key words mean that we must be “pragmatic, revolutionary, open and innovative” because “without these, the zone will not be the full success that we require it to be.”
Moreover, Zhang encouragingly assured listeners that the “Antigua Special Economic Zone will become a global economic zone.” In closing, the passionate and energetic Zhang told the au- dience, and more or less the world, that he “welcomes all investors to come invest, con- struct, bring up Antigua for the better-hood of all residing in the region.”