The ambassador of People's Republic of China, Liu Quan officially handed over the new building of the office of the prime minister on Wednesday 30th August to the Prime Minister Charlot Salwai.
Mr Salwai took the occasion to thank the government and people of China for their contribution to the development of Vanuatu:
"I join the Master of Ceremonies to welcome you all to the PMO Complex this afternoon. Thank you for accepting our invitation to be part of this historic occasion and to witness the official handing over of this magnificent complex by the Chinese Government.

The old building that used to house the Public Service Commission, State Law Office, Language Services Department and Government Remuneration Tribunal was built by the French Government during pre-independence days and was used by the French Administration until 1980.

Over the years it has deteriorated to a stage where it was no longer safe as an office environment. It was therefore decided that the building be demolished to make way for this new building which has been generously funded by the Government of China.

The old U shape building however has not been demolished and will be preserved as a historic building which housed the first Prime Minister of Vanuatu straight after the country gained its independence from its colonial rulers.

This new building complex consists of 15 large offices, 7 ordinary meeting rooms, a multi-functional meeting room, a ministerial conference room, a multi-functional hall and a VIP reception room. The project cost around VT 669, 600 000 and additional Vanuatu government contribution of more than 30 million VT.

A week ago some of us witnessed the handing over to the Government and people of Vanuatu the completed new Luganville wharf funded by the Government of China through a concessional loan. Today we are all gathered here to witness yet another handing over of the completed new PMO complex project again funded by the Government and people of China through grant financing. This is a sign of the strength of the relations between our two countries.

Excellency’s, Ladies and Gentlemen, in May last year, we witnessed the ground breaking ceremony for this project. One (1) year and three months later we are all gathered here to witness its handing over.

The careful planning, scientific organization, management, and implementation of the project by the company has resulted in the successful completion of all works 60 days ahead of the agreed schedule. This is a clear reflection of the standard of performance that CSCEC is cable of.

I take this opportunity to thank the China State Construction Engineering Co, Ltd (CSCEC) who is also one of the world number one investment and construction group in China for your excellent workmanship. I thank the CSCEC for hiring our Ni-Van workers. In total, ninety five (95) ni-Van workers were hired by the company and were fortunate to work alongside skilled Chinese workers.

We acknowledge the comradeship and friendship forged between the Chinese team and our ni-Vanuatu workers who we belief have gained a lot of experience and skills through working with you.

For the excellent relationship and contribution by the contractor I had recommended to his Excellency the President of the Republic of Vanuatu to award a medal of General Services to the Country Manager of CSCEC as we all witnessed earlier. Congratulations again.

Out of the ten (10) departments including cabinet under the Office of the Prime Minister, eight (8) will be housed in the new building and two (2) in the old U shaped building. I am glad to announce that the once scattered departments under my portfolio will now all be housed in one compound. I will have easy access to my Directors plus their staff. This will save time and reduce cost currently being incurred through rental of properties around Town.

The Government of Vanuatu acknowledges the Chinese Government’s continued contribution to Vanuatu’s development, implemented in the framework of economic and technical cooperation.

The signing of the new Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement we have just witnessed is another of the generous support that the Government of China continues to provide Vanuatu. This new agreement will help in the exploration and implementation of the President’s Office Construction Project, Ministry of Finance Office Building Construction Project, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office Construction Project.

Excellency, I would like to thank you and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China for your continued contribution to our development efforts. The ceremony this afternoon is a reflection of the strong and friendly relations between our two countries which I belief will continue to grow from strength to strength.

Thank you again to all our invited guests for your presence and especially His Excellency the President of the Republic of Vanuatu for the medal award ceremony performed earlier.

Thank you all for being part of this ceremony and we look forward to your continued support and partnership.

Thank you for your attention.

Xie-Xie,

Merci beaucoup,

Tankio tumas".

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