EU’s accession talks with Ukraine create business opportunities for Asia – Japanese envoy

EU’s accession talks with Ukraine create business opportunities for Asia – Japanese envoy

Ukraine

In February 2024, Tokyo will host a conference on Ukraine’s recovery. One of the reasons was that the EU’s recent decision to start accession talks with Ukraine is expected to create huge business opportunities for companies, not only from Japan but also from Asia and throughout Europe.

The relevant statement was made by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine Kuninori Matsuda in a special commentary to Ukrinform.

“The second reason is recent decisions by EU to start negotiations with Ukraine on accession to EU is going to create the huge business opportunities for companies not only from Japan but from Asia and from throughout Europe. In other words, Ukraine’s huge recovery and reconstruction needs combined with Ukraine’s future membership with the EU has already started to create the situation in which Japanese companies, as well as companies from all over the world, should start to prepare and plan their investment portfolios as well as trade portfolios,” Kuninori Matsuda said.

The first reason outlined by the Japanese ambassador was that Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction needs amount to quite a huge size. As estimated by the United Nations, it is about USD 410 billion.

Kuninori Matsuda mentioned that the Government of Japan continues to provide assistance in such areas as budget, humanitarian and technical support, as well as non-lethal equipment.

“But, at the same time, we need to invite robust participation of the private sectors, because private sectors are more experienced in the area of full-scale recovery and reconstruction by providing the necessary know-how, experience, equipment, technology, and things like that,” the ambassador explained.

As part of preparations for the conference, the Embassy is holding talks with the Ukrainian side about how many companies of which areas will be participating in the Tokyo conference and also meet with Japanese business counterparts.

Kuninori Matsuda outlined the areas, which are considered as priority by Japan. In particular, the number-one area is infrastructure, including recovery, reconstruction and new construction efforts.

Secondly, agriculture and food industry.

“As you know that Ukraine is one of the top agriculture producing countries. We would like to find a way by which we can introduce Ukrainian agriculture produce as well as food products to Japan as well as East Asian and ASEAN market,” Kuninori Matsuda noted.

Thirdly, information technology.

“To be honest, based on my everyday life, I was pleasantly surprised to see that how well IT technology has been incorporated in everyday life of Ukraine. I particularly have in mind that the system like Diia. Japan also produces a lot of IT-related products and equipment. But, when it comes to application of IT into everyday life, maybe this is one of the weakest spots where Japan needs to find support from Ukraine,” the Japanese diplomat told.

The fourth area, according to him, is just about any manufacturing.

“Industry is always high in our priorities, starting with machineries, automobiles and other products,” Kuninori Matsuda added.

A reminder that, in November 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a phone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The two leaders agreed to expand cooperation, namely in relation to their work on security guarantees and the Ukraine recovery conference in Japan, scheduled for February 2024.

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