— Chinese Ambassador foresees more investment here; dedicates newly renovated community park in Paynesville
Chinese Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Fu Jijun, has said that the cordial bilateral relationship that is currently subsisting between his country and Liberia will get stronger and stronger as he and his team will continue to make Liberia’s case in an effort to lure more investments to the country.
He said that Chinese companies are seizing opportunities presented by the cordiality in relationship to invest and also implement projects on behalf of their mother country. “As the Chinese Ambassador here, I would like to assure you that it is my job to make every efforts to deepen the collaboration and enhance the friendship between both countries and bring more benefits to our people,” Ambassador Fu said.
The senior Chinese diplomat spoke on Monday at the ceremony commemorating the dedication of the newly renovated Paynesville Community Park. It is anticipated that the Park would help boost recreational activities and improve interactions among residents.
He expressed delight for being opportune to form part of the dedication of the newly constructed basketball court along with the fully equipped children’s playground—an initiative that represents many of the good results of the friendship and collaboration between both countries.
Ambassador Fu noted at the event that Chinese companies are getting more involved in the development of the country and that, as interactions between those companies and the Liberian people increase, the China-Liberia friendship grows and deepens further. “As a way of advancing more friendly interaction between our people, these companies often seize the opportunity to impact the lives of locals through creative and unique ways,” he said.
He said despite the many challenges being faced, several Chinese companies continue to demonstrate their commitment to keep investing in the Liberian economy, he said.
The ambassador, however, termed the Paynesville Park project as another gift from the Chinese companies to the Liberian people.
The project came to fruition through a goodwill gesture from the Chinese government through TSMO Investment Corporation and the China Dalian International Cooperation Group (CDIG). Several bilateral projects have also been successfully completed while many others are being initiated. Some of these projects include the China-Liberia Friendship Park and the electronic billboard at the Executive Pavilion. Collaboration between the two countries has been developing very robustly over the last decade.
At the forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) coordinators meeting held three weeks ago, China pledged continual commitment to the pro-poor agenda of the Weah Administration.
The Chinese government further demonstrated this commitment with the signing of agreements that will see the construction of two overhead bridges, valued at US$30M, to help ease the heavy traffic congestion around the newly constructed Ministerial Complex.
Paynesville City Mayor, Pam Belcher-Taylor said the project was initiated in 2017 at the request of PCC in order to provide a recreational facility for residents of the city and its surrounding environs. She lauded the Chinese for not only giving the city a facelift, but also contributing to the happiness of the residents, especially the young people and children
“In 2017, the PCC, through then Mayor, Cyvette Gibson, was given an offer by the Chinese government for the construction of park,”
Communication was afterwards received from CDIG that it was selected by the Embassy here to carry out the work and that a site should be identified for the project. This is how PCC Special Project and technical and City Planning Department selected the Park because of its deplorable state.
The project was done in phases with the first phase being the construction of the Basketball Court which include four sitting platforms, dual basketball rims. The phase II included the construction of the children’s playground, which was installed by TSMO, included an artificial climbing wall, a slide, two merry-go-rounds, a swing, four seesaws and others.
The ceremony was also graced by several dignitaries, including Montserrado County District #2 Representative Jimmy Smith and Paynesville City Council Chairman, T. Max Hinneh.