Myanmar’s Ministry of Finance and Revenue announced on January 30 that loans from Japan will be used in the education, health, social and administrative sectors, including a focus on people-oriented development projects.“We will use these new low-interest loans in public development projects,” said a Myanmar official. “Japan has agreed to write off 303.576 billion yen [US $3.26 billion] within one year in support of our democratization and national reconciliation efforts, as well as the economic and social reform process initiated by the Myanmar government.”

In addition, the outstanding debt of 200 billion yen will be restructured as a new debt.

“The payment schedule for new debts will be over 40 years including a 10-year period of grace with the interest rate at of 0.01 percent per annum,” he said.

According to a bilateral agreement signed on January 30, Myanmar repaid and cleared its outstanding debt to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) by taking out a total bridge loan of 198.881 billion yen from Japanese banks—the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd (BTMU), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBO) and Mizuho Corporate Bank (Mizuho).

Myanmar has been receiving development loans from Japan since 1970.

Meanwhile, it was reported in the Japan Times on Monday that the Japan Business Federation, known as “Keidanren”, which lobbies for Japanese business interests, is sending a large-scale mission to Myanmar and Cambodia from Monday through Saturday.

“Keidanren hopes to address problems blocking Japanese companies from doing business in Myanmar, including flaws in its legal system, at a time when business opportunities are expected to grow in the slowly democratizing Southeast Asian country,” said the report.

Link: http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/8852-govt-pledges-japanese-loans-to-be-used-for-development.html