Myanmar’s debt just shrank by $3.7 billion.
At a joint news conference Saturday (April 21) with Myanmar President Thein Sein, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced Japan will be starting steps to forgive 303.5 billion yen ($3.7 billion) of the South Asian country’s 500 billion yen debt, The New York Times reports.
In addition, Japan will roll over 198.9 billion yen of debt, Bloomberg says.
The announced relief and roll over of debt paves the way for Japan to “resume full-fledged development aid” to support Myanmar’s democratic and economic reforms. Among the projects that could be financed once Japan resumes aid are in the transportation infrastructure sector: ports, bridges and roads.
Noda also announced Saturday 600 billion yen as funding for infrastructure projects in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, Bloomberg reports.
Meanwhile, as expected, EU ministers agreed Monday (April 23) to suspend sanctions against Myanmar for one year. The arms embargo, however, stays in place.
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