Technical assistance

To support Russia's reform efforts in democratization and the transition to a market economy, Japan is providing the following technical assistance.

1. Dispatch and Invitation of Experts

To train the human resources that will be needed as Russia proceeds along the road to a market economy, Japan has been dispatching Japanese specialists to Russia and inviting Russian experts for training in Japan since 1991.

Accepting Russian specialists and trainees in Japan

Japan accepts experts from a variety of fields in sectors as diverse as Russia's central government, regional governments, private businesses and academic research institutions for training in Japan. Past training has been provided in fields including industrial policy, monetary and financial policy, taxation, labor administration, telecommunications, transportation, judicial administration and medicine. Practical training has also been offered at local government administrations in Japan to aid the reform efforts of regional governments and administrations in Russia. Training for Russian business managers is intended to train young business entrepreneurs. More than 2,000 individuals have visited Japan so far to participate in these training programs.

Dispatch of Japanese experts to Russia

Experts are dispatched from Japan to hold seminars or symposium designed to transfer their experiences and know-how to Russian individuals in such fields as economics, policy-based financing, immigration control, medicine, labor, and telecommunications. In recent years, Japan has been strengthening its support for government policy-making by dispatching as advisors Deputy Director-general of the Economic Planning Agency to Russia's Ministry of Economy for one year from May 1997, a specialist in the field of promoting small and medium-size business to Russia's Ministry of Anti-Trust Policy and Business Support for three months from June 1999, and a university professor in industrial policy to Russia's Ministry of Economy for one month in September 1999.

In addition, in March 2000 Japan dispatched a former Vice-Minister of finance for international affairs to the Russian Center for Strategic Policy, which was established at the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He conducted a seminar on the theme of "The Role of the National Government in Japan's Post-war Economic Development". The seminar was highly appreciated by the Russian government for its useful advice for establishing Russia's medium to long-term economic strategies.

2. Training programs at Japan Centers

Japan Centers have been established in various regions to provide training to individuals who will take up the challenge of market economic activities. The first centers were opened at the Moscow International Business School (MIRBIS) on the campus of the Plekhanov Russian Economic Academy in Moscow and in Khabarovsk in the fall of 1994. Since then Japan Centers were established at the Far East State University in Vladivostok in the spring of 1996, and in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the fall of the same year. At each of the centers Japanese instructors offer courses in various fields for Russian businesspersons and researchers for the purpose of transferring Japan's experience and know-how concerning market economic activities. The centers also provide Japanese language courses, as well as seminars by Russian experts and specialists. Future plans are being prepared to open Japan Centers at Moscow State University and in St. Petersburg.

Beginning with cooperation with the Program on training managers and executive for enterprises (See Section 3), the participants with high marks in various courses held at the Japan Centers are invited to participate in a three-week training program in Japan where they can study Japanese business activity or business systems first-hand. Activities designed to familiarize participants with Japanese culture are also included as part of these training programs in Japan.

In addition, since 1998 the Japan Centers in the Russian Far East have conducted seminars for retired Russian military service and reserve personnel to help smooth their transition from the military to private enterprise. Training visits to Japan for the participants with high marks in these seminars are unique among programs implemented by foreign donors to retrain military personnel, and have gained favorable public response.

Lecture at a Japan Center Lecture at a Japan Center
Lecture at a Japan Center
Comments by participants in Japan Center courses
Sanal Badmayev MIRBIS Japan Management Training Center
Sanal Badmayev
(Section Chief, Foreign Currency Control Department, Alita Bank-"Bookkeeping and accounting" course)
I participated in a course on international accounting standards and financial analysis at the Japan Center, then participated in a training visit to Japan. The organization of the course program by the Japanese side was excellent, and I thought the fact that they did not forget to include a cultural program was also good. I'm thankful for the detailed content and amount of basic information that I received from the instructors in both the seminar and the training.
Vladimir Blokhin Khabarovsk Japan Center
Vladimir Blokhin
(Executive Director, Dairy Company "Inari""Business Management" course)
I took part in a training visit to Japan, so I was able to receive training at a milk processing plant in Japan. What caught my eye in the course was the flexible response to the training arrangements in Japan. The practical advice and know-how I received during the training is very useful for my firm. I'm thinking that all of the top employees at my company should attend courses at the Japan Center.
Sergei Pavlenko Vladivostok Japan Center
Sergei Pavlenko
(Federal Service for Insolvency and Restructuring, Head of Primorsky Branch- "Finance" course)
At the Japan Center I was able to learn directly about market economics, finance and labor management from Japanese experts with a wealth of actual experience. The actual practices at the bank where I trained were especially valuable. The Japan Centers can help entrepreneurs understand how a market economy works and make them aware of the individual and business diversity, enabling them to participate in the world economy. For my country, which is undergoing a dramatic transition in every aspect of social activity, I think this is very important.
Mikhail Lukjyanchikov Sakhalin Japan Center
Mikhail Lukjyanchikov
(Representative of Swiss Global Cargo LTD.-"Marketing" and "Corporate Finance" courses)
The superb manner in which the course proceeded, the high level of language interpreting, the prompt response to various comments from participating students and the solid approach in which the course was organized were all characteristic of the Japan Center. In particular the impressions from my training in Japan are unforgettable. The training was very unique, and I was able to meet Japanese entrepreneurs and learn about the unique features of business activities at Japanese firms in the international cooperation area. Japan's cultural and lifestyle customs factors play an extremely important role in the development of economic cooperation between Russia and Japan. With this training I can learn from Japanese companies' experiences in various sectors, acquire a great deal of knowledge and apply parts of each new piece of knowledge to Russia's economy. As a result of the practical training such as the field trips to Japanese firms, I can now clarify the strong points and weak points of each production process when applied to the circumstances in Russia.
Dmitri Morozov Moscow State University Japan Center
Dmitri Morozov
(Centro Credit Bank, Vice President-"Business Management" course)
The seminar content was very interesting and beneficial. Once again I'd like to express my appreciation to everyone who sponsored or was related to the program.

Unlike with so many other seminars in this type, this seminar was unique in that participants can actually apply the knowledge and experience they acquire to their daily work or everyday life. It's not necessary to mull over this or that-I urge everyone to try to take this seminar. If they do they'll find they can easily handle difficulties at work that they used to have, they'll be self-confident and they'll be able to work more diligently.
Number of Participants at Seminars and Lectures Held at Japan Centers
Japan Centers Fiscal Year No. of
Participants
MIRBIS
(Moscow)
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
165
366
488
532
662
923
Khabarovsk 1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
132
313
378
434
622
746
Vladivostok 1996
1997
1998
1999
349
788
647
1,236
Sakhalin 1996
1997
1998
1999
157
293
336
421
Temporary office at Moscow State University 1996
1997
1998
1999
25
208
183
344
Total   10,748
Top students from the Japan Centers
Top students from the Japan Centers
are invited to training programs
in Japan

Support for retraining of military service and reserve personnel
Support for retraining of military service and reserve personnel

3. Cooperation with the Program on training Managers and Executives for Enterprises and the Program on training Public Employees

Japan's cooperation with the Program on training managers and executives for enterprises advocated by Russia's President Yeltsin, which is aimed at training young Russian business managers, is regarded as one pillar of the "Hashimoto-Yeltsin Plan ", which was drawn up during the Japan - Russia Summit in Krasnoyarsk in November 1997.

Japan has implemented a wide range of business-related courses at the Japan Centers in the Russian Federation, including management, marketing and corporate finance. Russian trainees are accepted for the respective courses, and participants who do well in each course are invited to Japan for further study.

During the period from November 1997 until March 2000, a total of 4,515 young Russian businesspersons participated in the courses at the Japan Centers and 1,015 were selected from among the participants in programs at the Japan Centers to participate in visits and training in Japan.

In addition, during the visit by Japan's Foreign Minister to Russia in May 1999, Japan declared that it would cooperate with Russia's training program for public employees by accepting 100 Russian public employees in a following year for training in Japan.

Factory inspection
Factory inspection
Customs training
Customs training - observation of
customs clearance of a Russian ship
at the Port of Otaru
The Program on training public employees -comments by participants in training in Japan
Vladimir Poleshchuk Vladimir Poleshchuk
(Far East Customs Bureau, Councilor-participated in customs training)
A very valuable training program was prepared for me. I gained useful knowledge regarding the actual activities and experience of the Customs and Tariff Bureau of the Ministry of Finance and I was also able to increase my knowledge in the area of my own work. The level of specialists' training, related equipment and style of work in Japan's customs organization are all at a thoroughly high level. The results I obtained from this training are beyond compare.
Marina Stupakova Marina Stupakova
(Ministry of Anti-Trust Policy and Business Support, Far East Bureau, Chief Specialist-participated in competition policy training)
The training had extensive benefits. The training lectures were useful for helping me understand the complex problems related to application of anti-trust laws. Because the anti-monopoly laws of Russia and Japan share many similarities, learning how Japan's Fair Trade Commission resolves the problem of substantiating anti-monopoly law violations was very meaningful. The experience should prove to be very useful for our work in Russia.
Tatiana Polonskaya Tatiana Polonskaya
(Ministry of Anti-Trust Policy and Business Support, Tatarstan Regional Bureau, Section Chief-participated in competition policy training)
The training concerning competition policy was very useful, with a wealth of detail. I was able to gain greater knowledge about anti-monopoly regulations and Japan's basic statutes regarding protection of consumer benefits. I found the lectures to be full of interest and highly detailed, with a sufficient amount of information. The level of expertise of the lecturers was very high, and the language translation was also quite good.

4. Implementation of the Support Plan for Russian Trade and Industry (Hashimoto Plan)

To promote Russia's smooth transition to a market economy, the government of Japan presented the "Support Plan for Russian Trade and Industry" to Russia in November 1994. Known as the "Hashimoto Plan", this plan includes assistance in three sectors: (1) boost exports, (2) reform and strengthen the industrial structure, and (3) development of better industrial policy-making methods.

Support to Boost Exports

To identify Russian industries and corporations with export potential and broaden export opportunities, Japan provides support such as creating business information databases, dispatching experts to identify promising products, and holding seminars on topics such as trade practices and marketing.

Support to Reform and strengthen the Industrial Structure

Japan dispatches experts and accepts trainees in a broad range of fields including creation of restructuring plans for model company organizations, finance and accounting, management controls, energy savings, industrial standardization and quality control, and training in management consulting. To help cultivate small and medium-sized businesses, Japanese experts are dispatched to the Small- to Medium-sized Enterprise Centers established by the Japanese government in Vladivostok and Moscow to provide training for approximately 150 persons per year in six fields including seafood processing, food products processing, timber processing, metal processing, advanced technology processing, and management. Approximately 40 Russian individuals from small and medium-sized businesses are also accepted each year for training in Japan. In conjunction with Japanese local administrations along the Sea of Japan that have relations with Russia, each year Japan also accepts trainees from the Russian Far East region for training in areas such as trade practices and seafood processing based on the region's special characteristics. Finally, since Fiscal 1998 Russian businessmen have been accepted into Japanese firms where they receive more practical training, an opportunity in which several dozen Russian businessmen participate each year.

Support for Development of Better Industrial Policy-making Methods

Training at a Small- to Medium-sized Enterprise Center
Training at a Small- to Medium-sized
Enterprise Center (Vladivostok)

To help improve Russia's policy-making methods through the exchange of opinions with Russian government officials responsible for policy measures, Japan also invites Russian officials with policy-making responsibilities to Japan for training.

In addition, during Fiscal 1999 Japan dispatched industrial policy experts knowledgeable in industrial finance and taxation or small and medium-sized business policy to Russian government organizations for periods from one to three months, where they provided direct instruction Russian policy-making officials through seminars or courses covering Japan's industrial policy know-how.

5. Intellectual Assistance

Based on Japan's economic management experience, Japan has provided a variety of intellectual assistance measures to promote Russia's transition to a market economy since 1992 when Russia embarked on its economic reforms.

For example, Japan has been providing appropriate advice regarding the various problems that accompany a transition to a market economy and training in statistics and economic analysis methodology, which are essential to build a firm foundation for economic policy-making, by dispatching economic experts to Russia and inviting Russian officials and experts to Japan. Japan also sponsors a "Study on Russia's Economic Reform" each year, where various experts in Japan conduct investigations and research on government policies to ensure a smooth transition to a market economy and provide administrative advice to the Russian government.

In addition, Japan holds a symposium in Tokyo each year in March to which Japanese, Russian and other foreign experts are invited to engage in wide-ranging discussions concerning how best to proceed with economic reforms in Russia in the future.

Along with these activities, Japan periodically holds discussions with officials in charge of economic policy planning in the Russian government and research institutes under the government to exchange frank opinions concerning Russia's economic policies. In particular, together with dialogues on economic policies with the Russian Ministry of Economy since 1992, Japan has been conducting joint research with the Ministry since 1996 on issues such as the appropriate medium to long-term economic policies the Russian government should adopt.

Agreement on collaborative research was reached in Tokyo in March 1996
Agreement for implementation of collaborative research
Agreement for implementation
of collaborative research
Training of economics specialists
Training of economics
specialists (Tokyo)

6. Regional Venture Fund (RVF)

The development of small and medium-sized businesses to form the foundation for a market economy has great significance for the success of Russia's shift to a market economy. The Japanese government established the Regional Venture Fund (RVF) in 1994 in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to develop small and medium-sized private businesses in the Russian Far East and Eastern Siberia. The RVF provides management capital to target firms by purchasing newly issued shares of stock and provides technical support such as management guidance by the fund's managers or Japanese experts. For these activities the Japanese government is providing US$20.0 million for technical support, while the EBRD has provided US$30.0 million in investment funds. Currently the fund is actively carrying out its activities by focusing on improvement of recipient-companies and training of local Russian staff, with the goal of completing its activities in 2004.

Comment from an employee of the Vladivostok RVF
Sergei Mitrofanorov
Sergei Mitrofanorov
 

I was hired by the Fund as an investment specialist in mid-1997 and given responsibility for searching for new promising companies. At the same time I was also entrusted with the development of the RVF computer system. Currently I'm responsible for monitoring the existing companies in which the Fund invests.

Monitoring consists of both the activities we conduct on behalf of investors and the management activities offered to the firms. We also have to introduce new partners to the companies, to follow the new markets, to dissolve the contradictions in the company, and also we have to think about the strategy of ways out of the invested projects.

I was appointed as an acting manager of our RVF office on July 1, 1999. So I have many chances to visit our Khabarovsk office in order to share our management activity and accumulated know-how.

7. Assistance to Promote Local Administrative Reforms in the Russian Far East

Japan has been providing various technical assistance to the governments of the Primorsk and Khabarovsk regions since 1996 and to the government of Sakhalin since 1997, to accelerate the transition to a market economy in the entire Russian Far East through reforms of the administrative and financing systems of these regional governments, which will have the greatest influence on economic reforms of the Russian Far East region. Activities have focused on issues as diverse as establishment of a securities market, regional industrial promotion policies, public housing, regional finance, and energy issues, plus the issuance of overseas securities and investment planning. Japan has dispatched advisors to the regional governments, supported collaboration between Japanese and Russian experts to develop problem resolution proposals, and sponsored activities such as seminars for regional government officials and employees.

Office
Office
Company consultation Company consultation
Consultations with local government concerning securities markets Consultations with
local government
concerning securities
markets (Vladivostok)

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