Last update: 05-Dec-2013 12:18 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Chinese to build new Arima hospital
China Railway Ltd has been chosen for construction of the long-awaited new Arima hospital in a government-to-government contract with the Chinese administration, Arima MP Rodger Samuel said yesterday.
At yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, Port-of-Spain, Samuel said Cabinet had agreed that project manager, Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (Udecott), would execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese contractor chosen by the Chinese Government, in this case China Railway Ltd, for construction of the new hospital.
The same company was also contracted by the previous People’s National Movement (PNM) administration to complete the Scarborough hospital, Tobago several years ago. Samuel said the agreement resulted from bi-lateral talks Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar held with the Chinese President Xi Jinping during his June visit. The estimated construction cost is approximately $1.6 billion, he said.
Construction will be via a government-to-government arrangement with Udecott as the main manager with the choice of contactor done by the Chinese Government. On another issue, China Railway Ltd is also among four Chinese companies in the running for construction of six new business parks to be done with Chinese loan financing assistance, Trade Minister Vasant Bharath said at yesterday’s briefing. This is scheduled to be completed by December 2014
Total cost of the park venture is almost (US)$1.5 billion, he said. Financing is via loan from the Chinese Government through Exim Bank. China extended a $3 billion offer to assist Caricom states earlier in the year and some regional states already have accessed that, he added. He said space at the T&T’s 19 other facilities was full and Government has demand for 135,000 metres of space. The new parks will be at locations including Reform, Connector Road, Dow Village, Frederick Settlement, Preysal and will utilise 775 acres.
At the briefing, Public Administration Minister Carolyn Seepersad- Bachan also outlined the latest scholarship plans. To date Government has rolled out 68 first class scholarships with the latest — including two undergraduate, 10 Masters’ and three PHds — costing $2.5 million. She said Government was revising its placement policy to place returning scholars at private sector locations.
She said scholarships awarded under the development needs plan, which was done scientifically by several ministries, was geared to meet T&T’s diversification needs. Government also had to get returns on the investment and ensure returning scholars held up their end of the investment, she said, on concerns about the issue.
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