Thai Ministry of Communications, a Thai and Japanese railway cooperation project officials told the "financial" reporter
Japan's investment in infrastructure in Asia is accelerating. A recent advance is that Japan and Thailand have reached a consensus on building a high-speed rail link between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and Japan will provide concessional loans and Shinkansen technology to Thailand. Japan has a more ambitious plan to invest $ 110 billion in infrastructure for the next five years. This figure just over the China initiative to set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (hereinafter referred to as ADB) 100 billion US dollars of capital. Competition for Southeast Asia In May this year, Japan's Minister of Land and Resources Ota Akira and Thai Minister of Transport Pajin signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between Japan and Thailand. Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Japan's international cooperation agency will work with Thailand to develop and upgrade the railway system in Thailand. The Memorandum of Understanding includes a feasibility study and a profitable survey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai High Speed Rail, based on the introduction of the Japanese Shinkansen technology. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, East Japan Railway, Mitsui, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have expressed interest in this high-speed rail project. According to the plan, connecting the capital of Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai railway will use Japan's Shinkansen system, more than 200 km per hour. It will change Thailand's current narrow gauge, using a standard gauge of 1.435 meters. The railway is about 670 kilometers long and is scheduled to start in mid-2016 and will be operational in 2019. Thai Ministry of Communications, a Thai and Japanese railway cooperation project officials told the "Financial" reporter, the Japanese side as early as 2012 to Thailand to submit a feasibility study, but later because of the regime change in Thailand, the project was shelved. Last year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked about Thailand's infrastructure, especially the railway construction plan, in two meetings with Thai Prime Minister Yumiko. Abe said Japanese companies are interested in Thailand's rail projects and Japan is willing to send high-speed rail technical experts to share their experiences in Thailand. In February this year, during his visit to Japan, I was invited to take the Japanese Shinkansen and express my intention to introduce Japan's high-speed rail system. According to "Finance" reporter learned that Thailand has submitted to the Japanese feasibility study report, the Japanese side is being reviewed. Thai Minister of Transport Pazhou previously revealed that high-speed rail from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is expected to cost 400 billion baht (about 11.84 billion US dollars), Thailand will be able to use Japan to provide low-interest loans. The Thai Ministry of Transportation officials said the current financing of the railway is still under discussion. According to Thai media reports, the Thai side hope that interest rates will not exceed 1.5%. Japan's goal is not limited to this. The Japanese government set a goal of raising Japan's overseas infrastructure orders to 30 trillion yen in 2020. The current figure has increased from 10 trillion yen in 2010 to 16 trillion yen in 2013. In addition to Thailand's high-speed rail, Japan also plans to connect with Singapore and Singapore's capital, Kuala Lumpur, the new horse high-speed rail. The proposed new horse high-speed rail 350 km long, running time is about one and a half hours. Singapore and Malaysia had hoped that the railway could be built in 2020, but the two countries had agreed to postpone the completion time to 2022, taking into account the size and complexity of the project. Although the bid date has not yet been determined, but Chinese and Japanese companies have expressed their bid intentions. Last year in October, the Japanese government has invested 58.5 billion yen and 50 Japanese companies to set up overseas transport and urban development aid agencies to promote the export of infrastructure projects such as railways on the basis of a relatively well-developed overseas development finance system The The infrastructure export support agency will help Japanese companies expand their overseas markets and focus on investment in infrastructure projects in Asia. It is after the establishment of the first target project is this new horse high-speed rail. In another Southeast Asian country, Indonesia, the Japan International Cooperation Agency conducted a feasibility study on the construction of high-speed railways for more than five years. In March this year, Indonesian President Sako took the Tokaido Shinkansen during his visit to Japan and said he would decide whether to build high-speed rails during the year. China's competition with Japan also exists in Indonesia. During his visit to China in March, the China Development and Reform Commission and the Indonesian state-owned enterprises signed the "Framework for the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway Project". According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the high-speed rail project from Jakarta to Bandung will cost $ 6.1 billion, and the time from Jakarta to Bandung will be reduced from the current three hours to less than 40 minutes. Miyazaki, deputy director of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, said to the Financial News reporter that in the high-speed rail technology, Japan stressed that the construction and operation of the life cycle and services after the comprehensive cost-effective. Detailed $ 110 billion program According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates, Asia from 2010 to 2020 infrastructure needs of $ 8 trillion. At present, ADB's annual investment in infrastructure in Asia is about $ 13 billion, far from meeting the funding needs. Japan has not expressed its intention to join ADB, and in the face of the huge demand for infrastructure in Asia, Japan has proposed a new program. In May, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a plan called "High-quality Infrastructure Partnership: Investing in Asia's Future", which will provide $ 110 billion in investment in infrastructure infrastructure in Asia over the next five years, Five years increased by 30%. This figure is quite profound, just beyond the capital of ADB billion 100 billion US dollars, Abe's plan has also been widely interpreted as to counter the Chinese initiative to set up the Asian investment bank. Officials at the Japanese Prime Minister's official, who declined to be named, denied the claim and said it was "promoting investment in high-quality infrastructure in Asia." "Japan's $ 110 billion is the total amount of investment and financing for infrastructure projects in Asia, one for capital and one for total investment, and the two figures are completely different," the official told Finance. David Arase, a professor of advanced international issues at the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, who has long studied Japan, told Finance News: "Considering that Japan has announced this incremental approach, you can say that there is right But no one will lose in such a competition, the Asian region will benefit from more public infrastructure, no matter who provided the financing. "Through the full use of Japan's economic cooperation tools, Japan plans to Japan's International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan's International Bank of China (JBIC) and ADB to achieve $ 110 billion in investment. Among them, ADB's loan quota will be expanded to 53 billion US dollars, international cooperation and international cooperation banks were 33.5 billion US dollars and 20 billion US dollars. The Japanese officials said the plan was jointly developed by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. It includes four pillars: expanding aid through the full mobilization of Japan's economic cooperation instruments; cooperation between Japan and ADB; doubling of funding for relatively high-risk projects; and promoting high-quality infrastructure investment as an international standard. In the $ 110 billion program, Japan plans to increase its official development assistance (ODA) loan by 25% for Asia's infrastructure. Japan International Cooperation Agency is Japan's main implementation of ODA implementation of the main, bear ODA loans, free assistance and technical cooperation projects. According to the OECD Development Assistance Committee, the level of ODA is above 25%. Miyazaki told the "financial" reporter, the data show that although in recent years has been diversified, but from the long-term trend, the Japanese ODA aid in the proportion of Asian countries is still very high. Fixed loan rates ranged from 0.01% to 1.7%, depending on repayment time and country development. Of the ODA loans provided by Japan, only a few are bound to Japanese products, which are called special terms of economic partnership (STEP) and a preferential interest rate of 0.1%. Development economics believes that the benefits of providing aid can be divided into political and economic levels. At the economic level, the successful bidder is a direct economic benefit. The indirect economic benefits are reflected in the improvement of the local infrastructure through the construction of ports, roads and bridges, so as to create favorable conditions for the local investment. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Japan Research Institute of Japan Economic Research Director Xu Mei told the "Financial" reporter said that Japan's ODA in the past because of the more harsh conditions attached to the often criticized, and now Japan is more focused on long-term strategic cooperation, external Aid is increasingly focused on improving the local investment environment, technical assistance, training personnel and so on. With the changes in the environment at home and abroad and the intensification of international competition, the contents and forms of foreign aid in Japan are constantly adjusting. ODA is one of the important means of economic diplomacy in Japan. "From the past experience, the Japanese ODA first place, often its trade and investment will increase." Xu Mei said. (YOF), its business includes export credit, import credit, capital contribution, guarantee for Japanese companies in overseas infrastructure construction and overseas (1) Mergers and acquisitions and other activities to provide loans. In terms of ADB, Japan will increase ADB's financing capacity by 50% through the integration of ADB's Common Funds (OCR) and Asian Development Fund (ADF), and consider further capital increase in the future. Abe repeatedly referred to the term quality in announcing the $ 110 billion plan, arguing that the Asian infrastructure needed "quality and demand". He enumerated an example of Japan's construction of hydropower stations in Myanmar 60 years ago, recalling how Japanese technical staff built the Baluqiao hydropower station in the jungle of pythons, elephants and tigers, and added and repaired several times A hydropower station has been used to provide nearly two percent of the electricity needed in Myanmar. The Japanese side said that high-quality infrastructure in the construction may be expensive, but because of its easy to use and durable, environmentally friendly and have the ability to resist, in the long run is cost-effective. The success of the government's high-quality infrastructure investment projects also includes the use of Japanese technology to reduce electricity consumption of the Indian Delhi Metro, the Mongolian Ulan Bator railway viaduct and the construction of high toughness on the soft foundation of the Vietnamese Friendship Bridge. Not just $ 110 billion but $ 110 billion just started. The Japanese officials said the Japanese side expects to use the infrastructure partner program, the Japanese government and the Asian Development Bank's public funds to become a catalyst to make more private capital into Asia's high-quality infrastructure projects. "We believe that this will also help Japanese companies to expand business opportunities." Xu Mei said that taking into account the infrastructure project cycle is longer, relatively low return on investment, how much private capital to enter remains to be seen. The Japanese side believes that only by public finance can be achieved by the limited, by attracting private funds to join can make a breakthrough. Abe's announcement of the program underscores the role of the private sector by achieving the quality and quantity of infrastructure in Asia by mobilizing private sector financial resources and expertise. He said the Japanese government will also cooperate with the people to expand the ongoing infrastructure construction of Asian countries support, plans in the next five years to provide more than 4 trillion yen in aid. Private sector participation will be achieved mainly through public-private partnerships (PPP), including the establishment of a new cooperation mechanism between international agencies and ADB to promote public-private infrastructure investment; by providing ODA loans to support developing countries Provide funding, viable gap subsidies and guarantees for PPP projects. The idea behind the public-private partnership model is to use government funds to motivate private capital and private enterprises to provide public goods and services. "Japan has done a lot of this attempt, but PPP has greater potential." Ai Dawei told the "financial" reporter said. He further explained that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation was merged by the Japan Export-Import Bank and the overseas economic cooperation fund that had implemented ODA loans at that time. Japan's Export-Import Bank helps Japanese companies invest in overseas projects by issuing trade and investment-related loans and insurance. In the development project, Japan's Export-Import Bank and overseas economic cooperation fund can be equity investment. Japan also uses ODA funds to work with investment banks to create policy-driven equity investment funds. These initiatives can be used to further promote private investment into infrastructure development in Asia. Japan also plans to establish a new mechanism to finance relatively high-risk projects through ISBs. The practice of actively taking short-term profit risk by the International Bank for Cooperation will change the tradition of seeking assurances to the local government. In the case of infrastructure funds, local governments are often required to pay for short-term risks. "The Japanese government will change this habit," Abe said. In the Indonesian high-speed rail project, Japan's state-owned enterprise minister, Samarno, also mentioned the issue when it talked about cooperation with China at the same time. "Japan always asks for security," she said. One of the main reasons why China's program is more attractive is that Chinese companies will not ask the Indonesian government to provide guarantees as long as they are working with state-owned enterprises.