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Investments need justifications

EastRussia - about the visit of the Japanese consul to Magadan

Despite the fact that Magadan has limited transport accessibility, and climatic conditions, especially in winter, are close to extreme, foreign visitors in the Kolyma capital are not uncommon. Someone comes to get acquainted with the history and unique nature, but for the most part the visits are of a business nature.

Investments need justifications

Kolyma has a special relationship with Japan: on the one hand, there is a historical connection, because Japanese prisoners of war after World War II stayed here, and on the other, foreign trade. Thus, the volume of foreign trade turnover of the Magadan region with Japan in 2014 amounted to $ 50,862 million. In January - April of this year - $ 15,6 million. Today the Magadan region is actively building economic cooperation with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, to which gold is supplied various ores, slag. The relations of the region with the Land of the Rising Sun become stronger and stronger from year to year.

In 2010, representatives of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of the Government of Japan came to the regional center on a business trip to establish partnerships. The guests were seriously interested in the possibility of mining copper, zinc, lead and rare earth metals in the Magadan region. The Japanese offered their technology, which they could adapt to the Kolyma conditions. Not so long ago, an agreement was concluded between the Japanese company Impex Corporation and the Russian Rosneft on joint oil exploration in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk (sections Magadan-2 and Magadan-3).

And Magadan was again visited by guests from the Land of the Rising Sun - Consul General of Japan in Vladivostok Kasai Tatsuhiko, consul of the political department of the Consulate General Koji Ohno, consul on visa issues Nara Fumiko and secretary of the political and economic department Natalia Godel. During their stay in Magadan they met with the authorities of the city and the region, visited Megamag, Magadan Sea Commercial Port, regional museum of local lore, visited the Mask of Grief. The vice-governor of the Magadan Region, Boris Zhuravlev, told the guests about the major promising investment projects. In particular, the signed agreement between JSC RusHydro, RAO UES and Japanese company Kawasaki Heavy Industries at the economic forum in St. Petersburg in 2013 on the construction of an industrial complex for the production of liquefied hydrogen in the Magadan region. Its approximate cost is estimated at about 10 billion rubles. A pilot complex with a capacity of 10 tons per day is planned to be launched by the year of 2017.

Consul General of Japan in Vladivostok Tatsuhiko Kasai took office 21 October 2014, before that he was the head of the Department of Japanese-Russian economic relations of the Department of Europe of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The jurisdiction of the consulate today includes the Primorsky and Kamchatka Territories and the Magadan Region. Magadan Consul visited for the first time; As Mr. Kasai himself said in his conversation with journalists, the main purpose of the visit is to get acquainted with the regional center and the leaders of the region.

"I had already heard that the Magadan region is a very rich region, both in minerals and bioresources, which gives great chances for building up cooperation,” says Kasai-san. “I was introduced to a number of projects, including and with the prospect of creating a hydrogen plant here. The implementation of this project will not remain without the demand from Japan. "

Nevertheless, today Japan is in no hurry to invest in the region, unlike, for example, its neighbor, China, which is involved in a number of projects in the territory of the Magadan region. Journalists asked the consul what Kolyma lacks for greater investment appeal.

"As I have already said, the future of hydrogen fuel is quite a lot in Japan for vehicles that use this type of fuel, but it’s very difficult to start something now in conditions that are not entirely unfavorable. Today, world energy prices are low and consumers buy cheaper, but long-known oil and gas. Hydrogen is a matter of time, ”said the consul.

According to him, with the infusion of investments, demand and availability of the consumer market play an important role.

“At one time, Japan made large investments in different countries of the world. A lot of production is now developing in China. The advantage of this state was initially in a cheap but high-quality workforce. Similarly with other countries of Southeast Asia. By this time, a large consumer market had formed there. A lot of funds were invested in Latin America, again due to the presence of a large consumer market in the neighborhood, that is, in North America, in Europe, which, in fact, dictates the rules of the economic game. That is, investments need justification, I hope, together with the government of the Magadan region they will be found, ”he shared.

Mr. Kasai noted that "China is now entering the region with investments, to some extent it is a competition for Japan, but at the same time, China is a partner for us. With China, a part of the Japanese market also comes to Kolyma. "

"The Far East's market is small, because it is still based on the population. In general, about 6,5 million people live in the Far Eastern District, and the whole problem is that the population is dispersed in a huge territory, with a rather weak transport infrastructure, "he said. - It is no coincidence that one of the objects of my visit was the Magadan Sea Commercial Port, the only cargo hub in the region. The port's cargo turnover is about one million tons per year. Now the enterprise is being modernized, new port equipment is emerging, digital technologies are being introduced - all this speaks for its increasing reliability, ability to become a trans-shipment base for many projects, including those in which Japan will participate. "

Continuing to talk about the attractiveness of the region, Tatsuhiko Kasai drew attention to the fact that a good transport network is a necessary condition for the development of the region.

“I was told that by the year 2030 a railway would be built, which is currently being built in the neighboring Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Of course, this will give even more advantages to the region. For a simple comparison: a truck can transport as much as possible with a 40 trailer tons of cargo, while one train of a train is 60 tons, considering that one train consists of 50 cars, then only 3000 tons. But here the tariff will play its role. Now, for example, it is more profitable to deliver a car from Japan to Europe by sea than by the Trans-Siberian railway, "said the Consul General of Japan in Vladivostok.

Guests from the Land of the Rising Sun were interested not only in the economic aspect of the relationship, but also in the cultural one. Today in Kolyma there are still burial places of Japanese prisoners of war. Therefore, first of all, the consuls paid tribute to the memory of their compatriots.

Summing up the first, but not the last visit, the guests noted that Russians are open, good-natured people, but for greater understanding of each other it is necessary to develop tourism. As Kasai-san said, he sees his task in supporting cooperation with the Far Eastern region of Russia, including in the sphere of economic relations, in order to promote the development of a wide range of relations between Japan and Russia, as well as to deepen human relations by expanding ties In the field of culture, education, as well as interregional exchanges.

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