21 Dec 2007

Cook Islands disappointed with Asian Development Bank upgrade

9:24 am on 21 December 2007

The Cook Islands Finance Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate says he's very disappointment with the Asian Development Bank's move to re-classify his country's borrower rating to C.

The upgrade means that by the end of the 2008 the Cook Islands will no longer be eligible for the two percent soft loans, but instead will have to pay the current commercial rate of 12 percent.

Sir Terepai is urging the ADB to reconsider the higher rating, because he says the country's GDP does not reflect the economic position of the 13 outer islands but more for the main island Rarotonga and the southern island of Aitutaki.

He says the country needs ADB concessional loans to finance major infrastructure development planned for the outer islands as well as the priority projects on the main island like the airport terminal upgrade.