Provincial Road Development Financed With Chinese Loan In Fiji

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$119.1 million loan will help connect provinces on Vanua Levu

By Serafina Silaitoga

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 20, 2012) – The much-awaited road development in Bua Province is taking shape following a loan agreement between the government and Exim Bank of China.

The FJ$220 million [US$119.1 million] loan will result in the tarsealing of the Dreketi-Nabouwalu road to be done in a period of two and a half years.

Business community and stakeholders have applauded the move by the government, labeling it an opportunity for growth.

The Prime Minister's permanent secretary Pio Tikoduadua signed the agreement on behalf of the government.

"The signing of the agreement between the government and the China Railway First Group marks a significant milestone for Fiji. And the government is very proud to be able to provide this as an impetus for growth in the province," said Mr. Tikoduadua.

He said the government was committed to putting in critical infrastructure in rural areas that would boost economic activities in the region.

"This is a very important for us primarily as it is the main route connecting Labasa to Viti Levu through Nabouwalu which provides the shortest ferry route," Mr. Tikoduadua said.

"We are thankful to the government of the Peoples Republic of China as the Chinese Exim Bank has agreed to fund this project, which will benefit thousands of people of the three provinces of Vanua Levu."

Labasa Chamber of Commerce president Ashok Karan said the tarsealing of Dreketi-Nabouwalu road would boost business growth along the corridor.

"We are very happy about the news as it will bring growth to the business community.

"Now that the electricity supply is being extended to Dreketi, this road development will greatly boost development in the area," he said.

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