The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has opened a representative office in Tokyo in a bid to forge relationships with Japanese corporations.
The outpost is EBRD's first in the country. Contacts with Japanese companies had over the last three years been developed by Hitoshi Sanada, the bank's head of business development in Japan, who was based in the Tokyo headquarters of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation until now.
Sanada will remain in Tokyo and move to the new office, which will be headed by Masaru Honma as director and chief representative.
Honma joined the EBRD in 2002 as director for Central Asia. He was previously executive director at the Deposit Insurance Corporation and held senior positions at the Financial Supervisory Agency and Ministry of Finance in Japan.
“Japan is a very important partner for the EBRD. By increasing our presence in the country, we shall be able to support more Japanese companies as they seek investment opportunities in the EBRD regions. We shall also step up the transfer of Japanese skills and know-how to the emerging economies that we serve,” said Suma Chakrabarti, president of EBRD, in a statement.
Japan is one of EBRD's founding shareholders, providing foreign direct investment in countries where EBRD operates. The value of joint Japan-EBRD investment stood at €8.15 billion at the end of 2015, with EBRD finance accounting for €4.5 billion and Japanese investment over €3.5 billion. About €3.14 billion of the total have been deployed in the energy sector, with €1.58 billion gone to infrastructure.