2 May 2008

Cooks hopes for low EIB loan rates

4:01 pm on 2 May 2008

The Cook Islands Government says it is confident it will get funding at concessional rates from the European Investment Bank for wide ranging infrastructure projects.

A Cook Islands delegation led by Sir Terepai Maoate met with senior directors of the EIB in Sydney earlier this week to discuss a multi-purpose loan.

The EIB has indicated strong support for financial assistance to upgrade the airport terminal on Rarotonga to required international standards.

This includes funding water and sanitation developments needed in the Cook Islands, especially where environmental impacts can be significant.

It is also likely the Rarotonga Apopo and Aitutaki Apopo infrastructure plans will be prioritised in a multi-purpose loan.

The Pacific head of the EIB, Jean-Phillipe de Jong says funding for alternative energy systems would also be considered favourably and attract even lower interest rates at around 3.5 percent.