23 Oct 2007

India offers Fiji financing for marjor development projects

7:27 am on 23 October 2007

India is reported to have offered Fiji financing for major capital development projects.

Fiji's interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the offer was made to him by his Indian counterpart, P Chidambaram, in Washington where both men are attending the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

It followed a request Mr Chaudhry put to Mr Chidambaram in Delhi in May.

The Indian government offer is likely to include the financing of major development projects such as upgrading of the national highway system, substantially improving the water supply and sewerage system, and rural development to boost agricultural production.

Officials from Fiji and India are likely to meet in January for further talks on the financing offer.

While in Washington, Mr Chaudhry has also met the assistant president of the EXIM Bank of China, Mr Zhu Xinkquain, to hold further talks on China's offer of concessional loans, first made in April last year, to help finance development projects.