SUVA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- With joint efforts and hard work of engineers and workers from both China and Fiji, the redevelopment project of the Suva Civic Center, which was completed in just over one year, has won praise from both countries.
Speaking at a grand handover ceremony on Thursday, which was attended by visiting Secretary of the Communist Party of China Guangdong Provincial Committee Li Xi and Suva City Mayor Chandu Umaria, Fijian Minister for Local Government Parveen Kumar described the handover of the Suva Civic Center as "another historic moment in Fiji's civic history - in particular that of our capital city - Suva."
"Today is a landmark moment in our friendship with the province of Guangdong in China," he said. "On behalf of the government of Fiji, I would like to sincerely thank the Guangdong Province for their goodwill in funding this project on the redevelopment of Suva Civic Center."
"This further strengthens the friendship and cooperation between Suva City Council and Guangdong Province. And we look forward to many more such mutually beneficial projects," said the minister.
He lauded the newly redeveloped Suva Civic Center for being a "truly landmark for Suva and Fiji," saying that it combines traditional culture and art as well as modern features with world class audio-visual technology.
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo said the redevelopment of the Suva Civic Center, which is a building of profound historical and cultural significance, aims to build a modern and well-equipped city center, and reflect the cultural tradition of Fiji and the environment-friendly idea.
"The new Suva Civic Center, which will not only become a new landmark of Fiji, but also a platform for showing Fijian culture and traditional arts, is a result of the close collaboration and cooperation between the local government of China and Fiji, as well as a testimony of the deep friendship between peoples of our two countries," he said.
The ambassador also hoped that Fiji can seize the great opportunity brought by the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to elevate China-Fiji relationship to a new level.
Inked between China's Guangdong Province and Suva City Council in March 2017, the Memorandum of Understanding for the redevelopment of Suva Civic Center has seen the southern Chinese province investing an estimated 20 million Fijian dollars (about 9.3 million U.S. dollars) in the redevelopment.
Undertaken by Guangdong's Nam Yue Group in April 2017 and completed in August this year, the redevelopment included upgrading the outlook, provision of new seats and sound system, and improved gallery area.