POLITICS, BUSINESS, DILI

President Horta and Pelican Paradise discuss the project construction of the 5-star hotel in Tasi-Tolu

President Horta and Pelican Paradise discuss the project construction of the 5-star hotel in Tasi-Tolu

(Photo Tatoli/Egas Cristovao)

DILI, 25 may 2022 (TATOLI) – The President of the Pelican Paradise Group Limited, Datuk Dr. Ong Han Nam, and the President of the Republic, Jose Ramos Horta, today, met at the Palace of the President to discuss the project construction of the 5-star hotel in the area of Tasi-Tolu and Tibar.

The meeting between Datuk Dr. Ong Han Nam and President Horta was to discuss the ongoing process of the construction of the 5-star hotel, including updating the new design of the hotel to the President.

Ong Han Nam said the design of the 5-star hotel had been changed multiple times to be relevant: “We have been expediting the new design and hopefully by june this year we can present it to the government. And then by november this year, we can realize the groundbreaking of the project.”

(Photo Tatoli/Egas Cristovao)

The first signing of the Special Investment Agreement (SIA) for the construction of the 5-star hotel was taken place in 2008 with Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão as the Prime Minister at that time. However, due to the administration issue, the implementation of the development project has been halted for more than a decade.

Again, early this year, on janaury 3, the government of Timor-Leste and Pelican Paradise Group Limited officially signed another Special Investment Agreement (SIA) for the implementation of the 5-star hotel project.

“I met President Horta in 2008 when he was the President of the Republic at the time. It’s an honor for me to meet him again as the President of the Republic after 13 years. The reason why we have been waiting for 13 years is also because of Horta’s encouragement to not give up on the project which is good for the nation,” Ong Han Nam told reporters at the Palace of the President, on wednesday.

Ong Han Nam thanked Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak and the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães for expediting the agreement which was signed by the Government and Pelican Paradise, on january 3, 2022.

“Every time I got disappointed, Horta said ‘Don’t give up, it’s just a matter of time, and we will solve all of our internal problems.’ President asked Pelican Paradise to accelerate the process of the construction of the hotel to be concluded in a short period of time,” Ong Han Nam said.

Ong Han Nam recalled that President Horta and Timor-Leste’s charismatic leader have visited a number of Pelican Paradise’s resorts in Malaysia: “They saw what we have done actually in Malaysia. Therefore, they always encouraged us to accelerate the construction of the 5-star hotel in Tasi-Toli and Tibar.”

He said when Government and Pelican Paradise signed the agreement in 2008, the development project was estimated to cost around US$250 million: “As we faced the delay and revised the master plan, then the cost had been increased by more than US$100 million for the two hotels. So now, the investment cost of the first phase of the project is about US$400 million.”

Previously, at the signing of the SIA at Novo Turismo Hotel in Dili, on january 3, 2022, Ong Han Nam revealed that due to the delay in the implementation of the project and the revision of the master plan, the investment cost of the project went up to US$700M.

He said the 5-star hotel is unlike any other hotel in the country, adding, therefore, it would attract lots of tourists to the country.

He added the first phase of the implementation of the project is expected to create employment of more than 1.200 job opportunities: “Our policy is to engage locals and we don’t want to bring people from outside of the country. We believe that we can train the local people.”

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges

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