16 Mar 2009

China approves US$25 million loan for the Cook Islands

6:45 am on 16 March 2009

China has approved a 25 million US dollar loan for the Cook Islands government.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, was in New Zealand last week with the Minister of Transport and Shipping, and Financial Secretary to meet with China's ambassador.

The loan will be used for much needed infrastructure projects and upgrading which includes the Rarotonga water supply network and the rehabilitating and upgrading of all roads on Rarotonga.

Sir Terepai says a lot of these projects have been on the back burner for a number of years.

He also says their talks included the drawing down of grants promised by Beijing over the last years because past Cook Islands governments were not sure how to access them.

"We put projects together since we learnt about what should have been done, we put all these projects together with some back up information to justify the request, and we have raised that with them"

Sir Terepai also says additional funding has been provided for their preparations for the Mini games in September, which includes an all weather track.