Japan pledges $30m to Laos

Japan pledges $30m to Laos
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

Japan pledged about 2.45 billion yen (S$30 million) to Laos for bridge construction in a southern province and a human resource development study programme on Tuesday.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida offered the aid in a meeting in Paris with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith during their attendance of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Forum 2014.

The funding will be used to build a new bridge across the Xekong River to improve transport network connectivity amongst Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

A Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative said the meeting was held in the midst of the growing friendship and cooperation ties between Laos and Japan, which has been enhanced and become more fruitful, especially the upgrading of relations to the comprehensive partnership for peace and prosperity in the region.

At the meeting, both sides discussed relations between the two countries such as exchange visits of top leaders, various delegations and the opening of the Japan External Trade Organisation office in Laos.

Japan is a top donor to Laos with Japanese aid disbursed to the government sector amounting to US$130 million (S$162 million) in 2010.

To foster cooperation between the two ministries, several meetings at departmental level were organised recently.

The two countries are also preparing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic ties next year.

At the meeting, Mr Thongloun and his Japanese counterpart also exchanged their views on outstanding issues in the region and in the world where they share common interest.

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