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Sakhalin fish teaches Japanese ...

It's not a fact that the participation of Japanese business in fish projects on Sakhalin will give a quick return. But it is very likely that the cooperation will be mutually beneficial and productive

During a working trip to Hokkkaido, the Governor of the Sakhalin Region, Oleg Kozhemyako, invited Japanese business to join the creation of a fish cluster in the region. At the first stage - as consultants, later - as an operator of the sale of Sakhalin fish products in Japan, as well as the supply of its own goods to Russia.

Sakhalin fish teaches Japanese ...
“Sakhalin businessmen do not have practical knowledge regarding the organization of auction trade and the creation of fish clusters. But some Japanese companies have them. The fact is that seafood exchange has existed in Japan for decades. Colossal experience has been accumulated. Now it should be applied in Russia, ”the press service of the Sakhalin Oblast Government reports as Oleg Kozhemyaka.

Japanese businessmen became interested in this proposal of the Governor and expressed their readiness to discuss it in the near future more specifically with the leadership of the Sakhalin Fisheries Agency.

Experts interviewed by the EastRussia correspondent draw attention to the fact that Japan is actively looking at the fisheries of the Far East due to the fact that the fishing industry is one of its "traditional" activities. At the same time, experts agree that the participation of Japanese business in the creation and functioning of the fish cluster of the Sakhalin region will more than beneficially affect its successful development.

“Undoubtedly, for the development of the fishery infrastructure of the Far East, both the use of the experience of other states and the attraction of their investors is useful,” says Ksenia Timakova, head of the press service of the Federal Agency for Fishery. - Therefore, the involvement of the Sakhalin region in the project for the development of exchange trading of Japanese specialized companies seems logical and expedient. Moreover, cooperation with foreign colleagues does not prevent Russian enterprises and investors from actively participating in the project. On the contrary, often when an experienced player enters the project, it attracts new participants. Of course, in this context, it should be noted that the effectiveness of international cooperation very much depends on the transparent and understandable rules of the game of all its parties. Accordingly, when working with foreign investors in the field of fisheries, this issue should be given due attention. "

As the President of the All-Russian Association of Fisheries Enterprises Alexander Fomin argues, “the history of cooperation between the Sakhalin Oblast and Japan in the fishing industry goes back more than one year, including in the fish industry. What is happening now is a shift in emphasis within the framework of this cooperation, due to the increasingly intensifying work of the region to involve the Japanese side not only in the fishing and processing of fish, but also in its storage, delivery and sale. This is evidenced by the recent negotiations held in Hokkkaido by Oleg Kozhemyako. It should be noted here that the participation of Japanese business in the creation and operation of a fish cluster in the Sakhalin Oblast should lead to good results. The Japanese business has accumulated colossal experience in all areas of the fishery complex, in particular, in the sale and logistics of fish products, and, no less important, it is now one of the leaders in the world in dealing with fresh fish. Moreover, his work is structured in accordance with a very well-developed industry legislation. "

According to Alexander Fomin, one of the strengths of the Japanese fish industry is that trade margins for its products, as well as the number of intermediaries within the framework of their sale, are very limited. This is exactly what is sorely lacking for the normal turnover of Russian products in the domestic market.

“To a lesser extent, Japan is made a good partner in the fishery sector for the Sakhalin Oblast by such factors as its closer position to it in comparison with other countries of northeast Asia, as well as the historically established relationship with it. It can even be said that in this area for Sakhalin it is the best partner, since other countries of Northeast Asia do not have all this set of favorable factors, ”said Alexander Fomin.

He also added that another important positive feature of Japanese businessmen is that, despite the long time of entering and working out projects, after the conclusion of agreements, they execute them impeccably and at a very high level.
“In addition to advising Japanese business on the establishment and operation of a fish cluster, Sakhalin fishermen adopted the technology of freezing fish to -70 ° C. Thanks to the use of these technologies, we could significantly improve the quality of the fish products sold to the Russian population, which cannot always be called good at the present time, ”noted Alexander Fomin.

According to the president of VARPE, the main guarantee of the participation of Japanese business in the creation and operation of the fish cluster on Sakhalin is its interest in this project, no less than the Russian one. Only on condition that Japanese business will clearly understand all the benefits that participation in the creation and subsequent operation of this cluster can bring to it, will it begin to work with it. And one of its main benefits - a quick return on invested resources - is unlikely in the current economic situation in Russia. Therefore, the participation of Japanese business in the creation and operation of the fish cluster on Sakhalin is possible only as a result of clear agreements between it and the regional authorities.

A number of experts at the same time note that other Far Eastern regions should, no less actively than the Sakhalin Oblast, try to attract Japan to cooperation in the fishing sector. And they argue that it is thanks to this that the scale of Japan's presence in the fishing industry of the Far East will increase.

“Consulting the Japanese business on the process of creating and operating a fish cluster is a kind of investment in the development of the fishery complex of the Sakhalin Region,” says Viktor Pavlyatenko, Leading Researcher at the Japan Research Center. - In the same way as investments are the technologies and developments it needs. Therefore, the participation of Japanese business in the creation and operation of the fish cluster, which was negotiated in Hokkkaido, can be regarded as an important step towards the development of bilateral cooperation in the fishing industry. It is also important because the transformation of the fish cluster into an international project will significantly help the Sakhalin region in the fight against poaching, which is very strongly developed in its fisheries. Since there is sufficient confidence that Japanese business will join operations to curb fish poaching in the region. "

At the same time, Viktor Pavlyatenko draws attention to the fact that the manifestation of Japanese business interest in the fish cluster in the Sakhalin Region is not a manifestation of Japan's good feelings towards Russia, but solely a consequence of understanding its own benefits from participating in its creation and functioning.

“Fish farming and artificial cultivation of seafood, in which the Japanese side has rich and successful experience, is an important component in the creation and operation of the fish cluster on Sakhalin. Therefore, their participation in the creation of such facilities within the Sakhalin cluster, of course, should be welcomed. In this sense, the Sakhalin example could become a precedent for the formation of such clusters in the Russian Far East as a whole, ”said Viktor Pavlyatenko.
In his opinion, one of the reasons hindering cooperation between Russia and Japan, and in particular in the fishing industry, is significant differences in the principles and rules, as well as in the conditions of doing business by both countries (accounting, financial reporting, logistics, etc.). Certain fears of Japanese business related to the negative experience of working in the Russian Far East market in 1990-e Years.

“The potential of the fishery complex of the Far East allows it to have a much larger scale of cooperation in the fishing industry with Japan than it is today. The main thing that can help today to expand them is the same as in the Sakhalin region, activation in cooperation with Japan in the fishery complex of all other Far Eastern subjects. And such a tendency, to say the least, is already outlined - for example, in the Magadan and Amur regions, as well as in the Kamchatka and Khabarovsk regions, ”said Viktor Pavlyatenko.

ER Help

The Sakhalin Fish Exchange has been operating since September 21, 2015 on the Sberbank-AST electronic platform. With its help, the regional authorities are going to provide the domestic market with fish and seafood as part of the government order (kindergartens, the army, schools, health care institutions), and then move the fish trade centers from China and Japan to Sakhalin. To do this, they need to create a full-fledged fish cluster, which includes not only capacities for processing and storing fish products, but also providing a complex supply infrastructure. The creation of such a cluster has already begun - on the basis of the port of Korsakov. But, according to the press service of the regional government, the problem of its creation now lies in the fact that domestic businessmen do not have enough experience in implementing such projects. Investments envisaged by the fish exchange project within the first stage amount to about $ 10 million, within the second - about 3 billion rubles.
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