Madagascan President Marc Ravalomanana has expressed happiness about the completion of a modern international conference center donated by the Chinese government.
At an official hand-over ceremony attended by government officials, representatives of public institutions and diplomatic corps, the president said that the conference center symbolized the strengthened friendship between his country and China.
"I don't know how to express my happiness in the realization of the international conference center which had remained a dream for Madagascans since they won independence in 1960," the president told the gathering.
The conference center, occupying an area of over 4 hectares, was built by China Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (AFEC) Co. in 20 months at a cost of over 14 million U.S. dollars.
Ravalomanana, who stressed on the importance of the center for economic, tourist and social development of the country, said that it was very useful to the Indian Ocean island country to host regional and international conferences like the scheduled African Union summit meeting in July next year.
The center has one big meeting house with some 1,000 seats, several small meeting rooms and two separate buildings for media and for dining.
Madagascan Minister of Land Reform, Fields and Urban Planning Marius Ratolojanahary and Chinese charge d'affaires to Madagascar Lu Huiying signed the hand-over document.
AFEC company has also undertaken the construction of a five-star hotel and 54 presidential villas for the African Union summit.