On 25 May 2022, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andris Pelšs, took part in an online conference on building opportunities for cooperation between the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) region and Japan. The event was arranged to introduce the Japanese side to the objectives of the 3SI, the operational principles of the 3SI Investment Fund, the region’s potential, and opportunities for Japan’s business and investment sector.

The participants of the conference also included the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Takako Suzuki, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and national coordinator for the 3SI, Paweł Jabłoński. Representatives from the 3SI Investment Fund Board and the Deputy Director General of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Hisashi Kanamori, also took part in the panel discussion.

In his remarks, the State Secretary praised the close bilateral dialogue between Latvia and Japan and expressed appreciation of Japan’s investments into strategic sectors such as energy and logistics, while accentuating the potential for economic cooperation.

On 20-21 June, Riga will host the 3SI Summit and Business Forum. “By organising the summit and the business forum, Latvia seeks to link the development vision of the region to practical action in order to promote the region’s sustainable growth and resilience in the current complicated geopolitical situation,” Andris Pelšs said.

The State Secretary voiced hope that the conference would promote Japan’s interest in closer cooperation with the 3SI region, and he underlined that representatives from Japan were very much welcome to participate in the 3SI Summit and Business Forum. “Now more than ever, the countries of the 3SI region desire to reinforce cooperation with like-minded partners and resilience in the region’s energy, transport and digital sectors through highlighting our region as a place for smart and sustainable investment,” Andris Pelšs underlined.

In her address, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Takako Suzuki, underlined the importance of developing the overall connectivity. The State Minister encouraged Japanese businesses to visit the 3SI Summit and Business Forum in Riga, as she accentuated the need for strengthening cooperation between Japan and the European countries and the significant value added of such cooperation in terms of sustainable development.

One of key messages from the JBIC Deputy Director General, Hisashi Kanamori, to Japanese companies was that the 3SI region offered favourable opportunities for the business and investment sector, in view of the region’s economic potential, growth figures and geopolitical significance. Mr Kanamori underlined that investments were currently welcome in the region’s energy sector and infrastructure connectivity; in addition, Japanese companies have a vast experience in business development, which could bring mutual benefits to an enhanced cooperation with the 3SI countries.

JBIC Deputy Director General noted that the 3SI countries were offering broad opportunities for Japanese businesses and investment companies, and JBCI would consider support for strengthening cooperation between Japan and the 3SI region.

The conference was jointly organised by the Japan Institute for Overseas Investments (JOI) and the Embassies of Latvia and Poland in Japan.