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China and Japan agree to cooperate on 50 international infrastructure projects

China and Japan will cooperate on 50 infrastructure projects in third countries as part of a wider agreement on 'third-party market cooperation'.05 Nov 2018

The Chinese and Japanese governments held the first forum on China-Japan third-party market cooperation in Beijing on October 26. At the forum, the two countries agreed to create a "new framework" to facilitate cooperation between the two when looking to back infrastructure projects abroad. They backed over 50 infrastructure projects outside the two countries, agreeing to invest more than $18 billion.

The two countries said that third-part market cooperation on infrastructure would be the foundation of their economic cooperation. A cooperation framework will be established between the Japan Bank for International cooperation (JBIC) and China Development Bank to provide joint loans for infrastructure projects in third-party markets.

Many of the deals focused on Thailand, including a project to promote smart city developments in Chonburi province.

Chonburi is a major province for Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) plan, a US$45bn plan to develop the eastern seaboard. The EEC plan is part of Thailand 4.0, a programme to revitalise the original Eastern Seaboard Development Programme that was a powerhouse for industrial production in Thailand for over 30 years.

China's central bank also signed a bilateral currency swap agreement with its counterpart in Japan. The agreement will allow the two sides to swap a total of 200 billion yuan (about $28.78bn) for 3.4 trillion Japanese yen, and vice versa, the People's Bank of China said.

According to Chinese premier Li Keqiang, this would enhance financial cooperation with Japan, and "better support the cooperation between Chinese and Japanese businesses".

Dispute resolution specialist I-Ching Tseng of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Outlaw.com, said, "China and Japan are two of the largest economies in the world. The signing of the agreement on developing infrastructure projects in third countries signal a new era of economic cooperation and warming relationship between the two countries."

"This is not only a particularly welcome news for infrastructure projects in the region and globally, but would also have broader positive impact on global economy." Tseng said.

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