Chinese donations now edge out Australia

China has pushed Australia out from the top spot for donations to Samoa in 2017 by committing about US$30.3 million to the country, an increase of more than US$3 million in 12 months, new data shows. 

Australian foreign policy think tank the Lowy Institute this week released an updated version of its Pacific Aid Map, which is current for the year 2017 and now shows Japan following behind China after offering US$29.4 million for the period.

In 2016 Australia was the country's foremost donor with US$29.78 million allocated for Samoa; China was in second place after having committed more than US$26 million.

However, Australia is still the top donor for Samoa over the past seven years. In total it has committed about US$297 million since 2011 with China catching up with its spending in the country, placing second with about US$270 million. 

According to the Lowy Institute, the top projects that has accounted for the spending from the donors include the Faleolo International Airport gateway funded by China. 

Other projects include the TATTE building and Conventional Center funded through a soft loan from China, the new facelift on the Motootua national hospital, and the Power Sector Expansion Project amongst others.   

Another project that is currently underway, funded by the top donor for Samoa, is the Friendship Park under an “in-kind assistance” donation from China. 

The project is captured under the tourism sector between the Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. 

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