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METI State Minister Seki Visits the Russia, Slovenia, and North Macedonia

June 13, 2019

From June 6 (Thur.) to 12 (Wed.), 2019, Mr. Yoshihiro Seki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Russian Federation, the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of North Macedonia.

In Russia, he attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. He also attended a Japan-Russia Business Dialogue,and delivered a speech as a representative of the government of Japan. He also exchanged views with representatives of a Japanese-affiliated company developing business in Russia.

In Slovenia, State Minister Seki held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Aleš Cantarutti, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, toward the future promotion of bilateral trade and investment and economic cooperation. Following this, he visited a local Japanese-affiliated company..

In North Macedonia, a country located in the the Western Balkans, State Minister Seki accompanied a mission of Japanese companies dispatched by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and exchanged views with H.E. Mr. Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister, and other governmental stakeholders, toward the business development of Japanese companies in North Macedonia, promotion of bilateral trade and investment and other issues.

1. Russia

(1) Attending the Japan-Russia Business Dialogue

State Minister Seki attended a Japan-Russia Business Dialogue, which was held taking the opportunity of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a dialogue organized by the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and NIS and the Russian-Japanese Business Council. He explained METI’s efforts for the eight-point cooperation plan and specific achievements thereof. H.E. Mr. Maksim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development, also attended the dialogue.

(2) Attending a signing ceremony of a memorandum between NEXI and SUEK

State Minister Seki attended a signing ceremony of a memorandum of enhanced cooperation concluded between the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK), Russia’s largest coal producer and exporter. The memorandum aims to establish a framework for NEXI-SUEK information exchange as an effort for supporting SUEK in further purchasing Japanese mining machinery and other efforts.

(3) Visiting a Japanese-affiliated company developing business in Russia

State Minister Seki visited a plant ran by Toyota Motor Corporation developing business in St. Petersburg and exchanged views with representatives of the company concerning the company’s future perspectives for business development and business environments in Russia.

2. Slovenia

(1) Meeting with State Secretary Cantarutti

State Minister Seki held a meeting with State Secretary Cantarutti and the two sides exchanged views concerning the further promotion of bilateral trade and investment in response to the enforcement of the Japan-EU EPA, future perspectives of a demonstration project for smart communities that the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has been advancing, business environments and other issues.

(2) Visiting a Japanese-affiliated company developing business in Slovenia

State Minister Seki visited a plant run by YASKAWA Electric Corporation developing business in Slovenia and exchanged views with representatives of the company concerning the company’s future perspectives for business development and business environments throughout Slovenia.

3. North Macedonia

(1) Meeting with Prime Minister Zaev, and attending a dinner party hosted by the president

State Minister Seki held a meeting with Prime Minister Zaev and the two sides exchanged views toward the promotion of bilateral trade and investment. Prime Minister Zaev expressed his gratitude for State Minister Seki’s visit to the country and Japan’s past support of North Macedonia and also showed his expectations for Japanese companies’ investment and business development.

(2) Exchanging views with H.E. Dr. Koco Angjushev, Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for Economic Affairs and Coordination with the Economic Sectors and another official

Accompanying a mission of Japanese companies dispatched by JETRO to North Macedonia, State Minister Seki held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Angjushev and H.E. Ms. Zorica Apostolska, Minister Without Portfolio, in charge of Foreign Investments. At the meeting, Japanese companies participating in the mission introduced themselves and North Macedonia explained investment opportunities, investment incentives and other business environments. Following this, the two sides exchanged proactive opinions.

(3) Visiting the Technological-Industrial Development Zones (TIDZs) and other sites in North Macedonia

State Minister Seki visited the TIDZs and received explanations from staff of the zones concerning investment incentives for companies developing business in the zones, advantages that companies can enjoy if developing business and other business environments. Moreover, he also visited a mid-ranking manufacturer, toured the site tackling Japanese-style approaches to production and management that the manufacturer has been conducting, and exchanged views with staff.

Division in Charge

Europe Division, Trade Policy Bureau1

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