The Solomon Islands has built a 10,000-seater stadium for the upcoming Pacific Games, a regional multi-sport event. The event is expected to bring in revenue through tourism and foster unity and economic relations among Pacific Island countries. The games are also seen as an opportunity to provide training and employment opportunities for local residents.
However, there are concerns about the cost of hosting the event, which amounts to $250 million. While the government insists that existing budgets have not been affected and that 80% of the costs have been met by international donors and bilateral partners, there are worries about the long-term financial implications.
China is the event’s biggest financial supporter, having provided half of the total funding and constructed the stadium and other venues. This comes amid the Solomon Islands’ diplomatic switch from Taiwan to China in 2019, which has raised concerns about the country’s deepening relationship with China and its geopolitical implications.
Despite these concerns, representatives of the government ministries reject the suggestion that big power rivalry is a factor in the games and highlight that financial support for the event has come from diverse sources, including Australia, New Zealand, and other countries.