By Mike Puia
MINISTRY of Foreign Affairs and Eternal Trade (MFAET) Deputy Secretary, William Soaki, says the country’s diplomatic Mission that will officially opened in London, United Kingdom, next month will be very expensive to run.
Mr Soaki revealed this when staff of the MFAET appeared before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week.
He said the country has missions overseas, and in Europe, but they are as not expensive compared to the London Mission.
Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela will officially open the Mission next month, even though it has already been in use.
Soaki confirmed their Ministry had bid for $5 million under its budget submission for this year but the government only allocated $1 million.
The Ministry so far has $3 million to cater for the London Mission. There is concern the limited budget for the Mission would prevent it from fully discharging its work.
The London Mission is expensive because the country meets all the costs ranging from office cost to rental and entitlements for people who will work in the Mission.
Compared to our other missions, they (missions) got support from international organisations that cater for rental and other costs which reduces their operational costs.
Soaki said the London Mission will be expensive but there is political will to see it opened.
He said the country expects to reap many benefits from the London Mission especially through its bilateral with the United Kingdom.