The National – Wednesday, December 29, 2010
By GRACE AUKA
UPNG journalism student
THE Papua New Guinea and Chinese governments have signed and exchanged three loan agreements on economic and technical cooperation.
The agreements were signed by PNG’s Foreign Affairs secretary Michael Maue and Chinese ambassador Qiu Bohua last week at the office of the Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Of the three agreements, one was an interest-free loan worth K8 million for the Waigani Convention Centre.
The other two agreements were concessional loans to the PNG Ggovernment for the implementation of the projects of integrated government information system (IGIS) and phase II of the community distant education network of community colleges.
“At the request of the PNG government, the Chinese Government has approved the China Exim Bank to provide 600 million RMB concessional loan support to the PNG government,” Qiu said.
He also announced that with a view to developing the bilateral economic and technical cooperation, the Chinese government agreed to provide another 20 million renminbi interest free loan to the PNG government for mutually agreed projects.
“Christmas is already in the air and the total of 650 million renminbi mixed funding assistance is a huge Christmas gift from the Chinese government and the people to the government and people of Papua New Guinea fully reflecting the strong will and tireless efforts by the Chinese government to assist the social and economic development of PNG,” the ambassador said.
Maue said he was pleased to implement these three loan agreements with Qiu and stated that the two governments would work closely with each other to coordinate the utilisation of the assistance.
He also said China was among the top five of the country’s development partners and hadprovided similar loan assistance in the past years.
“This assistance once again demonstrates the growing and significant level of bilateral relations existing between China and Papua New Guinea,” he said.
Maue added that only last week, the two governments signed and exchanged an agreement for a grant-in-aid assistance for K15 million from China for projects that would be identified for funding by the PNG government.