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Low interest loans to be offered by Japan

Low interest loans to be offered by Japan

Projects can receive 40-year, 0.01 percent loans from the Japanese government

CAMBODIA has been given access to special, low-interest loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said Yukihiro Shibuya, from Cambodia's JICA office. The funds would be available at a miniscule 0.01 percent interest rate over 40 years, with a  10-year grace period for seven projects.

He said Japanese official development assistance loans in Cambodia have focused on economic infrastructure, especially to attract foreign direct investment.

The major projects have been the rehabilitation and expansion of the Sihanoukville Port, the development special economic zones and telecoms upgrades.

Japan "has offered low-interest loans for Cambodian development projects since 1999", said Pol Sittha, an investment officer with the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

But opposition lawmaker Son Chhay was sceptical about the mounting foreign debt.  

"I am very worried about the increasing debt. The government has borrowed a lot of money from foreign countries who say that this is just

donated money," he said.

"I want the government to clearly specify that these are loans, not just donations.

"The government has to publicise the loans to the National Assembly," he added. 

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