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Vol 3 (AAC) No 2

Published 1st December 2009


Hurry up, wait and renegotiate

Gabon's politicians continue to question the delays in the starting-up of the Bélinga iron ore mine and its associated infrastructure works. But financing issues and constant threats of renegotiation have not inspired confidence. As may happen to the China International Fund deal in Guinea (AAC Vol 2 No 11), in Gabon, a change in government has introduced calls for the re-evaluation of Chinese-backed projects. During his first policy pronouncements of a new term in office, new President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba's Prime Minister Paul Biyoghé Mba said that the US$3.5 billion iron ore deal agreed in 2008 might not stand as is. In further bad news, in July, China Export-Import Bank announced that it would not support the Chinese consortium behind the project, due in part to worries about feasibility studies and concerns over public opposition.

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