31 Jan 2008

Cooks finalises Mini Games deal with China

3:02 pm on 31 January 2008

A delegation from China is in the Cook Islands, finalising details for a more than 7-million US dollar loan to cover the costs of the Pacific Mini Games.

The Mini Games are due to go ahead in September 2009 and were to be funded with a grant from the Chinese Government, but officials were told last year that there would be a delay in the construction.

The finance minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, says the scale of the project has been reduced by dropping the cost of the stadium to three million US dollars.

He says the talks at the moment revolve around using local contractors, which goes against the Chinese policy.

"We did ask them that if possible to sub-contract some of the jobs to local companies, for instance the facilities in the district to be given to local contractors."

Sir Terepai Maoate says they are confident the stadium will be ready in time.