Japan loans for FYROM dam project

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan yesterday offered 9.7 billion yen ($87 million) in low-interest official loans to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) for a dam construction project. Notes on the yen-denominated loans were exchanged in the presence of visiting FYROM President Boris Trajkovski and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, a Foreign Ministry official said. The loans, repayable over 25 years at an annual interest rate of 1.5 percent, will help finance the dam project on the Zletovitza River in northeastern FYROM to provide potable water as well as for agricultural and industrial use. Trajkovski told Kawaguchi he would welcome direct Japanese direct investment in FYROM where, he said, security was improving, the Foreign Ministry official said. Kawaguchi said that FYROM still needed to improve its security situation as well as the transparency of investment rules in order to attract Japanese investment.