Pandemic leaves Chinese projects incomplete

The Chinese-funded Samoa Arts and Culture Centre at Leififi is among a handful of projects that remain incomplete due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The project, which is funded by the Huizhou city in Guangdong Province and built by the Shanghai Construction Group, will house national treasures of Samoan culture and heritage.

It will also be a venue for performing arts, accommodate an art shop, provide exhibition space as well as a restaurant and have three conference facilities with 500 seats that can accommodate 100 performers.

However, the pandemic and the closure of Samoa’s international border has led to the suspension of work on the project as well as other Chinese government-funded or connected projects.

The centre is located at the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture compound at Leififi and upon its completion will also house the national orchestra, the language commission, the national archives and records and the cultural division.

Last Thursday the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) leader and caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said at the launching of his party’s manifesto that the project is one of many that have progressed under his Government and he thanked China for its generosity. 

It is understood a group of Chinese workers are expected in the country next month when repatriation flights resume, to continue with the design phase of the project.

Project estimates are that it would take five months after the reopening of international borders to complete the project with 95 per cent of the project complete.

The project is one part of six agreements between Samoa and the Huizhou Municipal People's Government of Guangdong Province in China.

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