Four Japanese loan  projectsto contribute to socioeconomic life of local residents soon


16 February

STATECounsellor Daw Aung  San  Suu  Kyi’s  first visit to Japan ear-ly  November  in  2016  was a historic one for the coun-try during which she met with Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and held discussions about various areas.

Speaking  at  the  meeting,  Japanese PM Abe said he ex-pressed respect for Myanmar’s efforts on nation building un-der  the  leadership  of  State  Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who  shares  the  fundamental  values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law with Japan and explained that Japan  intends  to  give  its  full support at public and private levels to the new government as a friend of Myanmar. He also conveyed his hope to work with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi,  building  upon  this  visit,  to  dramatically  advance  the  relationship  between  Japan  and Myanmar. 

In  response,  State  Coun-sellor  Aung  San  Suu  Kyi  expressed her gratitude for the warm  hospitality  and  while  noting  the  historically  good  ties  between  Japan  and  My-anmar, she also voiced a desire to maintain the ties and move forward  together  with  Japan  as  a  trustful  partner  rooted  in  a  longstanding  friendship.

She thanked Japan for its as-sistance, including in areas of peace and stability, up to now and  the  Japanese  people  for  their warm support.

Prime  Minister  Abe  ex-plained  that  Japan  fully  sup-ports Myanmar’s policy of pro-moting balanced development among  states  and  regions  to  provide an economic buttress to national reconciliation that targets balanced development of rural and urban areas, and that Japan plans to contribute 800 billion yen over five years, starting 2016, at public and pri-vate levels in areas including assistance to areas with ethnic minority peoples, agriculture, Yangon  urban  development,  electric  power,  airports,  and  human resource training, and to  support  renovations  to  hy-dropower facilities and expansion  of  regional  hospitals  as  part of these activities. 

On  21  January  2020,  Mr  MARUYAMA  Ichiro,  Ambas-sador of Japan to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and U Maung Maung Win, Deputy Minister for Planning, Finance and  Industry  signed  the  Ex-change  of  Notes  with  regard  to  the  four  projects,  which  will be implemented with the loan from Japan worth about 120,915 million Yen (approx. 1.1 billion USD), in Nay Pyi Taw.

The following projects are part of the implementation of the commitment of 800 billion Yen private-public assistance, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe  stated  during  the  meet-ing with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in November in 2016, within five years.

Yangon  sewerage  system  development project 

Loans  of  45,900  million  Yen  will  be  provided  to  Yan-gon  sewerage  system  devel-opment  project  for  extensive  renovation work as to the plans to  expand  waste  water  treat-ment,  construct  sewer  pipes  and  improve  the  living  envi-ronment  of  local  residents  in  the  commercial  city  of  Yan-gon where a 10 % of the total population  of  the  country  is  residing.  Currently,  most  of  human waste, domestic waste water  and  wastewater  from  commercial entities flow into the river with untreated sew-age,  causing  deterioration  to  water quality. By implementing this loan project, the capacity to treat the wastewater will be increased up to about 7 times by 2030 (two years after project completion),  and  the  amount  of wastewater treatment is ex-pected  to  be  about  130  times  of  the  current  amount.  It  is  expected that the project will support  the  improvement  of  the living environment of the local residents.

Urban  development  pro-ject for reduction of traffic congestion  and  damages  affected  by  the  flood  in  Yangon

Loans of 24,085 million Yen will be provided to urban devel-opment project for the reduc-tion  of  traffic  congestion  and  the  damages  affected  by  the  flood in Yangon with the inten-tion of improving drainage and take measures against traffic congestion  at  level  crossings  on main roads and Yangon cir-cular railway road in Yangon, the  largest  city  of  Myanmar  with  high  economic  growth.  In  the  Yangon  metropolitan  area,  there  has  been  a  five-fold increase in the number of registered motor vehicles as a result of high economic growth and the traffic congestion has been serious for a long time. In addition,  due  to  the  poor  and  capacity  of  existing  drainage  channels, floods occur during the rainy season, and it causes the deterioration in the traffic environment of the region and threatens the safety of citizens’ lives. With this loan mentioned above,  about  one  third  of  the  main drainage channels of the region  will  be  improved  and  the measures for reducing traf-fic  congestion  and  ensuring  traffic safety on the main roads and  Yangon  circular  railway  road will be taken. Therefore, it is expected that the project will contribute to the econom-ic  and  social  development  of  Yangon City.

Power   distribution   im-provement project in Yan-gon and Mandalay

Loans  of  12,288  million  Yen will be provided to power distribution improvement pro-ject in Yangon and Mandalay, the  major  commercial  cities  in Myanmar. It is aimed at re-pairing  and  expanding  elec-tricity distribution facilities in order to improve power supply in  the  major  cities.  In  Myan-mar,  there  has  been  a  rapid  increase in power demand due to  recent  developments  and  investments. In 2017, the maxi-mum power demand was about 3,075 MW nationwide. In 2020, power demand is expected to increase  up  to  4,531  MW  and  the government of Myanmar is planning to boost the amount of  power  supply.    However,  measures to renovate and im-prove power distribution facil-ities have been delayed. But it is expected that there will be more power distribution facil-ities exceeding their capacity during 2020. Therefore, there is an urgent need to renovate and  expand  the  power  distri-bution facilities. Spending the loan  mentioned  above  on  the  project,  the  distribution  loss  rate will be decreased only by 1  %  in  each  city  and  reduce  power outages caused by the insufficient capacity of the dis-tribution facilities. Eventually, it is expected that the project will contribute to the economic development of Myanmar and the improvement of socio-eco-nomic life of the citizens espe-cially in Yangon and Mandalay.

Regional  infrastructure  improvement  project  in  Chin,  Rakhine,  Mon  and  Kayin  States  and  Tanin-thayi Region

Loans of 38,642 million Yen will be provided to regional in-frastructure improvement pro-ject in Chin, Rakhine, Mon and Kayin  States  and  Taninthayi  Region with the aim of improve the  lives  of  local  residents  through  new  construction,  renovation  and  installation  of  infrastructures  necessary  for life such as roads, bridges, electric power and water sup-ply in rural areas of Myanmar. The poverty rate in the country is  the  highest  in  Chin  State  (73.8%  poverty  rate)  and  Ra-khine  State  (43.5%  rate),  and  the  electrification  and  water  supply rates are very low. The development  of  infrastruc-tures has been a challenge for the economic development in the  States  and  Regions  with  higher poverty rates. In addi-tion, the development of those regions  is  emphasized  in  the  “Ayeyawady, Chao Phraya and Mekong  Economic  Coopera-tion Strategy” (ACMECS). It is of importance to promote the stable economic development in the rural areas through pro-gress of infrastructures in Mon and  Kayin  States  and  Tanin-thayi Region situated along the East-West Economic Corridor and the South Economic Cor-ridors and it is expected to be improved  in  the  future.  With  the  loan  mentioned  above,  70  sub-projects  including  35  for  roads  and  bridges,  25  for  electricity  and  10  for  water  supply  will  be  implemented  to improve socio-economic life of  local  residents  from  those  regions, thereby contributing to  the  stable  socio-economic  development in rural areas.

References: Press Release of Japanese Embassy to Myanmar  and  joint-statement  of  Ministry  of  Foreign  Affairs  of Japan