China yesterday signed over $7.95million Chinese Yuan to the Samoan government for the maintenance of the Aquatic Centre and the Sports Complex.
The deal was signed between China’s visiting Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zheng Zeguang and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
Held at the Prime Minister’s conference room, the signing comes just in time for Samoa’s bid to host the 2019 Pacific Games.
Last week, the Prime Minister made public Samoa’s “eagerness” to host the Pacific Games. He is adamant that Samoa is the “next best country to host.”
During the signing ceremony, Tuilaepa pointed to the importance of China’s contribution to the development of Samoa.
“This is very important to the government, the assistance from China to assure that our sports facilities are continuously maintained,” he said.
He thanked China for their huge contribution to ensure Samoa’s facilities are up to par with international standards.
“The standards of these facilities enable them to host any Pacific and international events.”
He said that through China’s assistance, Samoa was able to host the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015.
Tuilaepa also pointed out that the Pacific Games Council will meet next week and he wants them to know that Samoa is ready.
“I want them to read on the internet that Samoa has no problems and we are spic and span (when it comes to the Sports facilities),” he said.
Tuilaepa said he was shocked by Tonga’s withdrawal to host the Pacific Games.
Speaking to the media, he said it’s important for Samoa to grab the opportunity since “we have the facilities and capability” to host the event.
“I have already spoken to the President of Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, to reach out to the Pacific Games Council,” Tuilaepa said.
According to Tuilaepa, the most important facilities that must be up to par with international standards are the Aquatic Center and the Apia Park Stadium.