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
|Comments by participants in Japan Center courses|
| Number of Participants at Seminars and Lectures Held at Japan Centers
Top students from the Japan Centers
are invited to training programs
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.
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|
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 (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
Training of economics
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|
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.
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