Japan wants to continue being Vietnam's biggest sponsor next year

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other Ministers at the CG meeting in Hanoi on Monday.

Japan wants to be Vietnam's biggest sponsor again next fiscal year, said a representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at the Consultative Group (CG) meeting on December 10 in Hanoi.

Motonori Tsuno, chief representative for JICA, said Japan wants to boost its investment in Vietnam's infrastructure and human resource development, saying that the country needs to focus on the two fields if it wants its economy to be properly developed by 2020, news website VnExpress reported.

He did not, however, provide specific figures as to how much funding would be provided.

Japan will also give financial aid to small and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam, he said.

Japan gave Vietnam with a total $21 billion in aid between 1992 and 2012, of which 39 percent went to the transport sector and 29 percent went toward electricity.

The country established itself as Vietnam's most significant contributor upon promising the country $1.76 billion in 2011 and $1.41 billion in 2010.

Japan's Ambassador to Vietnam, Yasuaki Tanizaki, said the official development assistance (ODA) that Japan has provided to Vietnam in the financial year 2012 is estimated to be $2.6 billion, 36.8 percent higher than the amount that the sponsor promised at the end of 2011.

Also at the CG meeting, a South Korean representative said the country is planning to grant Vietnam an ODA loan of $1.2 billion from now to 2015.

The European Union recently pledged to give Vietnam roughly $743 million next year, according to VnExpress.

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said after the CG meeting that the total ODA that all sponsors have promised to provide by next year was $6.485 million, down 12.4 percent compared to this year and 18 percent compared to 2011.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Vietnam is no longer a poor country thanks to the financial assistance of foreign sponsors over past two decades.

The average per capita income of Vietnamese people these days are roughly $1,600, 11 times higher that it was 20 years ago, said Dung.

The Vietnamese government recently said it was considering cutting the corporate income taxes as part of its bid to attract more foreign investment for domestic enterprises.

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