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Japan Initiates African Port Project

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The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Toyota Tsusho will join forces on a project to build and develop a port in Angola, according to Japanese news website Nikkei Asian Review.

The plan is to raise approximately US$643 million from Japanese private and government lenders to help Angola improve its port and supply chain infrastructure.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, all participants, including the Japanese government, will prioritize profitability but will ensure that debts accrued by Angola will remain sustainable.

Toyota Tsusho will take over the development of the port in the south of Angola, and will use Japanese equipment and materials to construct the facility.

At the same time, the Angolan government will receive loans from JBIC and other parties. Details on some parts of the project are believed to be agreed and announced on January 11 2018.

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In pursuing this policy this, Japan hopes to establish a model for infrastructure and market development in emerging economies.  

It will be the biggest infrastructure project of its kind for Japanese businesses. Furthermore, it will also be a direct challenge to China, which has funded numerous infrastructure projects in Africa as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China first moved Angola in 2002 following the conclusion of the country’s civil war and has since played a significant role in rebuilding the economy.

Beijing is now said to account for more than half of Angola’s external debt amid concerns participants in the BRI, the majority of which are emerging economies, will find themselves locked permanently into China’s sphere of economic influence.

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