PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed US$4.46 billion (K14 billion) worth of projects to be funded by China.
After signing documents with Chinese officials in Port Moresby yesterday for the projects – roads, agricultural industrial parks and the Goroka town water supply – O’Neill said: “They will continue to change the lives and improve the standards of living for our people in many of the provinces.
“These are particularly the road and port projects.
“Those projects have been on the agenda for many governments in the past, particularly ports in Gulf, Madang and elsewhere.
“The road list that they have been talking about include the ‘missing links’ of our country.
“Communities have been isolated for no apparent reason except that they don’t have a road or they don’t have a port.
“This is a great initiative which will not only improve people’s lives, but give us an opportunity for many of our people to engage in meaningful investments, trade and job opportunities.
“The Chinese people, government and China Railway are very strong partners with our country.
“They have continued to build many of the large projects that we have initiated over the last five years.
“They will continue to build on that success.
“China Railway is one of the top companies in China and globally.
“We are lucky that they are now investing their own money and resources in these projects.
“They believe in the prospects for prosperity in our country.”
O’Neill said the onus was now on the national and provincial governments in the country to make the projects happen.
“These projects have been the dream of our people for many years,” he said.
“They do not deserve to be isolated.
“They deserve these projects to be introduced in a timely manner.
“That is why we encourage a fast approach in submitting all the documentation that is needed for us to introduce these projects.”
The three major projects are the US$4.1 billion high priority economic road project, US$330 million PNG-China integrated agriculture industrial park projects in Western and Eastern Highlands, and US$32 million Goroka town water supply upgrade.
Also included are wharves at Paia Inlet in Gulf, Bogia in Madang and Angoram in East Sepik.