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Last Update : Monday, Jan 23, 2017

JapanGov Weekly

JICA [Wednesday, January 18, 2017]

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreements with Vietnam: Support for improving policy and institutional framework to enhance international competitiveness and to respond to climate change

On January 16, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed loan agreements with the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to provide Japanese ODA loans of up to a total of 21 billion yen for assistance for two projects.

Since the 1990s, Vietnam has maintained steady economic growth (see reference 1). By 2010, Vietnam achieved status as a lower middle-income country, which had been a national goal, while drastically reducing its poverty rate.* Tariff barriers were abolished within the ASEAN region in 2015, and while progress is being made toward industrialization goals, Vietnam must make economic structural and governance institutional reforms, including improvements to the financial system, as well as developing infrastructure that improves the investment environment, to provide mid- to long-term macroeconomic stabilization and strengthen international competitiveness. Vietnam must also raise the income of rural residents who make up about 70 percent of the country’s population and have a higher poverty rate than urban regions, improve public sanitation which has worsened with rapid urbanization, and address vulnerabilities to the effects of climate change.

With such circumstances, these ODA loans will support policy and institutional improvements with financial assistance and policy dialogue to both strengthen international competitiveness and address climate change. The features of the two projects are summarized below.

(1) Support for strengthening international competitiveness through policy and institutional reforms
Economic Management and Competitiveness Credit (III) is assistance for supporting the reliable execution of policy and institutional reforms, including stabilizing the financial sector, strengthening fiscal discipline, reforming governance, improving the management of state-owned enterprises, improving public investment and streamlining administrative procedures through financial support and policy dialogue, to strengthen the international competitiveness of Vietnam’s economy, and cofinancing from the World Bank and others is planned.

(2) Support to fight climate change toward overcoming vulnerabilities
The Support Program to Respond to Climate Change (VII) will provide support for mitigating and adapting to climate change and for solving cross-sectoral issues through financial support and policy dialogue in Vietnam, one of the world’s most susceptible countries to the effects of climate change.

JICA’s policy is to dynamically implement projects that address development issues in Vietnam while coordinating JICA’s various types of assistance, which include Japanese ODA loans, technical cooperation and grant aid.

* According to the “Vietnam Living Standards Survey” by the General Statistics Office, the poverty rate in Vietnam dropped from 37.4 percent in 1998 to 8.4 percent in 2014. (Source: “Country Report: 15 years achieving the Viet Nam Millennium Development Goals” by the United Nations Development Programme.)

Reference 1. Growth Performance of Vietnam
Real GDP Growth Rate (%)
Source: Based on the IMF World Economic Outlook Database

Reference 2. Terms and Amounts of Loans
Preferential terms for environmental and climate change considerations apply to project 2.
To ensure fairness and competitiveness in the procurement process, the Government of Vietnam and JICA will consult and specify items for which Vietnam will implement post-project monitoring by a third party agency. The expenses for this monitoring are not included in the Japanese ODA loan.

JICA [Wednesday, January 18, 2017]

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with Morocco: Utilizing Japanese shipbuilding technology in the construction of a research vessel to contribute to sustainable development of the fisheries industry

On January 16, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with L’Institut National de Recherche Halieutique (the National Institute of Fisheries Research) in Rabat to provide a Japanese ODA loan of up to 5.371 billion yen for the Oceanographic and Fishery Research Vessel Construction Project.

Morocco has outstanding fishing grounds on the Atlantic Ocean and the fisheries industry is important to Morocco as a means for acquiring foreign currency and creating employment. The fisheries sector, which exports octopus, squid, and tuna to Japan, accounts for approximately five percent of the total amount of exports from Morocco. Since 2000, however, the marine ecosystem has become unstable due to climate change, marine pollution and other factors, resulting in unstable catch volumes and otherwise affecting the lives of people working in fisheries-related jobs.

Given these circumstances, the Government of Morocco has set resource management as a key policy with the aim of the sustainable development of fisheries industry. Toward that aim, improving the oceanographic and fisheries research capacity is a priority for the Government of Morocco.

The research vessels currently used for fisheries resource research comes from Japanese Grant provided in the past. Despite careful maintenance and management over more than two decades, a new research vessel is now desired.

In order that deep-sea products with high market value can be sustainably developed, the research capacity must be advanced, such as by building a resource assessment system based on the ecosystem, which includes the marine environment and relationships between species.

This project will construct an oceanographic and fishery research vessel capable of carrying out advanced research, thereby strengthening the scientific capability within resource management in Morocco and advancing the sustainable development of the fisheries industry. The loan will be allocated to the procurement of the research vessel, training for vessel navigation, and consulting services (including bidding assistance, overall project management and construction supervision).

The Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP)* will apply to the project in the agreement that was signed, and it is expected that Japanese shipbuilding technologies will be utilized.

Toward developing the fisheries industry in Morocco, JICA has utilized various types of assistance, including technical cooperation, grant aid, private partnerships and volunteer dispatches. JICA will continue to cooperate in order to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth in Morocco.

* STEP is special assistance terms for promoting the visibility of Japanese aid through a transfer of outstanding Japanese technology and expertise to developing nations. The main contract is Japan tied and subcontracting is general untied. Although the main contract allows a joint venture with the borrowing country, a Japanese company must be the leading partner in such an arrangement.

1. Terms and Amounts of Loan
2. Executing Agency
Institut National de Recherche Halieutique (National Institute of Fisheries Research)
Address: 2 Boulevard Sidi Abderrahmane, Ain Diab, (à côté du club équestre Ouled Jmel) 20 180 Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco
Phone: +212-(0)5-2239-7385, fax: +212-(0)5-2239-7388

3. Planned Implementation Schedule
(1) Completion of project:
January 2022 – when the final transfer is complete after the warrantee period is over
(2) Issuing of letters of invitation for consulting services (including construction supervision):
September 2016 (already sent)
(3) Tender announcement of initial procurement package for international competitive bidding on project construction:
Procurement package title: Vessel Construction
Planned release date: October 2017

4. JICA Contact Information
For further information about the procurement schedule, please contact the party listed below.
JICA Morocco Office
Address: No. 9, Impasse Al Melia, Lotissement Falah, Lot 9, Agdal Riad,
10100, Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco
Phone: +212-(0)5-3727-6595/96, fax: +212-(0)5-3777-9592

JICA [Monday, January 16, 2017]

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with the Philippines: Contributing to the creation of employment opportunities and the consolidation of peace by supporting improved access to financing in the agricultural field

On January 12 , the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) in Manila, the capital city of the Republic of the Philippines, for an ODA loan of up to 4.928 billion yen for Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation (HARVEST).

This project will provide the funds required by agricultural enterprises, cooperatives and other such organizations for capital investment and operations in and around the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which is centered in the western part of Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines. By improving access to financing and stimulating economic activities, this project will create employment and promote a higher standard of living, thereby contributing to the consolidation of peace in the region. The loan funds will be provided to agricultural enterprises, cooperatives and other such organizations through the LBP and its financial intermediaries.

The southwest part of Mindanao has been affected by conflict for more than four decades, and due to challenges such as a lack of basic social services and infrastructure, the area has a poverty rate exceeding 50 percent, making it one of the poorest regions in the Philippines. Since the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro was signed by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014, efforts have been made to promote agroindustry utilizing superior agricultural products that are produced in Mindanao in order to create employment opportunities and advance reconstruction and development. Although agricultural and agro-related private enterprises are creating employment through plantation operations in and near the project target area, there is a need to improve access to long-term financing for capital investments in order to encourage investments by not only large enterprises but also by small and medium-sized agricultural related enterprises and cooperatives.

In parallel with this project, JICA will provide human resource training and technical assistance to the LBP (the executing agency for this project), agricultural cooperatives and other related institutions. Through such assistance, JICA aims to further improve access to financing and to strengthen the value chain of agricultural products from production to logistics and sales, and to create synergy from the effects of this project.

To achieve the consolidation of peace in Mindanao, JICA will continue to provide comprehensive assistance for the formulation and execution of human resource training and regional development plans based on the organizations and systems established by the ARMM.