JBIC, FEDF and FEIEA’s joint Platform considering the first applications from Japanese investors

A presentation of the Russia-Japan Investment Platform to support the projects implemented under the auspices of the Free Port of Vladivostok (FPV) and Advanced Special Economic Zones (ASEZ) was held in Vladivostok. The list of participants included representatives of Japanese business (Mitsui & CO, Pegas-HC, Marubeni Corporation, Hokkaido Bank, Sumitomo Corporation, MOL Ship Management, Interactive Corporation, etc.), Consulate-General of Japan in Vladivostok, authorities of Vladivostok and Primorye Territory, and state development institutions.

The Platform has been established by the Far East Development Fund (FEDF) in partnership with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Far East Investment and Export Agency. According to Aleksey Khachay, General Director of the Investment Platform, the creation of a joint venture is on the one hand due to Japan’s determination to intensify economic partnership with Russia in the context of cooperation proposed by Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and to the Russian government’s focus on the development of the Russian Far East, on the other hand. Russian President Vladimir Putin characterised the development of the region as Russia’s national priority for the entire 21st century. The government is implementing unprecedented measures in order to develop the region and create a comfortable living and business environment. “All this ensures the prerequisites for intensifying cooperation between Russia and Japan that has excellent prospects,” said the Director of the Russia-Japan Investment Platform.

The Platform will facilitate vigorous networking and information sharing, ensure an enhanced quality of such information, provide a link between Japanese capital and Russian investment opportunities, and serve as a channel and catalyst of economic interaction between Russia and Japan. The core responsibilities of the joint venture are as follows: managing potential investors from Japan, preparing investment proposals with due regard to the opportunities provided by ASEZ and FPV, interfacing with Russian project operators and supervision authorities, coordinating activities with local government authorities, and monitoring the progress of investment projects.

Kiyomi Miyagawa, Deputy Consul-General of Japan in Vladivostok, is sure that partnership with the Platform will help the projects in the Russian Far East raise Japanese investments. According to Yamada Masaaki, Managing Executive Officer, Oil & Gas Department, JBIC, the first applications have already been submitted by investors interested in the implementation of woodworking, fish-processing, and construction projects. As clarified by Pyotr Shelakhaev, Deputy General Director of the Far East Development Fund, a total of eight projects are currently under elaboration.

According to Vitaly Verkienko, Mayor of Vladivostok, the creation of the Platform to promote Japanese investments is a timely measure. “We are welcoming the creation of the Platform and are eager to implement high-performance business projects in partnership with our close neighbours and friends both in the city and in Primorye Territory. It is symbolic that the Platform was created in 2018 that was declared the year of Russia in Japan and the year of Japan in Russia.”

According to Aleksey Starichkov, Director of the International Cooperation Department, Primorye Territory Government, the Territory is already implementing a number of projects involving Japanese partners in various sectors. Specifically, a rehabilitation centre created in partnership with Japan’s Hokuto hospital (Hokkaido) and JGC Corporation investment company will be opened in a few days. Sumitomo Corporation erected state-of-the-art woodworking facilities in the Territory. Iida Group Corporation is equally interested in the investment projects in the Russian Far East. He is sure that the experience of a major international partner (JBIC) combined with support of the Platform on the part of Russian state development institutions will ensure a successful expansion of Russia-Japan’s economic cooperation in the Russian Far East.