The People’s Republic of China has pledged millions of dollars in developmental assistance to the Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
Beijing has agreed to give Grenada a package of $US8.5 million in developmental grant fund and another grant to fund the reconstruction of the athletics stadium at Queen’s Park in St. George’s.
The stadium facility was badly damaged by the passage of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
Finance Minister Nazim Burke and Chinese Vice Minister for Commerce, Li Jinzoa, signed an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement last week Friday at the Ministerial Complex in St George’s that will see the $US8.5 million used to develop some of the country’s community projects as outlined in the 2012 Budget.
In his address, Jinzoa said the agreement caters to the development of social and economic development of Grenada but stressed that the success of the projects will depend on the use of the money by the Government of Grenada and that the Chinese Government has confidence in the administration to use the money wisely.
According to Minister Burke, the projects to be undertaken are yet to be identified but reiterated that they will include some community projects that were outlined in the 2012 budget presentation.
China also agreed to undertake the restoration of the Track and Field and Football Stadium at Queen’s Park, St George’s, at no cost to the Grenadian people.
The Chinese Minister for Commerce and the local Minister for Sports, Patrick Simmons, signed an Exchange of Note for the Stadium project.
Jinzao, said that the “turn key project” would see the Chinese Government responsible for the designs of the stadium, which will then be reviewed by the Grenada Government to be followed by the actual construction work.
According to Jinzao, the design for the facility is presently being done after which they will ascertain the cost of constructing the stadium.
The Chinese Minister of Commerce is confident that, with the advent of the new stadium, Grenada can expect to see its number of Olympic gold medals doubled.
The island’s lone gold medallist is 400 metres runner Kirani who won the title at the just-ended London games.
Minister Burke characterised the signing of the agreements with Beijing as yet another important step in the friendship of cooperation and the building of stronger bonds between the two countries.
He recalled that when Grenada sought assistance from China following the break in diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 2005, the People’s Republic of China did not hesitate in giving help.
The minister noted that the reconstruction of the National Cricket Stadium, to host Grenada’s leg of the 2007 Cricket World Cup is another symbol of the cooperation taking place between the two countries.
Minister Burke expressed Grenada’s appreciation to the People’s Republic of China for its continued assistance to the island in areas such as budget support, technical assistance, medical science assistance, student scholarship and concessionary loans.