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Friday, August 18, 2006

ROC Financial assistance could be tapped for Development

The last discussion to end the state visit by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his Delegation was heartening and encouraging for the future of Solomon Islands.

The Delegation had a long discussion with the Secretary-General of the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

ICDF has set up many projects in other parts of the world; some in partnership with other International organisations since its establishment in 1996.

The Fund is active in sharing Taiwan’s advantages and core strengths through a wide range of international development and cooperation projects that cover the globe in areas of Banking and Finance Operations, Technical Cooperation, International Human Resource Development and International Humanitarian Assistance.

Describing it as a brain-storming discussion, the Secretary-General of ICDF said there were many avenues available in which ICDF could provide assistance to Solomon Islands.

He said projects were designed, developed and implemented.

“We are to make sure that our projects have been 100 per cent complete,” the Secretary-General told the Delegation.

He said one example of these many projects is a Mobil Medical Mission to Solomon Islands which would start in September this year.

He said the intake of students from Solomon Islands would be increased and he would make sure that this would happen.

Hon. Manasseh Sogavare said that the Republic of China had done its part in providing technical assistance in Solomon Islands through its Agricultural Technical Mission.

“Solomon Islands has lands to develop. The ball is now on our court,” Mr. Sogavare said.

The Secretary-General said request for short-term involvement in certain projects are welcome. He said they have a volunteer service in which technical experts in certain fields would be requested.

Solomon Islands Delegation, led by the Mr. Sogavare, had been extensively visiting and meeting leaders of the Republic of China (Taiwan) at the invitation of President Chen Shui-bian, including the president himself.

The visit has strengthened the relationship between Solomon Islands and the Republic of China (Taiwan) amidst reports in past weeks that Solomon Islands would switch diplomatic relation in favour of mainland China.

Hon. Manasseh Sogavare assured Taiwan’s leaders repeatedly that his government would never switch side.

The Delegation arrived in Honiara yesterday.

Source: Government Communications Unit

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