Border shutdown delays major Chinese-funded projects
The coronavirus-driven border shutdown has been blamed for the delay in the construction works for two major Chinese projects in Samoa, the Samoa Arts and Cultural Center and the Samoa-China Friendship Park.
This was confirmed by the Commercial Attache at the Chinese Embassy in Samoa, Zhang Muyue, during an interview with the Samoa Observer.
“Currently the Chinese side is still pushing forward with the construction however; some specific part such as lights of the projects has met hold back because engineers from China cannot come over to Samoa,” she said.
She added that this is due to the suspension of flights coming into Samoa as a preventative measure by the Government of Samoa against the coronavirus.
“It is also because the majority of countries have closed their borders so we cannot fly our people over to Samoa," she said.
“The expectation was a three-month delay but the pandemic has added more months of delay to the completion of the projects.
“The Arts center it is 80 per cent complete while the Friendship Park is between 60-70 per cent completions.”
The Arts and Culture Center project is funded by the city of Huizhou in Guangdong Province and was constructed by the Shanghai Construction Group.
The Center will house national treasures of Samoan culture and heritage, a venue for performing arts and orchestra, an art shop, exhibition space and a restaurant.
The Friendship Park is part of the Apia Waterfront Development Project, which covers the area behind the FMFMII Government Building at Eleele Fou, and designed for cultural communication, entertainments, sports and recreational activities, performance and gathering.
The two projects are part of six Memorandums of Understanding and Agreements signed between Samoa and the Huizhou Municipal People’s Government of Guangdong Province, China.