China Approves Major Loans for South Sudan to Improve Infrastructure

South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayardit said on Tuesday that the Chinese government has approved a major loan scheme to help his country improve infrastructure, adding that the agreement shows the level of cooperation between the two countries.

Kiir made the remarks while opening the National Legislative Assembly after return from recess during which reiterated his commitment to return the country to war at all cost.

"I am happy to say that we have continued to work to improve and build upon our relations within the international community, both bilateral and multilateral. I would like to announce that we have agreed on a major loan scheme with the People's Republic of China", Kiir said.

The loans will cover the cost of major infrastructure projects, including the completion of Juba International Airport, which remains half-built.

"Our current airport has outgrown its capacity and we need a new airport building that will accommodate the huge air traffic in and out of South Sudan", Kiir added.

He said the loans will also be used to begin the construction of key roads to connect the world's newest state to neighbouring countries, as well as improve interstate connectivity, adding that better road infrastructure would improve communications and reduce internal transportation costs, subsequently lowering the cost of goods and movement.

Other developmental projects which will be implemented through the loans include the construction of major electricity schemes which will provide rapid improvements in both the standard of living for South Sudanese people, as well as encourage industrialisation and ease the expense of doing business in South Sudan. .

"These are crucial schemes. Without such improvements in communications and power supply, we will not be able to provide the fast development which our people demand, and so richly deserve", said Kiir

He also announced the successful outcomes of the South Sudan Economic Partners Forum, hosted by the US state department between 16-17 April in Washington.

The former rebel commander turned politician said the US forum marked the start of an enhanced partnership with international actors to strengthen governance, political inclusiveness and sustainable development in South Sudan.

One of the major initiatives to come out of the forum is a private sector investment conference to be held in Juba later this year, which will be organised by South Sudan with support from international partners.

"We are in agreement that a thriving private sector is critical to job creation, improved livelihoods and economic growth," Kiir said.

"The international private sector is most welcome to come [to the conference] and share in the fruits of our rapid development, and we look forward to learning from them, through effective skills transfer to our own people", he explained to the law makers, mostly members of his ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.

The loan agreement comes after remarks reported by Xinhua by Chinese vice-president Li Yuanchao during a meeting with an SPLM delegation on 18 April, vowing to promote friendly relations with South Sudan.

Last April, Chinese president Hu Jintao also held talks with Kiir, where both leaders agreed to advance their partnership and expand pragmatic cooperation in all areas.

Hu said at the time that bilateral cooperation between the two countries is increasingly beneficial to the development of a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership, as well as regional peace and development.

China is South Sudan's biggest oil investor and consumer, accounting for 82% of its oil exports.


Source :

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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