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Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves, left, and  President of Taiwan, Lai Ching-te hold talks in Taiwan on May 21, 2024. (Photo: Office of the President, Taiwan.)
Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves, left, and President of Taiwan, Lai Ching-te hold talks in Taiwan on May 21, 2024. (Photo: Office of the President, Taiwan.)
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines is getting a further US$45 million loan from Taiwan for road works, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says.

Reporting on his recent visit to Taipei, where he attended the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te, Gonsalves said he is hoping to be able to speak in two weeks “authoritatively about certain conclusions which we had with both the immediate past government and the incoming government”.

He said his government cannot announce it as a done deal until he gets the communication “in black and white” from Taiwan.

“We are having another US$45 million soft loan, EC$125 million, a second tranche of roads. You complain about roads, I’ll give you roads. More and more, day by day, sweet Jesus. And there are several different programmes,” the prime minister said.

Before the end of the year, Taiwan will also give additional resources in grants “above the normal grant programme, which would amount for the remainder of this year by an additional $5 million,” Gonsalves said.

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He said this money would go to an initiative he conceived called the Community Smart Impact Programmes (COMSIP) “in which we are going to pull in some of the existing programmes like ON-SITE and PRYME to put additional monies to them because they are very popular programmes and have good impact.

“But community things and to do things in relation to sport and culture,” Gonsalves said.

He said some money will go towards commencing to establish a national orchestra.

“Daron Andrews, who I have been speaking to about this, Rodney Small, others, and we are putting together a formal team to drive this,” he said, adding that the government has to appoint a director for a national orchestra.

“I received a proposal also, though it has not be costed, in relation to a national choir.” Gonsalves said this is important in the further expansion of the work his government is doing in the field of culture.

“And we are putting in a number of institutional structures,” Gonsalves said.

He further said there is something he would explain “a little bit more when everything is finalised.

“It is agreed upon, the funding of a huge project. But that I am waiting until I get the letter on that one and then I’d explain everything to people,” he said.  

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