New National Convention Centre signifies strong ties between Vanuatu, China

The new National Convention Centre in Port Vila marks a historic milestone in Vanuatu’s development as well as its relations with China.

The centre was funded by the Chinese Government at a cost of Vt1.5 billion (US$16.4 million).

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Vanuatu, Mr Liu Quan is elated with the successful completion of the project.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Vanuatu and its people for their great support to the project. It is due to our close cooperation that the project is completed with excellent quality. As you may aware, since the start of construction work of the Project in August, 2013, both Vanuatu and Chinese technical experts worked very hard and overcame lots of unexpected difficulties, especially the huge cyclone "Pam" in March 2015 that caused an enormous damage to the construction work. With that harsh test, the Centre is now regarded as hurricane-resistant “strong house”, which showcase the high standard and quality of Chinese workmanship”.

The Convention Centre is another milestone of the friendly relations between China and Vanuatu.

“As I said earlier, that China and Vanuatu are true friends. We respect each other, support each other and help each other. We hold similar views on many regional and international issues and we support each other in that respect”, said the ambassador.

Mr Liu said as the largest developing country, China would help and share the fruits of their development with other developing countries within their capacity. “That is also part of our international responsibility.”

“Our strategic partnership says very clearly: mutual respect and common development. I am convinced that with our joint effort, our mutual beneficial relations will be further consolidated. The friendship between our two countries and people will be further strengthened day by day”, he added.

The convention centre boasts a main assembly hall accommodating 1,000 persons, a large conference room accommodating 200 persons, a banquet hall accommodating 600 persons, a press box, an exhibition room and several small size conference rooms for press conferences and smaller meetings.

There is also a parking lot and rooms for secretariat, meeting affairs and office, transition, kitchen facilities and other necessities for the smooth functioning of such an establishment.

The multi-purpose Convention Centre is said to cover a total construction area of roughly 6,574 meters-squared spanning over 90% of its site, the Parliament Park.

The contractor of the Vanuatu National Convention Center is Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Ltd.

Since coming to Vanuatu, the company has strictly adhered to laws and regulations of Vanuatu, respect local culture. A large number of Ni-Vanuatu workers were employed and well trained. In the meantime, the company is keen to fulfill its social responsibility, for example, after the Cyclone “Pam” last year, it donated promptly urgently needed construction materials to the disaster communities, school bags and offered whatever help they can to the international aid agencies.

Following from the handover of the project, the Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Ltd will remain in Vanuatu to provide technical support and assistance for this project, in particular to work with the management team of Vanuatu side.

According to PM Salwai, experience shows that there is indeed a definite need for such a facility owned by the government and the people of Vanuatu. He said the positive economic impact of hosting regional and international events and conferences on Vanuatu shores cannot go unmentioned.

The Head of the Government pointed out that one of the benefits of having this kind of facility is to promote Vanuatu, especially, as it will increase its opportunity to bid for and host international conferences paving way for greater socio-economic benefits to the people and business community of this country.

The Vanuatu National Council of Chiefs was also involved by acknowledging the Chinese aided project on behalf of the Vanuatu government by way of presenting traditional raw vegetables and a pig to the Chinese government which was received by the Chinese Ambassador.





Harold Obed