‘Gotong royong’: Spirit of Japanese-ASEAN cooperation
This initiative on overseas loans and investments aims to meet the significant demand for infrastructure development in the ASEAN region, while at the same time redressing economic inequality and realizing stable development. The initiative has three targeted fields: (1) quality infrastructure development, (2) improving financial access and supporting women and (3) green investment. Concrete projects under this new initiative will follow soon.
The Japan ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund is a good illustration of the second pillar. The fund provides financing for small businesses, so far to seven countries throughout the region, particularly those operated by women through investments and/or loans to microfinance institutes (MFI).