Ulyanovsk Region Successfully Developing Russian-Japanese Business Cooperation

Igor Komarov, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Volga Federal District, met with the delegation of Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) on 19 February. The parties discussed investment, trade, and industrial cooperation between regions of the district and the Land of the Rising Sun.


Igor Komarov mentioned the Ulyanovsk region among the territories that successfully contact and interact with the Japanese side in the sphere of business. He also identified the Port Special Economic Zone "Ulyanovsk" as one of the leaders in creation of favorable conditions for potential investors in the district. Igor Komarov noted that industrial parks, technoparks, innovative clusters, and advanced development zones are highly efficient - these growth points form new geography of economic development in the Volga Federal District. He was confident that Japanese partners could increase the number of residents in industrial parks of the district taking into account their diverse backgrounds.

New opportunities of Russian-Japanese cooperation were also discussed at the XVI Joint Meeting of the Russian-Japanese and Japanese-Russian Committees on Economic Cooperation on 18 February. Alexander Smekalin, Chairman of the Government of Ulyanovsk Region, took part in the round table on Business Climate Changes in the Region.

The event was also attended by Alexander Shokhin (Chairman of the Russian-Japanese Committee on Economic Cooperation, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs), Teruo Asada (Chairman of the Japanese-Russian Economic Cooperation Committee), Toyohisa Kozuki (Executive Adviser of the Board of Marubeni Corporation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Russia), Yoshitaka Hoshino (Executive Vice President of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)), Maksim Reshetnikov (Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation), representatives of Japanese business community, and heads of regions.

The participants discussed Russian-Japanese economic relations, opportunities to improve the business climate, and development of advanced institutional tools to ensure investor confidence. The Russian Federation and Japan systematically carry out inter-State activities to implement mutual investment according to the Eight-Point Cooperation Plan, which was agreed upon by Shinzo Abe and Vladimir Putin in May 2016. It aims to develop further relations between the two countries by using their potential capacity; it also takes into account social and economic needs of Russia and achievements of Japan.

“As Ambassador of Japan to the Russian Federation, I have visited 40 regions of Russia since 2015, and last year I met up with 13 governors. I can see that regions are interested in developing cooperation with Japanese business,” - said Toyohisa Kozuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Russia.

According to the statistics, Japanese investment in Russia in 2018 made about US$ 347.7 million. Between January and September 2019, this indicator increased by almost 20% compared to the same period in 2018. The sales turnover between Japan and the regions of the Volga Federal District totaled US$ 726.5 million in 2018 (by 35.8% more than in 2017).

“Several large Japanese companies and corporations have already placed their facilities in the Ulyanovsk region over the last ten years. These investment projects have attracted almost a billion dollars and created more than one thousand jobs. Bridgestone, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, DMG MORI are among our partners. We are negotiating with several Japanese companies about joint development of a Russian-Japanese industrial park in Ulyanovsk. We are interested in applying experience of such companies to integrate digital technologies into the urban governance system. And we are ready for cooperation in order to develop digital infrastructure of cities, as well as digital management of resources in two largest urban districts of the Ulyanovsk region - Ulyanovsk and Dimitrovgrad,” - said Alexander Smekalin, Head of the regional Cabinet of Ministers.

The head of the regional government noted that various support mechanisms, such as state guarantees of cost-effectiveness and investment safety, have been developed as targeted measures to improve business climate in the region. These include activities to ensure openness of the Ulyanovsk region's market to products made by Japanese corporations, as well as guarantees within the updated special investment contract (SPIC 2.0); a new mechanism of investment guarantees, which provides the status of a regional investment project; investment credits on income tax for companies that invested in fixed assets and upgrade of their facilities; and shipment of Japanese products within the state order. Alexander Smekalin said, “As part of our interaction with potential investors from Japan, we also intend to use mechanisms under the federal draft on protection and promotion of direct investment. President Vladimir Putin instructed the Government of the Russian Federation to adopt this document no later than in April 2020.”

During the event, the Head of the regional Government gave invitations to the IV International Festival "Japanese Spring on the Volga" on behalf of Governor Sergeu Morozov. This festival will take place in Ulyanovsk from 21 to 24 May 2020 for the fourth time. More than 1,000 people from Russia and Japan are epected to attend it.