Japan’s foreign minister announced a US$7 billion initiative Monday to promote development in Southeast Asia’s Mekong region, which encompasses parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand through which the river flows.

In a speech at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Fumio Kishida affirmed the importance of Southeast Asia’s economic prosperity to Japan.

He pledged 750 billion yen (US$7 billion) in funding over the next three years to support development and growth in the region.

The initiative will help promote “connectivity” within Southeast Asian countries and Japan through funding in infrastructure and development of human resources.

The Greater Mekong Subregion
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is a natural economic area bound together by the Mekong River, covering 2.6 million square kilometers and a combined population of around 326 million.

Thailand has become a key manufacturing and export hub for Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda.

“Invigorating the flow of goods and people by connecting the region through roads, bridges and railways is indispensable for promoting economic development,” he said, adding that Japan’s cooperation will go beyond just building infrastructure.

Over the next three years, “we will make use of funds amounting to 750 billion yen toward cooperation with the Mekong region,” Kishida said. Specific details have not been announced but he said Japan would like to work together with the Mekong countries to create a framework to support the various efforts, including regional issues and theme-oriented support, in a detailed manner.

Referring to Thailand’s current political situation and its military government, Kishida said he hoped that the people of Thailand will overcome the current difficult challenges and “play more active role in the region and international community.”

Source: Japan announces US$7 billion plan to develop Mekong region – The China Post

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

Vietnam’s Health Supplement Market: Trends, Opportunities, Market Entry

The growing demand for health supplements has resulted in increased usage of imported products as people tend to trust these brands more than domestic ones. Foreign brands tend to be positioned in the premium segment to attract mid-to-high-end consumers, while local brands generally concentrate on the mass market.

Thai Capital to Get New English Name

This new update, proposed by the Office of the Royal Society, includes the change of the official English title of Thailand’s capital city from Bangkok to Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, with the commonly known title of “Bangkok” kept within parentheses.

Russian Invasion to Shrink Ukraine Economy by 45 Percent

The war is also hitting hard the emerging and developing economies of Europe and Central Asia, a region that was already heading for an economic slowdown this year from the ongoing effects of the pandemic