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SomeUS$86 million allocated to Pacific projects

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 31, 2008) - China’s Export Import Bank (EXIM) is pressuring Fiji’s mission in China over the delay in the finalization of Fiji’s soft loan projects, it has been confirmed today.

Fiji’s counselor to China, Major Neumi Leweni, arrived [in Fiji] today accompanying a team of Chinese officials to conduct talks with stakeholders regarding these soft loan projects.

It has been revealed that as a result of a delay, private company CHEC agreed to cater for the counselor’s travel passage to Fiji.

A statement from Fiji’s Department of Information said Leweni and CHEC representatives would hold discussions with reps from the Fiji Ships and Heavy Industries Limited and other stakeholders of these projects.

The statement said the team comprises of, Project Manager Zhang Hao-Senior, Design Expert Zhang Junjian and Marketing Manager Wang Xiafeng.

Leweni is expected to later join the second Chinese delegation from China Gezhouba Group Company International (CGGC) in Nadi on April 7 to further the consultation regarding the water supply projects in Sigatoka, Labasa and Savusavu.

CGGC is also interested in rural roads and maritime infrastructure projects in Fiji.

The Chinese government had allocated about CNY600 million [US$86 million] to the Pacific region for these soft loan projects, however, island countries have to apply to the EXIM Bank to get loans.

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