Taiwan Points To Transparency In EC$54 Million Loan To Saint Lucia

Caribbean and World News

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Taiwan has indicated transparency in the EC$54 million loan financing Saint Lucia secured from the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (Eximbank) in 2020. Saint Lucia secured the money to fund the St. Jude Hospital reconstruction project. Amid concerns that the money went to a private account, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) quoted the country’s Foreign Ministry saying that the loan process was transparent and per a contract signed with Saint Lucia. Fire destroyed Saint Lucia’s St. Jude Hospital in 2009. Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesman Jeff Liu explained on Saturday that as a result, the then Saint Lucia government secured a US$20 million loan from the Eximbank. Taiwan’s Overseas Engineering and Construction Corp. (OECC) was entrusted with the reconstruction project. The OECC is a construction company formed by various Taiwanese syndicates to handle infrastructure projects funded by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the country’s diplomatic allies. According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, the Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesman said that based on the contract terms, the money could be remitted to OECC’s account in Taipei after the Saint Lucia government approval for the hospital renovation. The spokesman told the news agency the construction company was willing...