On August 31, 2012 a meeting of the Japanese-Ukrainian Economic Council was held in the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan under the chairmanship of the well-known Japanese politician, a member of the Domestic and Foreign Investors Advisory Council under the President of Ukraine Mr. Hakuo Yanagisawa.
Among the members of the Council who attended the meeting were representatives of the leading Japanese companies and banks including Nippon Steel, Kobe Steel, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Toshiba, Japan Tobacco, Mizuho Bank, and also politicians and the representatives of the Japanese Government.
During the meeting the state and prospects of the Ukrainian-Japanese trade and economic cooperation were discussed as well as attraction of the Japanese direct investments to Ukraine.
Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan Mykola Kulinich delivered a welcoming address before the participants of the meeting. In his speech Ambassador welcomed the activities of the Council as an important focal point for the exchange of views on the burning issues of the Ukrainian-Japanese economic cooperation, an informal platform for facilitating business contacts between two countries in addition to the existing mechanism of the regular meetings of the Coordinating Council on Economic Cooperation with Japan under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and Keidanren Business Committee on Ukraine.
Ambassador of Ukraine briefed the members of the Council on the current macroeconomic indicators of Ukraine, the activities of the Ukrainian Government aimed at improvement of the business and investment climate in Ukraine. The participants of the meeting noted significant revival of the bilateral trade in the current year, which volumes almost reached the pre-crisis levels.
The Chairman of the Japanese-Ukrainian Economic Council Hakuo Yanagisawa informed about his visit to Ukraine for participating in the meeting of the Domestic and Foreign Investors Advisory Council under the President of Ukraine on June 7th this year and the talks he held there. Hakuo Yanagisawa drew attention to the active dynamics of production in Ukraine, particularly in agriculture, and to the large-scale projects implemented in Ukraine in the energy and infrastructure sectors, what will testify, he said, about the significant investment potential of Ukraine's economy. In particular, Hakuo Yanagisawa made few examples of recently reached agreements on the participation of Western energy companies in the projects of natural gas extraction in the Black Sea (Exxon Mobil) and the development of shale gas in Ukraine (Chevron and Shell).
The representatives of the leading steel companies of Japan "Nippon Steel" and "Kobe Steel" expressed interest in cooperation with the Ukrainian partners in the sphere of modernization of production processes in the steel industry based on Japanese technology that can significantly increase production efficiency and reduce associated costs per unit of used raw materials. It is expected that this issue will be discussed during the next meeting of the Coordinating Council and the Keidanren Committee in Tokyo in November this year.
During the meeting former president of Toshiba Corporation Taizo Nishimuro and Secretary General of the Parliamentary Group for Relations with Ukraine Eyske Mori took floor.
The Representatives of major Japanese businesses were called to give heightened attention to investment opportunities of Ukraine and to establish business contacts. It was noted that conclusion of the Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between Ukraine and Japan, which is currently prepared by the experts of both sides, could essentially advance bilateral cooperation.