ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND JAPAN
The trade volume between our two countries increased by 6.6% in 2013 and reached 33.2 billion US dollars. Russia’s export increased by 26.7% and reached 19.6 billion US dollars; import decreased by 13.3% and reached 13.6 billion US dollars.
Russia takes the 14th position among Japan’s trading partners. Russia’s share of the external trade turnover of Japan accounts for 2.2% (1.5% in export; 2.8% in import).
Japan’s share in the external trade turnover of Russia accounts for 3.7%, which places Japan in the 8th position among Russia’s trade partners (the 4th in import; the 9th in export).
The trade volume between Russia and Japan reached almost 18 billion US dollars during the first half of 2014 (13.9% increase in comparison with the same period of 2013). Japan’s export to Russia reached 12.9 billion US dollars (25.5% increase).
Principal Russian exports to Japan consist of energy resources (27% increase up to 10.735 billion US dollars). The export volume of final industry products increased by 30.2% for the first half of 2014 (1.91 billion US dollars). The export volume of agricultural products reduced by 1.8 % (584 million US dollars) due to the fisheries products export’s slowdown by 4.1% (556 million US dollars). At the same time the export volume of grain reached a historical maximum of 14 million US dollars.
The Russia-Japan Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Issues (hereinafter referred to as the Intergovernmental Committee) established in 1994 plays an important role in the development of bilateral economic relations. The Intergovernmental Committee has two working subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Trade and Investment and the Subcommittee on Interregional Cooperation.
During its meetings, a whole range of complex current issues, including the prospects of Russian-Japanese economic ties is discussed. On November 20, 2012, the tenth meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee was held in Tokyo, with the most significant issues regarding bilateral economic cooperation on agenda (Co-chairmen of the Intergovernmental Committee: the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mr. Igor Shuvalov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Fumio Kishida).
Bilateral economic ties first develop in traditional areas: energy, oil and gas, automobile industry. In addition to current projects – Sakhalin-1 (30% of Japanese companies shares) and Sakhalin-2 (22.5% of Japanese companies shares), two new projects of LNG-plants construction in Sakhalin (5.5 million ton capacity) and in Vladivostok (Gasprom and JFG joint project, 10 million ton capacity, commissioning in 2018) are initiated.
As a result of high-level agreements, reached during the Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Shinzo Abe’s visit in Moscow in April of 2013, a number of new Russian-Japanese economic projects were aimed at further development of high-technologies and implementation of innovations in areas of energy efficiency, timber processing, agriculture, medicine, city planning, as well as waste processing in Russia. Construction of hi-tech medical centers (the diagnostic medical center Hokuto in Vladivostok in spring of 2013), city planning with the use of ecology and energy efficient technologies of waste processing (the smart grid city in Krasnoyarsk, the waste processing plant with co-generation function in Sverdlovskiy Region), cooperation in agriculture (Hokkaido Bank and Amur Region joint projects) are among these new initiatives. The “energy bridge” connecting Khabarovsk, Sakhalin and Hokkaido is another large-scale promising project.
Several significant events in bilateral trade and economy took place recently.
On December 25-26, 2013, the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan (METI) Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi visited Moscow. He had talks with the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Mr. Alexey Ulyukaev, the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Mr. Alexandr Novak and the Minister for the Development of the Far East Region of the Russian Federation Mr. Alexandr Galushka. During the visit he signed Memorandums of Understanding in the area of small and medium enterprises support, as well as a further development of cooperation at the level of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and METI.
In March of 2014, the Executive Chairman of Rosneft Mr. Igor Sechin carried out intensive negotiations with representatives of Japanese companies Sodeco, Inpex, JX Nippon, Mitsui, Marubeni on the issues of energy cooperation.
On March 19, 2014, the 6th Russia-Japan Investment Forum was held in Tokyo and its participants signed 11 commercial documents in the areas of pharmaceutical industry, technology parks, energy sufficiency and modernization of sea ports infrastructure in the Russian Far East.