Nov 20, 2012

Japan to provide Myanmar 602 mln USD new loan

Japan has offered to provide Myanmar a new loan of 50 billion yens (about 602 million U.S. dollars) for the development of the country's nationalities in border areas and construction of Thilawa Port and deep seaports, official media reported Tuesday.

The offer was made by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to Myanmar President U Thein Sein in Phnom Penh on the sideline of the 21st Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN).

The loan will also be used in poverty alleviation, communications, Myanmar-host 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and 2014 Myanmar's ASEAN chairmanship, said the New Light of Myanmar.

Moreover, Japan would help train Myanmar officials in Japan, it said.

Noda reaffirmed Japan's support for Myanmar's reform process taken under the leadership of U Thein Sein, it added.

Japan, Myanmar's largest creditor, announced in October that it will clear Myanmar's overdue debt of 500 billion yens (about 6 billion U.S. dollars) next January and it will resume tens of billions of yens in concessional loan to Myanmar which is expected by early next year.

Japan had agreed to write off more than half of the 500 billion yens' debt already owed to it by Myanmar.

Meanwhile, three Japanese firms -- Mitsubishi, Marubeni and Sumitomo have agreed with Myanmar to develop the initial phase of 2,400-hectare Thilawa special economic zone (SEZ) in southern Yangon's Thilawa Port, which will feature factories, workshops and one natural-gas-fired power plant.

The three Japanese firms will obtain 49 percent's share to run the Thilawa SEZ, while Myanmar entrepreneurs in the form of public company, will take 56 percent.

According to figures, Japan injected a total of 221.25 million U.S. dollars as of August 2012 since 1988, standing the 12th in Myanmar's foreign investors line-up.

In the fiscal year 2011-12 which ended in March, trade between Myanmar and Japan nearly doubled, reaching 822.5 million dollars compared with 2010-11's 493.8 million dollars.

Source: Xinhua