By CARLOS ARUAFU
THE National Hosting Authority (NHA) for the 2023 Pacific Games has signed the exchange of minutes following their dialogue with the government of the People Republic of China (PRC) for the construction of facilities for the 2023 Pacific Games.
The signing took place yesterday at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPMC) between the NHA Chairman Dr Jimmy Rodgers and the Deputy PRC Ambassador to PNG and the Solomon Islands, Ambassador Yao Ming.
The minutes were done following a dialogue between the NHA and the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD).
Dr Rodgers speaking during the occasion described it as a special day as it signifies the commitment the PRC government has to assist Solomon Islands.
This is the first of the scoping teams that have come in to do very detailed work to look at one of the four priorities; the other three are SINU, the National Referral Hospital and our Water.
“This is a very special day for Solomon Islands because a very short time ago we established diplomatic ties with the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and it did not take very long for China to respond to the priorities that the Solomon Islands government has put on the table,” he said.
“Your Excellency this is a very good demonstration of your commitment to assist one of your newest diplomatic partners in the global agenda.
“We thank you for being here personally to also be part of this ceremony.
“What we signed today (Tuesday) is the exchange of minutes of discussions between the government and the PRC government.
“It is not a decision, these are minutes that their team and the NHA have agreed to and it will be present to their government for consideration to support us,” he added.
Dr Rodgers added that the minutes comprises of more than 50 percent of all infrastructure needed for the Games.
“What we have discussed with the team and what they have agreed to present to their government comprises more than 50 percent of all the infrastructure facilities that we will need for the Games.
“They have agreed and expanded and made our concept for the national sports stadium even better.
“They have also taken on board our request for additional infrastructure; they looked at our aquatic center, our tennis courts, new track and field facility, hockey pitch, an administration block and a multipurpose facility that will remain with King George Sixth School as a legacy after the Games.
“Key message is that with the assistance from the PRC Government, if their government agrees to this, they would help us to finance almost 70 percent of all the infrastructure we need for the Games,” Dr Rodgers added.
Ambassador Yao Ming expressed the PRC’s gratitude and reiterated that it is a special for the two countries.
“It’s a D-day for both our nations.
“Under the great leadership of President Ji jinPing and Prime Minister Sogavare, our two countries have made diplomatic breakthrough and established new relationship
“This has paved the way forward for us to sit here today and discuss the 2023 Pacific Games facilities.
“I would like to thank NHA for working tirelessly with the Beijing Institute of Architecture Design.
“Today’s event reminds me that both our relations share a lot of common grounds and sports is one of the important common grounds,” he said.
Ambassador Ming also reiterated that the facilitating of sports facilities is not a loan from China but a gift.
He added China has one of the best modern sporting facilities in the world, where it successfully hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China and they are able to assist developing countries who share the same aspiration like China.