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Japan provides US$104 million in support to Laos
Publication Date : 17-12-2013
The government of Japan, Laos' most significant aid provider, has given additional financial support to the country to fund four projects worth more than US$104.6 million.
Two projects amounting to more than US$9.4 million will be financed by grant aid and another two totalling to more than US$95 million will be funded by low interest loans.
The governments of the two countries signed the exchange of notes on the support in Tokyo on Sunday, witnessed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his visiting Lao counterpart Thongsing Thammavong.
The signing ceremony took place after the two prime ministers concluded their bilateral talks, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
Prime Minister Thongsing, in response to an invitation from Abe, led a Lao delegation to attend the Asean-Japan Summit and the Mekong-Japan Summit held in Japan on December 13-16. The two grant-funded projects include a detailed design for construction of the Xekong Bridge on National Road 16B in southern Laos, and the project for acceleration of unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance for rural development and poverty eradication.
The other two projects were the Vientiane International Airport Terminal Expansion Project and the ninth poverty reduction support operation.
Support for the four projects was pledged last month when Abe paid an official visit to Laos in response to an invitation from Thongsing.
In addition, both sides signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Vientiane in a move to facilitate the business
operations of Japanese investors in Laos and boost cooperation in trade and investment between Laos and Japan.
At the talks in Tokyo, the two prime ministers touched upon bilateral relations between the two countries, according to the press release.
“Both sides highly valued the friendly relations and cooperation between Laos and Japan, which have been growing fruitfully,” the ministry said.
Such growing relations and cooperation has seen significant achievements in carrying out the commitments of the leaders of the two nations, which have agreed to lift Laos-Japan relations into a ‘comprehensive cooperative partnership'.
The Lao prime minister congratulated Japan for the success of the Asean-Japan Summit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Asean-Japan partnership and the Mekong-Japan Summit to enhance peace and prosperity for mutual benefit.
In addition, the government of Japan announced its intention to waive visa requirements for Lao official passport holders in a move to ease overseas travel by Lao officials to Japan.
The two prime ministers also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.