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EBRD steps up cooperation with Japanese partners

By Anthony Williams

EBRD opens Representative Office in Tokyo

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Monday opened a Representative Office in Tokyo with the aim of increasing further its successful business relationships with Japanese corporations.

Japan is a founding shareholder of the EBRD, a major investor in the emerging economies where the EBRD is active and an important donor in support of EBRD projects.

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti opened the new office, which will be headed by Masaru Honma, Director and Chief Representative.

“Japan is a very important partner for the EBRD. By increasing our presence in the country we shall be able to support more Japanese companies as they seek investment opportunities in the EBRD regions. We shall also step up the transfer of Japanese skills and know-how to the emerging economies that we serve.”  

During his visit to Japan, the EBRD President held talks with senior Japanese politicians as well as representatives from Japanese business.

He also delivered a speech at the University of Tokyo:‎ "The EBRD and a career in international development”.

This is the first time the EBRD has had its own office in Tokyo. Contacts with Japanese companies have been developed and maintained over the last three years by Hitoshi Sanada, who has operated from the Tokyo headquarters of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Mr Sanada will remain in Tokyo as part of the new office, continuing his role as Head of Business Development in Japan.

Mr Honma joined the EBRD in August 2002 as Director, Central Asia and has played an important role in establishing and maintaining significant relationships in this region. 

Before joining the Bank he was Executive Director at the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan and also held senior positions with the Financial Supervisory Agency and Ministry of Finance in Japan.  He holds a Bachelor of Economics from Kyoto University.

Japan is an important source of foreign direct investment in the EBRD’s countries of operations. The value of joint Japan-EBRD investment stood at €8.15 billion at the end of 2015.

Investments with Japanese firms have been especially strong in Turkey at €1.10 billion; Poland at €0.88 billion, followed by Hungary at €0.75 billion.

Broken down by sector, joint Japan-EBRD investment totalled €3.14 billion in energy; €2.24 billion in industry, commerce and agribusiness; €1.58 billion in infrastructure; and €1.18 billion in financial institutions.

Japan has provided over €180 million to the EBRD’s donor programmes through bilateral and multilateral funds and is one of the largest bilateral donors.

It plays a particularly important role in contributions to the Bank’s Early Transition Countries (ETC) Fund, which supports less advanced economies in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

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