Antigua seeking Chinese funds to establish local university

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Talks between Antigua and Chinese delegations (Credit: GIS Antigua)
Talks between Antigua and Chinese delegations (Credit: GIS Antigua)

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Antigua and Barbuda is hoping that China will provide US$18 million towards the expansion of the Five Islands Secondary School to the University College Antigua.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who is on an official visit to Beijing, has officially informed the principals of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) of the intention of his government regarding the facility, according to a government statement issued on Tuesday.

It said that prior to leaving here, Prime Minister Browne toured the facilities at Five Islands with Chinese Ambassador Ren Gongping and noted that the new proposal will include student dorms, an expanded library, expanded ICT facility, Olympic size swimming pool and tennis courts.

Prime Minister Browne said he has already started talks with the University of the West Indies (UWI) on establishing the local university and that the government will be appointing a National Committee with a corresponding committee from the UWI to produce a proposal for collaboration and a timeframe for implementation.

The statement said that Prime Minister Browne is expected to finalise the agreement for US$18 million towards the expansion of the facility at Five Islands.

“Prime Minister Browne said that CCECC is very important to strengthening the business relations between China and Antigua and Barbuda and he is confident that after his visit, cooperation and trade will be heightened. He said that his government’s desire to strengthened relations is demonstrated in its recent decision to abolish the requirement for visas for Chinese nationals to visit Antigua and Barbuda,” the statement added.

Prime Minister Browne has also indicated that his government is prepared to enter into a public private partnership arrangement with CCECC for the construction of an additional hotel and shops in the area.

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