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Japan inks deal to provide $43 million in aid for projects

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Mr Horinouchi and Mr Sokhonn shake hands after inking an agreement. KT/Khem Sovannara

Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn and Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Hidehisa Horinouchi yesterday signed the Exchange of Notes on extending support for two development projects in the Kingdom.

The signing ceremony for the Japanese funding of more than $43 million was held at the Ministry and attended by senior officials from various ministries, including Water Resources, Transportation, Economy and Finance, and Japanese embassy officials.

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Japanese government is providing a loan of up to $31.56 million for the implementation of the West Tonle Sap Irrigation and Drainage Rehabilitation and Improvement Project 2.

It said Japan is also giving $11.8 million in grant aid for the implementation of the Project of Development of Port Electric Data Interchange System for Port Modernisations.

The loan and grant aid package has been extended by the Japanese government to further promote the economic and social development in Cambodia.

Speaking during the ceremony Mr Sokhonn said the grant aid and loan package would go towards the continuing implementation of the government’s “Rectangular Strategy-Phase IV” policy.

He said the strategy focuses on “Improving the logistics system and enhancing transport, energy and digital connectivity” and “Promotion of agricultural and rural development”.

“It is a driving force to push Cambodia to achieve its development vision of becoming a higher-middle-income country by 2030” Mr Sokhonn said.

He added that from April until next month, Japan will have granted a total of $134 million to the Kingdom with $19 million coming through grant aid and US$114 million through concessional loans.

During a visit by Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono to Phnom Penh in April, Japan signed agreements to provide Cambodia with grants and loans totaling over $90 million to improve infrastructure, socio-economic development and good governance.

Japan also lent $85,985,280 for the Phnom Penh City Transmission and Distribution System Expansion Project, and a grant of $4,665,000 for the implementation of other economic and social development programmes in the Kingdom.

“Japan is one of the largest donor countries which have assisted priority development projects of Cambodia since the 1990s, especially in improving the logistics system, health, education, human development, agriculture and promoting people’s living standards,” Mr Sokhonn said.

Last week, Cambodia and Japan marked the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations, marking the long and good relations between both countries, he added.

In his speech, Mr Horinouchi expressed his optimism that the support from the Japanese government would assist in Cambodia’s development.

“With the additional concessional loan of about US$33.6 million, we will modernise and expand irrigation systems as well as guide farmers on agricultural management in six regions in three provinces located in the west of Tonle Sap river,” he said. “I expect that the two projects signed today will contribute to further development of Cambodian economy.”

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