Japan to give $3.2b in loans for 7 dev projects

Staff Correspondent | Published: 20:12, Aug 12,2020 | Updated: 01:38, Aug 13,2020


Dhaka and Tokyo on Wednesday signed a loan agreement worth $3.2 billion under the official development assistance of Japan to implement seven development projects in Bangladesh.

Economic Relations Division secretary Fatima Yasmin and Japan ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki signed the exchange of notes of the 41st ODA of Japan to Bangladesh at the ERD conference room in Dhaka. 

The loan package comprises assistance for seven projects amounting to 338.247 billion Japanese yen (approximately $3.2 billion), the largest-ever loan package since the inception of ODA in 1974, said a press release issued by the Japan embassy.

The repayment period for the loan is 20 years after the grace period of 10 years, it said.

The interest rate for the loan is 0.65 per cent while the interest rate for the part related to payments to consultants is 0.01 per cent a year.

The 41st exchange of notes cover the projects that include Jamuna Railway  Bridge Construction Project (II), Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion Project (II), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (IV), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 5 Northern Route), Chattogram – Cox’s Bazar Highway Improvement Project, Food Value Chain Improvement Project and Urban Development and City Governance Project.

Based on the exchange of notes, JICA Bangladesh Office chief representative Hayakawa Yuho and Farida signed a relevant loan agreement on the occasion.

Japan has been the single largest development partner of Bangladesh since 2012 and total amount of its financial assistance has now reached $22 billion (commitment base).

According to the release, Japan has provided around $13 million so far as the emergency-support to tackle COVID-19 in Bangladesh through international organisations, as well as provided PPE to hospitals through JICA.

Japan and Bangladesh on July 16 also signed the exchange of notes on Japanese Grant aid ‘Economic and Social Development Programme’(around $10 million) for procuring medical equipment, including CT Scanner and X-ray Machine, to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak.

On August 5, both countries signed exchange of notes of the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan worth around $331 million, which is the first budget support from Japan to Bangladesh.

The purpose of the financial assistance is to provide funding for additional financial expenditure by Bangladesh to implement the economic stimulus package, said the press release.

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