Saturday, July 14, 2007
The Trojan Horse in reference to Chinese 'soft loans'
I think it is naive to think that 'soft loans' come easily and without a great cost. There's an advertisement on the TVs at present about the wooden horse at the Greek city gates and the men inside don't see the warriors hidden inside so they haul the wooden horse inside the city. This legend/historical story should be kept in mind I reckon.
International aid in the form of loans is not a free ride, but there's a trade-off. Perhaps the engineers and experts will all be from China and not locals so most of the 'soft loan' money will actually pay expatriates. The roads and water problem may be fixed but at what a cost?
China loan 'won't be easy'
Saturday July 14, 2007
Fiji's bid for the $600 million dollar loan facility offered by China won't be easy, said the former envoy to the republic, Jeremaia Waqanisau. Waqanisau said in a television interview that he had encountered a lot of difficulties in China and expected his replacement, businessman Sir James Ah Koy, to face the same. "He will be frustrated by China bureaucracy. It is not that easy. There are a lot of obstacles. That was what I faced. It is easier said than done."
Ah Koy said this week that he will be going to get a share of the $600m on offer to the Pacific. "It is like a smorgasbord. Whoever gets their first gets the biggest serve," said Ah Koy. Ah Koy was nominated to be Fiji's High Commissioner to China after the interim Government recalled Waqanisau.
The Chinese Premier, HE Wen Jiabao, during his visit to Fiji in April last year, announced that China has set aside US$600 million to be extended to Pacific Island Countries in the form of soft loans for various types of projects.
The interim Government says the China Soft Loan Facility is good news for Fiji and it intends to use for the benefit of the nation.
"It is good news, because we have never come across that large amount of money before and we would put it to good use," said interim Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama. "If they do approve our loan request then we will use it on things like building roads and fixing water."