RANGOON – Union Parliament approved loans of 358 billion kyats (US$270 million) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Wednesday to fund the third Thanlyin Bridge across the Bago River to the Thilawa special economic zone.
Deputy minister of planning and finance U Maung Maung Win said the bridge would play an important role in cross-border trade in the Mekong River region and with Asean countries in coming years.
Construction minister U Win Khaing said the new bridge would ease traffic flow, saving traders time and fuel. The government could gain revenue from road tolls, he added.
Burma’s president also asked for parliament’s approval on Thursday of 94 billion yen (US$829 million) of low-interest JICA loans for nationwide projects.
National League for Democracy lawmaker for Karenni State Daw Wint Wah Htun said as 70 percent of Burma’s population depends on agriculture, JICA loans could help farmers invest in machinery and livestock, creating jobs and ensuring the country’s economic stability.