Japanese investment in Russia hits $4-6 billion

Japan's accumulated investment in Russia has reached $4-6 billion, a senior Russian economics ministry official said on Thursday.

"Japan's accumulated investment in Russia amounts to $4-6 billion," Stanislav Voskresensky, deputy economic development minister, told the third Russian-Japanese investment forum underway in St. Petersburg.

However, the official said, Japanese investment in the Russian economy only accounted for around 1.5% of total investment in Russia, and just 0.5% of Japanese investment abroad.

The bulk of Japanese capital was directed into the Russian oil and gas sector, the car manufacturing industry and the production of auto components, Voskresensky said.

Valentina Matviyenko, St. Petersburg's governor, said her city was a leading Russian region for cooperation with Japan. She described Japanese businessmen as extremely cautious, but said the northwest Russian city's partners had managed to find common language.

Around 50 Japanese companies currently operate in St. Petersburg, and the municipal government is negotiating with a further 10 Japanese businesses, Matviyenko said.

She said Japan invested $42 million in the city in 2007, with bilateral trade between the country and the city rising 85% year-on-year.

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