China will donate USD146 million to São Tomé and Príncipe for construction of infrastructure under bilateral economic cooperation, said on Tuesday in São Tomé Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada.
The prime minister said that the donation aims to support São Tomé and Príncipe in the construction of infrastructure projects, and gave as examples the modernization works of the international airport of São Tomé and building a deep water port.
“The airport is key to the development of São Tomé and Príncipe,” said Trovoada, announcing China’s interest in being involved in projects aimed at “developing the São Tomé economy,” under agreements signed recently in Beijing.
Trovoada also noted the need to expand the facilities of the local airport to receive large aircraft from China, following the agreement between the two countries aimed at “transforming the archipelago into a destination for Chinese tourists.”
In addition to the amount to be donated, the prime minister said that economic cooperation with China includes lending through opening lines of credit on preferential terms for public and private companies in São Tomé and Príncipe.
“We also aim to promote and encourage the Chinese private sector to invest in tourism, renewable energy, trade and infrastructure,” Trovoada said, adding that a Chinese team should arrive within days in São Tomé and Principe to carry out a study on tourism in the country.
As well as announcing that China has decided to pardon an old debt of US$28 million, Trovoada also said China had provided 200 annual internships and scholarships for students and professionals from São Tomé and Príncipe.
São Tomé and Príncipe and the People’s Republic of China a week ago in Beijing signed a general cooperation program and several sector agreements following the visit by Prime Minister Trovoada to Beijing after the re-establishment in December 2016 of bilateral diplomatic relations. MDT/Macauhub