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Japan - insurance for Russia from excessive orientation to the West

Japan - insurance for Russia from excessive orientation to the West

Daria Senina

Research Fellow, Center for Japanese Studies, Far East Institute, FAO

Daria Senina, Research Fellow, Center for Japan Research, Far East Institute FANO:

- The VI Russian-Japanese Investment Forum held in Tokyo demonstrated two important features of economic relations between our countries.

First, it is necessary to share the position of Japanese business and Japanese political circles, which rely on the choice of a policy course for the US position. Businessmen of Japan, on the contrary, are inclined to constructive cooperation. This is largely due to protracted deflationary processes in the Japanese economy, which are pushing large companies to transfer production abroad. The main reason for this strategy has long been not to save labor costs. The deflationary processes are characterized by the fact that the invested money becomes more expensive for the entrepreneur over time. Therefore, Japanese business is trying to transfer production sites outside the country, and no longer to China, but to Vietnam and India. Russia can become a new donor of direct investment from Japan.

Secondly, mutual interest can become for Russia insurance against excessive orientation to the West, which puts our economy under attack with the possible introduction of sanctions. Therefore, it would be appropriate to diversify our economic contacts and channels in the light of developments in Ukraine. Perhaps Japan will become one of the few countries that will refrain from applying economic sanctions against Russia.

It should be noted that a number of Russian officials (and the head of the Bank of Russia E. Nabiullina as well) acknowledge that the GDP growth rate in 2014 will not exceed 1%. This suggests that the Russian economy is waiting for difficult times. In this situation, foreign investments are especially needed, which become an additional source of capital investment in production and trade, and do not place a burden on the country's budget or increase its external debt. Foreign direct investment from Japan also contributes to the transfer of high technology, which is especially important for Russia, which has taken the path of innovative development.

It is very important to note that the forum discussed cooperation not only in energy projects, but also the possible implementation of bilateral cooperation in the automotive industry and auxiliary industries, regional cooperation, agriculture and food industry, medicine and pharmaceuticals, special economic zones, small and medium-sized enterprises . The Japanese side voiced interesting proposals and projects related to the town planning and industrial parks, where its experience is unique and extremely useful for our country. In Russia, this will help solve the problem of single-industry towns and the restructuring of urban infrastructure.

I think that Japanese direct investment, accumulated experience in the field of high technologies and integrated solutions would be very useful for our country.

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