17 October 2019
Solomon Islands Prime Minister speaks about projects to be prioritized
According to the Prime Minister, the Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, China is ready to fund projects across the country under its Belt and Road Initiative.
The Prime Minister has said the three different funding arrangements that Solomon Islands has to choose from are direct grant, concessional loans and straight loans
“The funding will be operated by their state own enterprise and not directly from their government,” PM Sogavare told reporters.
He said Solomon Islands has to choose which component is suitable and which projects are to be prioritised.
“Now that we have signed the Memorandum of Understanding, projects are already lining up under the Ministry of infrastructure Development,” he said.
The PM said the first stage has already been completed with the signing of the MOU, which will lead to the inner part of the frame work.
“We are now looking forward to submit the different types of projects under our preferred components,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the Government would like to push more for the first two components – grant assistance and concessional loan.
He said in terms of priority projects, the country lacked connectivity and with 85% of the population living in the rural areas, the government would like to reach them.
“Not only that, the strength of our resources is also located out of Honiara such as the trees, fish and land so we need to make the kind of connectivity,” he said.
PM Sogavare said the three big provinces of Malaita, Guadalcanal and Western will be the priority focus as well as the remote ones.
“We will be prioritising the big projects in those three provinces and we would also consider the remote ones.”
The PM said the 2023 Pacific Games National stadium is one of the priority projects that will be funded under China’s grant component.
Source and quoting Solomon Star News.