The signing of an exchange note on the provision of grant aid from Japan valued at 500 million yen for economic and social development in Laos was concluded yesterday in Vientiane.
The note was signed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms Khampao Eunthavanh and Japanese Ambassador to Laos Takeshi Hikihara.
The signing followed on from prior communication between the heads of the Lao and Japanese governments, Prime Minister ThonglounSisoulith and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the high-level bilateral meeting held in Vientiane earlier last month on the occasion of the official visit of the Japanese prime minister to Laos, responding quickly to a request from his Lao counterpart that was made in May on occasion of his working visit to Japan.
Laos has drawn up the next five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan for implementing the national strategy on socio-economic development, which aims to facilitate eligibility for graduation from least developed country (LDC) status by 2020 through a variety of measures consolidating regional and international integration.
This non-project grant aid aims at promoting efforts by the Lao government for economic and social development. The grant aid will be used for the purchase of necessary commodities in the Lao territories.
“Through this grant aid, it is anticipated that the assistance from the government of Japan will support the Lao government in achieving the goals,” it was stated in a press release from the Japanese Embassy in Laos.
Japan has been engaged with economic and social development in Laos for many years. Furthermore, this year will be a historic year for Japan’s Official Development Assistance to Laos because both the Lao and Japanese prime ministers have agreed to pilot a cooperative development plan.
The joint development plan, which will be carried out alongside Laos’ eighth five-year national socio-economic development plan, focuses on the development of land and air routes, development of power generation, development of human resources for industry, irrigation for agriculture, as well as public infrastructure.
The cooperation plan aims to develop the land and air routes as a transportation network that meets Asean and international standards and is resistant to natural disasters.
Japanese assistance also aims to facilitate efforts by the Lao government in taking further steps towards industrialisation and modernisation to enhance people’s living standards and increasing national property in order to achieve Laos’ aim of becoming an upper middle-income ranking country by 2030.
Deputy Minister Khamphao thanked the Japanese government for the continued non-project assistance, saying Japan provided 500 million yen or around 40 billion kip to Laos last year for rebalancing the state budget this year.
“The assistance has contributed to socio-economic development in Laos, especially to gradual poverty reduction, and graduation from LDC status.
Source: Vientiane Times