From simple trade to high-tech interaction

Belarusian Embassy to Moscow hosting joint presentation of Japanese and Belarusian innovative potential
Heads of the largest Belarusian enterprises (MAZ, BelAZ, BATE, MTZ, Horizont, Vityaz and Gomselmash) recently joined 30 major Japanese companies for a trade fair. Guests included Japan Tobacco International, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Panasonic Rus and JGC Corporation.

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Russia, Tikahito Harada, stressed that Japanese companies in Belarus are growing in number following changes to the international situation and the emergence of the Eurasian Economic Union.

The head of the Belarusian diplomatic mission, Igor Petrishenko, replied that the potential of Belarus-Japan economic investment co-operation is far from being tapped. He notes that, apart from the Eurasian Economic Union, Belarus has access to the European Union.

In 2014, Belarusian-Japanese trade totalled $244m, while Japan’s share of gross foreign direct investments into Belarus reached about 0.01 percent. The share of small European countries (whose scale is incomparable to that of Japan) was much larger: the Netherlands accounted for 13 percent of the FDI received by Belarus in 2014, the share of Cyprus was 6.2 percent and Austria’s contribution was 3.5 percent.

Among traditional Belarusian exports to Japan are potash fertilisers, fibre glass, devices for physical and chemical analysis, liquid crystals and lasers, dosimeter equipment, wire from non-alloy steel and Bellegpom manufactures.

Japanese companies have taken part in major projects to modernise such Belarusian enterprises as Atlant, and Svetlogorsk’s Khimvolokno Production Association. Marubeni liaises with Mozyr Refinery, while Horizont Holding successfully co-operates with Toshiba.

The Vice President of the Japanese Business Club in Moscow, Yukio Matsumoto, states that his organisation unites 193 companies interested in using the Eurasian Economic Union’s new opportunities, collaborating with enterprises in Russia and Belarus.

After Japan’s Fukushima-1 nuclear disaster, in 2011, our two states’ specialists in the field of nuclear emergency situations have been sharing their experience: co-operation aims to prevent future nuclear catastrophe (based on a new agreement signed between Belarus and Japan).

In addition, since 2004, Japan has allocated free financial aid of over $2.8m to promote human security. Bilateral political dialogue is in full swing, as Mr. Harada underlines. He tells us, “In mid-July, I plan to visit Minsk, accompanying representatives of the Japanese Business Club. Our embassies in Moscow are now agreeing this visit. I hope that today’s presentation and July’s visit by Japanese to the Republic will bear fruit for our two states’ businessmen, encouraging our relations.”

By Nikolay Alexeev
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