Japan to Promote Private Sector-Funded Official Development Assistance; Foreign Ministry to Establish Expert Panel

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Foreign Ministry

The Foreign Ministry has decided to establish an expert panel to study specific measures to promote private capital-based Official Development Assistance. This kind of ODA will support developing countries through public-private sector partnerships.

The panel will consist of about 10 members including experts in international development cooperation and finance. The first meeting will be held as soon as early March, and the panel is expected to compile recommendations in the summer.

The idea of mobilizing private sector funds for ODA was first proposed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida when he announced his new plan for a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” in March last year in India. The plan envisions support for startups in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and other regions, by utilizing private sector funds and technology. By working with the private sector, the plan is intended to make it easier to raise funds and to provide a foothold for Japanese companies to advance into developing countries.

The ODA budget peaked at ¥1.169 trillion in fiscal 1997 and has been on a downward trend, standing at ¥570.9 billion in fiscal 2023.