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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

China finances social housing project in Suriname
by Ivan Cairo
Caribbean Net News Suriname Correspondent
Email: ivan@caribbeannetnews.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

PARAMARIBO, Suriname: China is to finance the construction of 200 houses in Suriname. The documents were signed here Friday by Chinese ambassador Chen Jinghua and Suriname minister of Social Affairs and Housing Hendrik Setrowidjojo.

The exact amount of the costs of this project were not disclosed, but according to the ambassador this will not exceed the amount of US$0.5 million. The funds are partially a grant and partially a loan against favorable conditions.

The intention is to complete constructions within three months starting in February. Some 9,000 people are officially registered with the housing ministry for social housing. At the signing ceremony minister Setrowidjojo noted, that Suriname has been on the eve of implementing a housing program for several years.

The launch of this program is scheduled for mid-2006. As part of this project the government will provide land and building licenses. Meanwhile the ministry is negotiating with real estate developers as to how many houses could be constructed each year.

A priority is the development of the old plantation, Richelieu, which will be split into 5,000 lots. In 2004 China financed the construction of 30 houses in Wakibasoe, Brokopondo, 100 kilometers south of the capital Paramaribo.

In December 2005 Suriname received a US$2.5 million grant from China for technical assistance.

Suriname supports Beijing’s claim on Taiwan in its so-called ‘one-China policy’ since both nations opened diplomatic relations in the 70’s. Both China and Taiwan have used dollar diplomacy over the years to win over Caribbean nations. Beijing claims that, although democratic Taiwan is self-governing, the runaway island-state is still part of China.

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