25 February 2020
Harry Kuma.

USD$100b proposed loan surprises China officials here


THE proposed $100 billion loan deal between the Solomon Island Government (SIG) and a confidential Chinese donor through broker Terry Wong has shocked Chinese officials in Honiara.

The loan deal hit the local media headlines last week after the responsible Minister for Finance come out publically to explain the leaked documents.

Just five months after the Solomon Islands switched its diplomatic relations to China and severed ties with Taiwan a loan proposal was in the pipeline.

According to the official letter obtained by this paper that Mr. Kuma wrote, Mr. Wong would receive a proposed 11% fee if the $100 billion loan is secured.

Speaking to Solomon Star over the weekend the Chinese official in Honiara said they were not aware of such a deal.

Asked if they discussed such deals with the Minister of Finance and the government the official said they never discussed anything related to a loan.

“I mean this is ridiculous and for a small economy like your country seeking such a huge loan that will pose a great economic disaster for your country,” the official told this paper.

This paper further questioned the credibility of Mr. Wong.

The Chinese official in Honiara said that they have tried to establish any connection that might lead them to who is Wong but could not find any connection.

“We have to contact our Embassy in Port Moresby to find out if we can trace the Chinese broker,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Kuma was able to play down the proposed loan dealing which he stated that his ministry was assessing Wong's proposal.

It was understood that the Solomon Islands is a $US1 billion economy trying to borrow $US100b.

Local economists and the general public are calling on the government to be more responsible when dealing with such matters. 

The Opposition Group is also concern about the latest move.