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Trade and economic cooperation
21 August 2012 23:39

Trade, Economic and Investment cooperation between Ukraine and Japan

The year 2017 has been marked by the intensification of trade and economic cooperation with Japan, with the volume of trade approaching the level that dominated prior to the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, which caused a significant drop in commodity turnover.

According to the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine, for the 9 months of 2017 the total trade turnover between Ukraine and Japan reached 703 million USD – an increase of 27% in comparison to the same period of last year. Trade balance remains negative for Ukraine and for the 9 months of 2017 totaled to -366.4 million USD.

During the 9 months of 2017 Ukrainian exports of goods to Japan showed an increase of 24% to the same period of last year and amounted to 168.3 million USD. The imports of goods from Japan showed an increase of 27% to the same period of last year and amounted to 534.7 million USD.

(mil. USD)










9 months


9 months





1 519,1

1 443,0



















1 198,6
















 The main export items of Ukraine to Japan during the reporting period were iron ores and concentrates (49%); tobacco products (28%); cereals, mainly feed corn (11%); non-ferrous metals, mainly unprocessed aluminum, titanium and titanium products (8%); as well as chemical products (1%), which make up about 97% of the overall Ukrainian exports to Japan.

Japanese imports to Ukraine consist mainly of products from high-tech industries, the lion's share of which is possessed by the machine building products. The first place is occupied by passenger cars and other vehicles (55%). The second place is energy equipment (11%). The third is optical devices and equipment (6.4%). Fourth - tires (4%).

Foreign direct investment from Japan to Ukraine, as of October 2017, amounted to 140.4 million USD. The growth in the reporting period was about 10 million USD. Japanese investments are mainly directed into the selling and servicing of vehicles of Japanese manufacture, production of components for vehicles, and also in the manufacture of tobacco products (Japan Tobacco). At the same time, taking into account direct investments of branches of Japanese corporations located in Europe, Japanese investments into the Ukrainian economy reach 300 million USD. There are no Ukrainian investments in Japan.

The most recent Japanese investment in Ukraine was made in the Fujikura factory in Lviv (Lviv Industrial Park, Ryasne 2) for the production of electric cable equipment for the cars sold on the European market. In their business plans Japanese companies rely on the benefits of the Free Trade Area between Ukraine and the EU. Japanese companies are interested in investing in the production not only for the domestic market, but also for the exports to the European and CIS markets or for the use in the  final European products. Such a trend has significant prospects since Ukraine joined the EU common market within the framework of the In-depth and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

The favorable climate for the placement of Japanese investments in Ukraine was also provided by the Agreement on Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments between Ukraine and Japan, signed in 2015 and in effect since that year.

 An important event in the 2017 has been the 7th Joint Meeting of the Coordinating Council for Economic Cooperation with Japan under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and the Committee on Economic Cooperation with Ukraine of the Japanese Business Federation "Keidanren" held on May 30th in Kyiv and co-chaired by the First Vice Prime Minister - Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine S.Kubiv and Chairman of the Board Marubeni corporation T.Asada. During the Joint Meeting the representatives of both sides have made presentations and exchanged views on the most promising areas of cooperation and current problems. At the meeting the sides agreed that further development of cooperation should include, in particular, infrastructure projects, passenger and freight transportation projects, machine building, IT, energy, ecology spheres, and agribusiness. Within the framework of the event a separate meeting of the President of Ukraine P.Poroshenko with representatives of Japanese business was held.

Following the accords reached at the 6th Joint Meeting in Tokyo in November 2016, a Japanese business mission compoesed of the representatives of the 21 leading Japanese companies visited Ukraine (the cities of Kyiv and Lviv) on March 15-18, 2017, under the auspices of the Japanese External Trade Organization JETRO and at the invitation of the Ukrainian Office of Investment Support (UkrainrInvest). Members of the Japanese delegation were briefed about the investment potential of Ukraine and its regions.

During the visit to Ukraine of the President of Japan International Cooperation Agency JICA S.Kitaoka on June 17 an overview of the projects implemented in Ukraine with the support of the Agency was done. It concerned, in particular, the latest "megaproject" for the reconstruction of the Bortnickaya Aeration Station in Kyiv on the basis of the Japanese soft loan of almost $ 1 billion USD. The results of the overview conducted with the participation of the Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine G.Zubko and Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine S.Sumy, were positive.

Following the understandings reached during the visit, in November 2017 JICA opened its office in Ukraine with the purpose to deepen cooperation within the program "Official Development Assistance" for the implementation of new projects, in particular in the fields of infrastructure and environmental protection, with the support of Japanese financial resources.

In the nearest future a tender will be held on the selection of general contractor for the works on the project and the practical phase of the Ukrainian-Japanese project for the reconstruction of the Bortnickaya Aeration Station will be launched. At the same time during 2017 the parties worked out the prospects of attracting JICA assistance to the projects on modernization of transport infrastructure of the South of Ukraine, including the project on bridge construction across the Yuzhny Bug River in the city of Mykolaiv and along the routes connecting Ukrainian ports with the major agricultural and industrial regions of Ukraine such as Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya. In May 2017 the Japanese side received an official application for the implementation of these projects. Substantive talks on this issue are supposed to be held in 2018.

On September 20, 2017, in the framework of the opening of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, a meeting of GUAM foreign ministers took place along with the 5th GUAM-Japan Ministerial meeting with the participation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan T. Kono. During the meeting the state and prospects of implementation of the GUAM-Japan Cooperation Program were discussed, which specifies the priority areas for cooperation, such as trade and investment, energy, emergency situations, tourism, transport, culture, agriculture, medical care and the environment. In January 2017 a thematic seminar on tourism business was held in Tokyo for the experts of GUAM member-states, organized with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

The practical result of the cooperation with the Japanese side was the participation of the Ukrainian companies in the leading Japanese exhibitions and fairs. The Ukrainian companies Biolend and Veres Group took part in the Food and Beverages Exhibition “FOODEX 2017” with the support of the Japan External Trade Organization JETRO in the JETRO pavilion with preferential terms of participation. For the first time since 2010 the Ukrainian stand took part at one of the world's largest prestigious tourism trade fairs “Tourism EXPO Japan 2017" (Tokyo, September 21-24). The Ukrainian stand was presented as part of the joint pavilion of the GUAM member-states with the support of the Japanese side. A separate presentation of the tourist potential of Ukraine was made for the Japanese tour operators within the framework of a seminar devoted to the Black Sea region.

In 2017 the Government of Japan allocated about 4 million USD to support the internally displaced persons and victims of Russian armed aggression in Donbass region. The assistance is being implemented under the auspices of the international organizations and UN agencies in Ukraine and under the coordination of the Ministry of Regional Development of Ukraine.

The following areas are the most promising for cooperation with the Japanese companies: introduction of modern energy-saving and environmentally friendly technologies in Ukraine in various sectors of the economy - energy, industry, and municipal sector. The attraction of Japanese investments in the development of transport and energy infrastructure of Ukraine as well as into the agrarian sector, in particular its logistics, is another promising direction of cooperation with Japan. The discussion of these and other prospects of cooperation will be part of the further Ukrainian-Japanese contacts.

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