Beijing to finance new hospital and Palace of Justice in Guinea Bissau

3 November 2006

Beijing, China, 03 Nov – The Chinese government has pledged to build a military hospital and the ‘Palace of Justice’ in Guinea Bissau’s capital, during an official visit to China by Guinean President João Bernardo “Nino” Vieira , Guinean officials said.

The director-general for Cooperation of the Guinean Foreign Ministry, Artur Silva, said that China would also finance construction of the River Geba dam, some 200 kilometers south of Bissau, and provided 60 million yuan for construction of the ‘Government Palace’ in Bissau.

China will also hand over 70 million yuan to support the country’s development, cereal donations to the value of 10 million yuan and 8 million for direct budget support.

Silva told Portuguese news agency Lusa, that these projects had been discussed for a year with the Chinese authorities.

On Wednesday China gave assurance the projects would be carried out, via a number of documents signed, on the Guinean side, by the Foreign Minister, Isaac Monteiro and, on the Chinese side, by Trade Minister, Bo Xilai.

“The construction of the Palace of Justice is extremely important for the Guinea Bissau justice system while the building of the Government Palace solves the problem of the facilities the government has been occupying,” Silva said, adding that construction of the Guinean government’s new headquarters, three three-storey buildings, would begin in 2007.

The new Chinese cooperation projects in Guinea Bissau were signed following a meeting, also on Wednesday, between President “Nino” Vieira and President Hu Jintao.

At the meeting, Hu pledged to increase bilateral cooperation with Guinea Bissau, while Vieira specified that Bissau wanted to boost cooperation with Beijing in the power, agricultural and fisheries sectors.

Guinea Bissau was the first country in the world to sign cooperation agreements with China in the deep water fishing sector, whilst in the power sector, Bissau wants Chinese support to explore potential oil reserves off the Guinean coast.

In 2005 trade between the two countries totaled US$5.79 million and China is one of Guinea Bissau’s main cooperation partners and has several projects underway and others that have already been concluded, such as the new Guinean parliament building, in the center of Bissau. (macauhub)