YANGON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar parliament has approved 66 billion yen (704.28 million U.S. dollars) loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), official media reported Saturday.
According to U Win Shein, minister of finance and revenue, JICA will grant an aid package including 17 billion yen for infrastructure projects, 20 billion yen for the first step of the development of infrastructure for the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, and 29 billion yen for infrastructures for power supply in Yangon and for upgrading the Kyangin cement plant, reported the New Light of Myanmar.
At present, Myanmar and Japan are jointly developing Thilawa Special Economic Zone with Myanmar holding 51 percent stake and Japan with 49 percent.
Myanmar has recently announced clearing the due debt of 502.457 billion yen (over 5 billion U.S. dollars) owed to Japan since 1970 by settling 198.881 billion yen (nearly 2 billion U.S. dollars) as the new debt while the arrears of 303.576 billion yen (over 3 billion dollars) will be written off by Japan within one year.
As a follow-up, the Japanese government promised to take steps to offer very low interest rate development loan and assistance to Myanmar for people-centered development.
According to official statistics, trade between Myanmar and Japan amounted to 1,006.28 million dollars in the first eight months (April-November) of the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Of the total, Myanmar's export to Japan reached 257.2 million dollars while its import from Japan was valued at 749.08 million dollars.
Since Myanmar opened to foreign investment in late 1988, Japan' s investment in Myanmar amounted to 246.84 million dollars as of November 2012.