Even though Myanmar has an existing debt of $5.7 billion to Japan, the latter’s Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, has promised that the new government will extend fresh loans to the China-dominated country. Aso made this assurance when he met with Myanmar (formerly Burma) President Thein Sein in capital Naypyidaw on Thursday.
According to broadcaster NHK, Aso is an adviser to a private-sector organization that focuses on promoting economic ties between both countries. Aso said that the assistance to Myanmar‘s reform efforts will be jointly shouldered by the government and the private sector. The first step would be to pardon 60 percent of Myanmar’s total current indebtedness to Japan and roll over the remainder of it in the current month. A new loan amounting to some $560 million will then be extended at the end of March in order to help with the thermal power station repairs. This will be the first loan in twenty-six years granted by Japan to Myanmar.
This promise of economic assistance is very timely. Myanmar is currently under democratic reforms and is encouraging foreign companies, including Japan, to put up a business in the Southeast Asian country, where a civilian government is ruling after many years of being under military power.
[via RTT News]