Japan to offer Myanmar ¥100bn in loans

TOKYO – Japan plans to offer ¥100 billion (US$995 million) in loans to Myanmar for infrastructure development, a Japanese government source said on Friday.

It is the first such offer by Tokyo since the longtime opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi took office in March.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to make the announcement during his attendance at a series of regional meetings involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations early next month, the source said. Myanmar is a member of the 10-nation bloc.

Japan is eager to give assistance to Myanmar as a way to counter China’s influence in the fast-growing and resource-rich country.

The yen loans are set to be used for projects such as to repair railways connecting Myanmar’s two largest cities of Yangon and Mandalay, the source said.

Other countries are also vying to strengthen ties with Myanmar’s first democratically elected government in more than 50 years. Chinese President Xi Jinping last week held talks with Suu Kyi during which he touched on Myanmar’s infrastructure development.

Ms Suu Kyi, who holds the offices of foreign minister and state counsellor, chose China for her first overseas visit outside Southeast Asia since the launch of the government in late March.

 

Source: The Bangkok Post

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