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China-donated equipment handed over to Cook Islands

Updated: Jan 29,2015 3:30 PM     Xinhua

RAROTANGA — Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna said on Jan 29 that the newly arrived heavy machinery equipment and pearl farming equipment, both donated by the Chinese government, will help with the infrastructure and economic development of outer islands.

Puna and his cabinet held a handover ceremony for the equipment in Avarua on Jan 29 (local time) in the biggest island of the country, Rarotanga.

Puna said he believed that the equipment is a symbol of the special relationship between China and the Cook Islands. He mentioned on the ceremony that the equipment will be shipped to outer islands and urged local authorities to use the equipment to improve the living conditions in outer islands.

Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Wang Lutong flew from New Zealand to join the ceremony. Wang said both patches of the equipment are most needed in Cook Islands.

“Infrastructure has always been crucial for the social and economic development in the Cook Islands, especially in some outer islands. The Cook Islands are also blessed with the production of black pearls, an important source of income for the hard working pearl farmers,” said Wang.

Wang said that the equipment would play “a positive and significant role” in the Cook Islands.