Press Release – Pacific Islands Forum
Friday 20 December, 2013: Yesterday, on behalf of the Government of the Peoples Republic of China, the Charge dAffaires of the Chinese Embassy in Fiji, Mr Yang Zhaohui visited the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) headquarters in Suva, …China Provides Funding for Economic and Social Progress of the Region
Friday 20 December, 2013: Yesterday, on behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Fiji, Mr Yang Zhaohui visited the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) headquarters in Suva, Fiji to officially hand over China’s annual contribution to the Forum Secretariat.
“China views the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as the most important regional organization in the region. China has always been supportive of the Forum Secretariat because it has its own advantages – it is influential, well informed and has many channels for cooperation,” stated Mr. Yang Zhaohui, “As has been the practice for years, I am happy to donate these funds on behalf of the Chinese government, to show our support for the Forum Secretariat. We hope that the funds are utilized in areas most needed by Pacific Island countries so it can best serve their economic and social development and also promote cooperation between China and the Pacific region,” said Mr. Zhaohui.
China has made significant contributions to the Pacific since the first China- Pacific Island countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in 2006, with China’s bilateral trade with the region reaching USD 450million at the end of 2012. At the follow up Development Cooperation Forum in Guangzhou in November of this year, the Vice-Premier of China reaffirmed China’s commitment to help the development of island countries.
China will provide one billion US dollars in soft loans and an additional one billion US dollars special loan for infrastructure construction in the region. “This shows China’s sincerity in developing relations and extending a helping hand for the economic development of Pacific island countries,” noted Mr.Yang Zhaohui.
The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr. Tuiloma Neroni Slade, reciprocated in saying “I wish to express my sincerest appreciation to the People’s Republic of China for its ongoing support to the work of the Forum Secretariat.”
“The US$650,000 handed over today fulfils the commitment made by the People’s Republic of China at this year’s Post Forum Dialogue in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands and will be disbursed under the China Development Cooperation Fund, of which US$250,000 will support the Pacific Trade and Invest Office in Beijing and US$400, 00 will be utilised to pursue trade and investment opportunities for Pacific Island countries with China.”
“The Secretariat acknowledges the numerous projects that China is involved in throughout the region; from infrastructure development to electrification; and from trade, tourism and investment to strengthening the capacity of government officials in the region through short term training attachments, and the Secretariat looks forward to enhancing cooperation and partnerships between China and the island countries,” Mr. Slade added.