According to an Executive Mansion release, a Framework Agreement was on the one hand signed between both countries while another Agreement for a $50 million loan was also signed between China Exim Bank and Liberia for the rehabilitation of RIA runway and the modernization of the terminal building in the conference room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, October 3, 2016. Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara and Justice Minister, Cllr. Fredrick Cherue signed on behalf of the Liberian Government while Ambassador Yue signed on behalf of his country..
The Liberian leader used the occasion to welcome Chinese Envoy to Liberia declaration during the official signing ceremony that Chinese quality and speed will characterize the rehabilitation of Robert International Airport runway and terminal projects.
Recounting the resumption of diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, President Sirleaf said the relationship has seen 10 years of real developments, partnership and improved relations.
President Sirleaf said although when she came to power, the real focus of her government was in the rural areas; prioritizing the development of roads, clinics, hospitals and schools, but according to her despite that, the last concentration of her government is on the urban areas including the modernization of RIA, adding: “No matter how developed a nation is, that impact can only be critically examined from the outlook of the airport as gateway to the country”.
President Sirleaf said her wish was to preside over the completion of the RIA but was glad to be a part of a historic process. She lauded China for several developments projects undertaken in the country, including the $60 million Ministerial Complex that is about to take off, the Capitol Building Annex, the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex and the Monrovia Vocational Training Center and noted that these are some of the things that China has been doing in Liberia during course of the last 10 years of fruitful relationship that the nation can be proud of.
Also making statement at the signing ceremony, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara said the signing ceremony marks the deliverance of tangible development projects for the Liberian people. He said even though the two years of Ebola outbreak in the country had some adverse effects on the Liberian economy, but according to him, with the airport, which is a key component of Liberia’s economic development about to be modernized soon, it means that the country is now heading in the right direction of revenue generation.
In a brief statement, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Zhang Yue said the Loan Agreement signing ceremony for rehabilitation is an immediate follow-up project following the visit of President Sirleaf to China sometimes ago, when the rehabilitation of the Roberts International Airport was high on their agenda, during bilateral talks. Ambassador Zhang Yue indicated that it was during the height of the outbreak of Ebola in the country, that he became aware of how the free flow of people is very much important. He said the project, at the cost $50 million, when completed will accommodate approximately 32,000 persons and their logistics.
He termed the rehabilitation endeavor as a miracle for the Liberia—China Cooperation, and expressed joy that during their recent National Day celebration, the People Republic of China was delighted to have heard from the Government of Liberia reiterating its support for the “One China Policy”, which the current administration is upholding satisfactorily.
“We will see China’s quality and speed in doing this work,” Ambassador Zhang assured President Sirleaf and officials of government attending the signing ceremony. The airport’s runway rehabilitation is expected to take about 5 to 6 months, while the terminal rehabilitation is expected to last for at least 10 months.
The landmark signing ceremony was graced by several government officials including the Chinese delegation headed by its Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador Yue.