GOVERNMENT LENDS $115 MILLION FROM CHINA EXIM BANK
The Surinamese government reportedly wants to lend $115 million from the Chinese Export and Import Bank for the Telecommunication Company Suriname (Telesur). Gardelito Hew A Kee, chairman of the board at Telesur, told Times of Suriname that the money will be spent on upgrading the company’s broadband internet so that it can offer faster internet services. Hew A Kee underlined that the government will ask for the loan and not the company. He described it as a government to government loan which must be paid back within 20 years. He explained that the minister of Finance would ask for the loan and that Telesur will then lend the money from the Ministry of Finance. He made it clear that the company will not be put up as collateral for this loan. “The investment in broadband is necessary. The company has not made the necessary investments in its telephone network during the past couple of years. As a result of that the network currently has many problems.” Telesur recently signed a partnership agreement with Chinese telecom giant Huawei in order to upgrade and expand its broadband network. It is expected that the company will be able to offer at least 10 MB after the upgrade. Telesur recently took the first step towards executing its National Broadband Plan by signing a joint venture agreement with the Energy Company Suriname (EBS). As part of the joint venture Telesur will use the utility poles of the EBS to install its fiberglass cables. The fiber network will enable the company to provide more broadband to households and companies. Telesur is currently busy with a pilot project at Doekhie Project. After the installation of the new broadband network, the company measured speeds of about 40 MB at the Doekhie Project. The company launched the pilot project two months ago.