Japan is expected to sign a 20 billion yen ($ 180 million) concessional loan agreement with the Kingdom this month for Phase 2 of the Covid-Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan. 19, the Cambodian Ministry of Economy and Finance announced on November 30.
The decision was revealed during a meeting on November 29 between Economy and Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami and the Chief Representative of the Office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. (Jica) in Cambodia, Haruko Kamei.
The finance minister said that Japan has “always supported” the Kingdom materially, technically and financially in almost all areas, promoting social welfare and development. He cited as an example Tokyo’s recent financial contributions to the health and drinking water sectors.
Pornmoniroth also praised the initiatives to boost investment in Cambodia and deeply thanked the Japanese government and people for their “constant attention” and providing “well-directed” development cooperation in virtually all areas.
He stressed that this reflects Japan’s role as an “important strategic development partner” which contributes to the Cambodian government’s efforts to optimize the development of the Kingdom.
Ministry spokesman Meas Soksensan told The Post on December 2 that the concessional loan would go to state budget reserves.
“We appreciate any help from development partners, and we will ensure that funds are used effectively and aimed at tackling the spread of Covid-19, as well as stimulating the economy,” he said.
Hong Vanak, director of international economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, stressed the importance of targeted lending, given the Kingdom’s nearly two-year struggles with the Covid-19 crisis.
He said Japan has been a major donor to Cambodia for almost 30 years and has given a large number of grants to help build infrastructure and support education and health.
Vanak claimed that using Japanese funding in a transparent and dignified manner would encourage Tokyo to continue providing assistance, which he said would support the Kingdom’s socio-economic growth, especially after the end of Covid.