‘Historical Loan from Japan’
THE Government of Japan had approved a historical first-ever loan of Two Billion Five Hundred Million Yen (¥2,500,000,000) approximately SBD$191,864,326.71 million for Solomon Islands.
Japan Ambassador to Solomon Islands His Excellency Morimoto Yasuhiro announced during the Exchange of Notes signing ceremony with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele yesterday.
H.E Yasuhiro in his official remarks explained that this is the first loan scheme to be introduced in Solomon Islands.
“It called the ‘COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan’ and it’s a Japanese ODA loan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),” he explained.
He further added that this loan has an interest rate of 0.01 percent per annum, with a repayment period of fifteen years including a four years grace period, a disbursement period of one year, and its general untied loan.
H.E Yasuhiro said this loan is mainly to assist Solomon Islands Government (SIG) in its response to the negative impacts of the global pandemic COVID-19.
Specifically to promote economic stability and to assist SIG in its development efforts in the midst of the crisis
“It is also worth noting that this loan will also be helping the SIG in addressing any financial gaps that the government may encounter in its implementation of the COVID-19 Plan in collaboration with other partners,” he added.
H.E Yasuhiro highlighted that the ‘COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan’ is a new chapter in the cordial bilateral relationship between Japan and Solomon Islands.
“Japan is committed and will continue to work together with the Government of Solomon Islands to ensure that the assistance provided will support the sustainable economic and the social sector to minimise the impact of COVID-19,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade in response said the signing yesterday is yet another momentous occasion that signifies the warm cordial, and deep friendship between Solomon Islands and Japan.
By ANDREW FANASIA