Antigua gets $32.5 million aid from China

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Mrs. Maria Browne being introduced to members of the government of Premier Li.
Photo courtesy of Gov’t of Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Tuesday “successfully negotiated” an assistance package with China to the tune of over 200 million RMB (US$32.5 million), according to an Antigua and Barbuda government statement.

In discussions with China’s Premier Li Keqiang, Browne, who is visiting China, spoke of the close relationship that exists between both countries and outlined a program for development assistance.

Li agreed to providing Antigua and Barbuda with a 70 million RMB grant “for the implementation of projects to be agreed upon”, the statement said.

China will also provide 30 million in interest free loans “for projects to be agreed upon between the two governments.”

In addition, China will provide 20 million RMB for enhancing Antigua and Barbuda’s capacity in addressing the effects of climate change. The project will also include the installation of equipment, training of staff and technical support.

The statement said China will dispatch an eight-member Ophthalmologist Medical Team to carry out a cataract surgery clinic called “Bright Journey.”

Beijing will also provide financing for the Deep Water Harbour Development Project and additional educational scholarships for qualified Antiguan students to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies, along with technical training in selected areas.

Additionally, China will provide assistance in the establishment of the University of Antigua and Barbuda and a Chinese Language teaching program in secondary schools.

Browne said that Antigua and Barbuda and China have “enjoyed warm and friendly relations” since both countries formally established relations in 1983, adding that “each year we seek to strengthen our friendship and expand our cooperation.

“The People’s Republic of China has been generous to Antigua and Barbuda over the years and has provided critical support to the development efforts of the government,” he said. “We are very grateful for this.”

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