More ODA expected from Japan
(The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - With an expected yield of over $3 billion worth of funding aid in President Duterte’s China trip this week, the government is also in the running to receive additional financial support from Japan, the Philippines largest assistance provider, next week.

Japan is set to unleash more official development assistance (ODA) to the Philippines during Duterte’s Oct. 25 to 27 meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a state call on Japanese Emperor Akihito, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

“It will be a trade and investment mission where there will also be business to business meetings,” he said.

Lopez said the business delegation from the Philippines for the Japan trip would not be as big as that going to China this week, but noted that the country is expected to receive a lot of project and program loans or ODA nonetheless.

He said the nature of the ODA to be received by the country may include that for small and medium enterprise development, environment programs, and poverty alleviation development.

The trade chief, however, declined to give an estimate as to the worth of ODA this time around.

 “We are finalizing the memorandum of understandings which are ODA-related. But definitely there will be additional ODAs. We in the DTI for our part will be asking for some for the trade and industry development,” Lopez said.

By country, Japan was the country’s largest source of ODA in 2014, amounting to $3.33 billion, accounting for 23.2 percent of total, government data showed.

“Japan is a generous country. In terms of trade, they’re the biggest trading partner. We export more to Japan than we import so trade balance is positive. They give more ODA so Japan is really a helpful country,” Lopez said.

Before going to Japan next week, Lopez is also set to join the President in his trips to Brunei and China this week.

For the China trip, Lopez said Manila would seek to improve trade relations with China which have been strained by the maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea.

He earlier said agreements on funding commitments worth at least $3 billion from Chinese banking institutions and private companies are expected to be signed during this week’s China visit.

 

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