The Solomon Islands Government and Peoples Republic of China (PRC) have signed letters of exchange to fund the 2023 Pacific Games infrastructures worth SBD$2.5 billion.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by top government officials and the officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Wednesday, at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeremiah Manele said the signing of the letters between the two governments confirmed China’s assistance to the Solomon Islands hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games.
“It was only 6 months ago when I was in Beijing to sign the framework agreement establishing the diplomatic relations between our two nations on behalf of my prime minister and the Solomon Islands Government.
“I am heartened that in the very short period of 6 months our relationship has not only developed, but it had also consolidated, matured and blossomed at a rate and a level of seriousness, genuineness, and congeniality that is not commonly seen between countries in such a short time.
“For this your Excellency, I thank you and through you, your government for the support you provide to my government,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Manele.
The Foreign minister said the exchange of letters both governments signed confirmed China’s government commitment to assists Solomon Islands government to successfully host the 2023 Pacific Games by way of grant funding.
Under the deal China will finance and build substantial infrastructure for the games including;
- The national stadium with a sitting capacity of between 10,000-11,000 people;
- The aquatic center to host swimming competitions;
- The tennis center;
- A hockey field;
- A new placement track and field is closed to give way to the national stadium later this year;
- A large new Multipurpose hall and a
- An office and administration block to be used at the games.
Minister Manele said while China has not completed the designs to enable costing calculations, he confidently stated based on the cost estimate of the previous stadium design, that all these facilities will cost more than US$100 million dollars which equivalent to SBD$2.5 billion dollars.
He then added together with the multipurpose futsal court being built by the government of Indonesia, the facilities to be funded and constructed by China’s government would provide almost 80% of all the facilities Solomon Islands needed for the 2023 Pacific Games.
People’s Republic of China Embassy to Solomon Islands Counselor Yao Ming stated it was a great honor and privilege together with the Foreign Affairs minister to sign one of the most important government documents.
Ming said the exchange of letters signed shows both governments’ hard efforts to finalize one of the most important procedures for the joint instruction of sporting venue and relevant facilities for the Solomon Islands Pacific Games 2023.
By Esther Nuria