Japan edges in on Belt and Road with $643m for Angolan port

(Nikkei Asia Review, Tokyo, 9 January 2019) Trading company Toyota Tsusho and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation are joining forces on a port project in Angola that will be the largest of its kind for Japanese businesses. The plan is to raise 70 billion yen ($643 million) from both public and private lenders in Japan to help the African country fund the endeavor. The move comes as China steps up infrastructure development in Africa amid concerns that it is saddling developing countries with excessive debt.  Toyota plans to use Japanese equipment and materials to construct the port facility through a contract with the Angolan government, which will receive loans from export credit agency JBIC and other entities. To encourage private lenders to participate, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance is to insure the amounts they offer. The Japanese move is being seen as an attempt to challenge China’s dominant position in Angola.