The government signed a deal on Thursday for a grant worth US$800,000 as assistance for disaster reduction equipment and improving fishery equipment and machinery.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Japanese Ambassador Yoshimasa Tezuka and Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takashi Uto inked the deal.
Browne said many of the fisheries facilities provided by Japan will be upgraded with the funds.
“Many of them have ice facilities that are not working and after receipt of this grant, we’ll be in a position to provide new ice facilities in which we can provide ice at a subsidised rate to our fishermen,” Browne said.
The prime minister told the Japanese delegation the country will continue to support Japan in the international arena.
“We continue to support you in the international forum, even on the controversial issue of whaling and we do so knowing that you have been a good development partner to the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda. You can be assured of our continued support as we continue to collaborate on many international issues, including the issue of reform of the United Nations,” Browne said.
Uto meanwhile, speaking through a translator, said Japan is willing to provide assistance to Antigua & Barbuda despite its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita ranking that restricts the country from receiving financial assistance from several countries.
“The Japanese government has said that the policy, which is also inscribed in the new development cooperation charter that Japan will provide assistance considering the vulnerabilities particular to small island countries and we will provide assistance regardless of the GDP per capita level,” Uto said.