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Money to money
In Tokyo, the VI Russian-Japanese Investment Forum
The forum was organized by the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan with the support of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the all-Russian public organization "Business Russia".
The forum was intended to demonstrate tangible successes and even actually "breakthroughs" in the sphere of cooperation between Russia and Japan, the growth of trade and mutual investments, and most importantly - the presence of serious prospects in this regard for the future. The growth of trade in recent years is indeed expressed in impressive numbers: in 2007 it amounted to $ 21 billion, in 2013 - already $ 34 billion, Japan now occupies the seventh place among the trade partners of the Russian Federation, ahead of the USA, Italy and Turkey. In January-September 2013, the accumulated Japanese investment in the Russian economy amounted to $ 10,5 billion, the accumulated foreign direct investment - $ 682,8 million. At the same time, from 2005 to 2012, Russia attracted several times more direct foreign investment than its partner: in 2012, the inflow of capital investments into the Russian Federation from abroad amounted to $ 50,6 billion, and to Japan - only $ 2,5 billion. ...
The number of participants in the forum was much larger than last year: the organizers even had to immediately change the place of the location of the event, in order to give the opportunity to attend it to all comers. During roundtables, Russian and Japanese representatives of the state establishment and business circles discussed a wide range of issues: energy saving, town planning, new projects in the automotive industry and in the sphere of technical innovations, medicine, transport and infrastructure, etc.
The official Russian delegation at the forum was represented by more than 200 people, including representatives of leading ministries, regions of Russia, major companies and enterprises, including Rosneft and Transneft. The Japanese side was attended by the heads of economic ministries, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), the largest corporations, including Toshiba, Mitsubishi Motors, Mitsui, the Bank for International Economic Cooperation, and others.
Political issues related to the signing of an agreement between Russia and Crimea added a certain amount of nervousness to the course of the investment forum. However, the economic sanctions, which were announced at the forum, in the opinion of the Japanese side, will not have a significant impact on the business climate in relations between the two countries. According to the representative of the business association Rotobo Kunio Okada, it is possible that only a few not very important projects will be suspended. “Everyone understands that economic sanctions are not beneficial to either Russia or Japan, and political statements are political statements,” the expert said.
The fault of the Russian bureaucrats was decided to be ironed out in the eyes of the partners by the head of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov. He offered Komatsu, whose representative complained about excessive official obstacles, to develop business in his republic, where there are economic zones "Alabuga" and "Innopolis". Among other things, Japanese investors are also quite successful there.
They were discussed and, as a result, formalized in the form of specific protocols on the intentions of the prospects for cooperation in various fields. According to Russian forum participants, Russian-Japanese projects in energy, agriculture, medicine and high technologies will give a new impetus to the development of these industries in the Russian Far East and will become mutually beneficial. Thus, representatives of FESCO, Marubeni Corporation and United Grain Company have agreed to increase grain exports from the Far East to Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and other East Asian countries. In the Far East port of Zarubino, a grain terminal is planned to be built. Cooperation will continue, and in the energy sector - for today Japan imports about 95-99% of energy resources. According to Yaroslav Podsevatkin, representative of IC ATON, the issues of energy security, access to natural resources, energy saving developments, especially in the context of reducing the use of nuclear energy after the events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, are critical for Japan.
As for the trade turnover between Russia and Japan, the forum participants sincerely hope that he - as planned by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation - will indeed reach 2020 billion by 50 year.