Chinese Soft Loan Projects
The Fiji Government also takes advantage of Concessional loans offered by the EXIM Bank of China which offers this sort of finance for Small & Medium Income countries like Fiji. The Fiji Government is committed to borrow from the EXIM Bank as it will facilitate our infrastructural development. Initially the Fiji Government had intended to finalize 5 infrastructural projects under soft loans from the Chinese Government.
- Low Cost Housing - US$35 million
- Rural Roads & Maritime - US$60 million
- Rural Water Supply & Sewerage - US$60 million
- Ethanol Project - US$40 million
- Upgrade of Slipway - US$45 million
- Jetties /Wharves - Amount to be established
Although the projects listed above have been endorsed by both parties, there were some delays in the processing these projects.
The process usually encompasses the preparation of several documents commencing from a formal application, feasibility studies, and other related documentation which are then submitted to the Chinese Government for appraisal.
A series of processes would then follow after the appraisal has been successful.
The actual implementation of the project would follow only after both sides have successfully agreed to terms and conditions of the soft loan.
In 2010, out of the above, only two soft loans have been processed successfully and each have now reached various stages of implementation.
- Housing Authority Low Cost Housing & Public Rental Board - F$70m
- Road Upgrading Project - F$93m
The PM’s Office is responsible for the facilitation of the loan process by coordinating relevant line ministries, departments and statutory agencies in the collation and compilation of loan documentation and ensures that these are presented to the Chinese Government in a timely manner. There are other ministries and departments which are often part and parcel of the documentation process like Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Department of Environment, Ministry of Public Works, & Utilities and the Solicitor General’s Office.
After the approval of a loan application, the Prime Minister’s Office has an important role of coordinating the signing of contracts and agreements between parties and between the Fiji and the Chinese Government and also ensures that effective and timely monitoring and reporting of the soft loan project and implementation.
Government’s intention is that in the implementation of the housing and upgrading of roads projects, it will be able to provide affordable housing to low income earners and also boost Fiji’s economy through the upgrading of major roads around the country.