Japan said Dec. 9 it will put up $10 billion over three years to promote trade with poor countries, calling it a commitment to economic development ahead of global free-trade talks.
Japan promised it would buy more from developing countries and ease duties on their products, even though it is expected to rile some poor countries at next week's talks in Hong Kong with its protectionism in agriculture.
"We would like to promote the development of developing countries through free trade," Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said. He added, "Japan would increase the purchase of goods from less developed countries under a principle of duty-free and quota-free trade." His plan to help poor nations boost the trade sector will be achieved by building capacities in areas such as production and transportation. The aid package is expected to include low-interest loans, grants and technical assistance.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005