VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): The Japanese government has agreed to provide grant aid of 313 million yen (about US$3 million) to support human resource development in Laos.
The funds will be disbursed under the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship, which offers scholarships for government officials from central and local levels to study for master’s and doctorate degrees at Japanese universities.
The project will enable young Lao government officials to broaden their knowledge and skills in response to Laos’ development needs.
A signing ceremony for the exchange of notes for the project took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday (July 15).
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongphan Savanphet represented Laos in signing and exchanging the notes with the Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Takewaka Keizo. The event was attended by officials from both sides.
From 2000-2020, the Japanese government provided 464 scholarships for Lao government officials to study in Japan (454 for master’s degrees and 10 for doctorate degrees), mainly in the fields of education, health, agriculture and forestry, and infrastructure.
During the signing ceremony, Thongphan thanked Japan for its assistance to Laos over past years.
Japan is a top aid donor to Laos and plays an important part in the international aid provided to Laos.
In 2017, Japan was the sixth largest foreign direct investor in Laos. As of 2020, some 165 Japanese companies had invested in various areas including agriculture, manufacturing and construction.
In addition, Japan has helped Laos to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as recover from economic difficulties.
The relationship between Laos and Japan has developed significantly since the two countries elevated their ties to a strategic partnership in 2015.
Laos regards Japan as a key partner based on the long history of friendship and strategic cooperation between the two countries.
Although the pandemic has affected the rollout of some cooperation projects and action plans agreed to by the governments of Laos and Japan, Japan has continued to consider project proposals made by Laos, according to the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Thongphan expressed heartfelt condolences to Japan over the deadly landslide triggered by heavy rains in the central city of Atami in Shizuoka on July 3.
Takewaka said he believed the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship would make a significant contribution to boosting socio-economic development in Laos and strengthening cooperative relations and friendship between Laos and Japan. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network