8 May 2008

Cook Islands stadium funding from China in doubt

7:15 pm on 8 May 2008

China's government owned Import Export Bank is threatening to withdraw a huge soft loan which was to fund the construction of sport facilities for next year's South Pacific mini Games in the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands Foreign Minister Wilkie Rasmussen says the Bank is concerned that they had not been properly informed about changes to the complex plans made by the

Cook Islands Investment Corporation.

He says he now fears that the the hosting of the mini games and the world youth netball championships could be under threat.

Mr Rasmussen says the Government faces a serious situation.

"Because we have delayed it for so long. We had points in time throughout this whole process for us to says 'no' we are not in a position to host. So for us now to pull out or to forfeit will I think be quite embarrassing for the Cook Islands and at the same time will cause difficulties for those organising committees."

The Cook Islands Foreign Minister, Wilkie Rasmussen.