Government accepts Japanese loan of 13.2 billion baht

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Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has signed a loan agreement worth 50 billion yen (13.2 billion baht) with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to bolster the country’s emergency response to Covid -19.

The agreement was signed at the Finance Ministry on Tuesday by Mr. Arkhom and the chief representative of Jica’s Thai office, Morita Takahiro.

According to the agreement, the loan must be repaid within 15 years – plus a grace period of four years – with interest fixed at 0.01%.

The loan is intended to boost Thailand’s public health capacity, help fund Covid-19 treatment and ease economic pressure on citizens.

It was signed after Mr Arkhom exchanged diplomatic notes with Japan’s ambassador to Thailand on Monday.

The loan will strengthen relations between the two countries and support the recovery of the economy, the source said.

Meanwhile, a joint Thai-Japanese committee will be formed to oversee a new defense agreement signed on Monday, according to Arjaree Sriratanaban, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s East Asian affairs department.

The agreement will allow the transfer of defense equipment and technology from Japan to Thailand.

Ms Arjaree said the agreement will provide the framework for equipment and technology transfers as it outlines the procedures and highlights the issues that need to be considered during such transfers.

“Regarding the details of the type of weapons [Japan] is going to be transferred, they will be discussed at a later date,” she said.

“This agreement is a step forward in promoting defense cooperation and investment, as Thailand wants to further develop the sector,” she said.

The deal had been under discussion for more than five years, and Japan had similar agreements with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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