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Japan to Invest $7bn in Mekong Region Over Next 3 Years

Japan is gearing up to invest US$7 billion into the Mekong region, spreading the funding across parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida made the announcement during a speech at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, reports the Seattle Times. Over the next three years, his country aims to upgrade the region's infrastructure and foster connectivity among Southeast Asian nations and Japan.

Though the minister did not go into specifics regarding which infrastructure projects would see investment or when, Kishida alluded to improving train travel and roadways that connect the delta region.

“Invigorating the flow of goods and people by connecting the region through roads, bridges and railways is indispensable for promoting economic development,” Kishida said, according to the Times.

The foreign minister also stressed the benefit of an improved infrastructure not only in economic terms but in tackling regional issues.

“I am expecting the day when, as a result of these efforts, I can depart from Bangkok eastward in the morning and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at night and enjoy phở for dinner,” said Kishida.

[Photo via ESA]


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