Samoa to scrap China-backed port project under new leader

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > International > Samoa to scrap China-backed port project under new leader

Incoming Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa said that she plans to scrap a USD $100 million China-funded plan to build a wharf at Vaiusu Bay, just west of the capital, Apia. Mataafa said that Samoa’s existing port infrastructure is sufficient for her country, and expressed concern about taking on additional Chinese debt (about 40 per cent of Samoa’s total external debt, or $160m, is held by China) for a potentially unnecessary project, in part because the nearby Apia Port, which handles almost all of Samoa’s cargo, was recently expanded and upgraded with a $28m grant from Japan. While Mataafa said that she plans to balance relations with China, her announcement is a strong break from the previous government under Tuilaepa Alono Sailele Malielegaoi, who cultivated support from China over his 23 years in power.

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