HARGEISA (Somalilandpress) — A 14-member delegation from the People’s Republic of China are on official visit to the Republic of Somaliland to study the economic and investment climate in the country.
The delegation which consists of some of China’s leading investors, government officials and members of China’s leading media-houses arrived in the capital Hargeisa on Friday afternoon. They were received at the airport by Ali Mohamed ‘Waran Adde’, Somaliland Aviation minister and Hussein Mohamud , the Mayor of Hargeisa.
Mr. Qi told local press that they were delighted with their trip to Somaliland and expressed their desire to invest in number of places in the country. They praised the people of Somaliland for their warm hospitality and for their achievements without international help.
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Mr. Mohamed said a Chinese firm awarded to renovate and expand Egal International airport to international standards is due to arrive soon along with their equipment and staff.
The delegation are expected to remain in the country for the next few days, while some will assist the investment capacity of the country, others are also here for fact-finding mission.
The Chinese delegation was accompanied by Ahmed Hassan Egal, Somaliland Special Representative to China, who also thanked the Somaliland authority for their warm welcome.
The Mayor of Hargeisa, Mr. Ji’ir, also said that the Chinese were keen to invest in the country and that Chinese-Somaliland relationship were strong.
They also said China will assist Somaliland in the education sector and a Somaliland delegation from the ministry of education is expected to travel to Beijing.
This is the largest delegation from China to visit Somaliland since declaring the restoration of it’s sovereignty in 1991 after a military campaign against Somalia’s dictator, Maj. Mohamed Siad Bare.
On Saturday, the Chinese business and press delegation were received by the President of Somaliland, Mr. Dahir Rayale at the presidential Palace. The president warmly welcomed the Chinese investors and promised them Somaliland’s commitment to work with them in area of common interest including investing in coal mining in the Sahil region as well as developing a free zone facility at the port of Berbera.
The president added that Somaliland was a virgin country with known resources and is the ideal place for investment.
Mr. Ji Shiaw Shie said they were pleased with Somaliland’s achievements without recognition and promised to showcase Somaliland’s investment opportunities to Chinese private firms.
Somaliland is the 7th African nation the delegation has visited in less than a month.
Even though Somaliland functions like any state, it is not recognized by any international body.
Trade between Africa and China is worth more than $100-billion and this figure is expected to grow in the next years with more Chinese investing in Africa.
The Chinese are known for their deals that include commitments to build infrastructure, like roads and railways without interfering with local politics and issues and Africa favours this over the Western policies. The Chinese due to arrive is also expected to rehabilitate some of Hargeisa’s most neglected roads and other infrastructure.
Somalilandpress, 6 March 2010