Representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB) informed potential Japanese investors about the possibilities of the EIB to provide loans supporting foreign direct investment in the enlarged EU at a seminar entitled EU Enlargement: The Historic Challenge in Tokyo on 26 April 2004.

The seminar that was jointly sponsored by the EIB and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) was attended by about 100 participants from corporates, trading houses, research institutes and relevant bodies supporting investment abroad by Japanese companies.

Mr. Terry Brown, Director General of the EIB Lending Directorate, stated: The enlarged European Union will represent a single market of more than 450 million people with a combined GDP of over JPY 1,280 trillion. The New Member States, that are characterised by rapidly growing economies, a stable political and business environment underpinned by recognised EU regulations, as well as cost competitive locations and facilities with a highly skilled, productive labour force represent tremendous new opportunities for Japanese investors. Through its funding of high quality investment projects, the EIB seeks to facilitate Japanese investment across Europe.

Mr Masayuki Oku, Deputy President, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, stated that Japanese Companies are actively shifting production facilities to Central and Eastern European Countries with the enlargement of the EU. In this context, he welcomed EIB to Japan and encouraged the Japanese companies present at the seminar to consider working with EIB and SMBC in financing their direct investment into Central and Eastern Europe."


The EIB, the European Union's financing institution, finances projects that contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. Outside the Union the EIB implements the financial components of agreements concluded under European development aid and cooperation policies. The EIB supports investment across the enlarged EU by companies of all nationalities.

The EIB is owned by the EU Member States. With capital of EUR 150 billion (JPY 20 trillion) and assets of more than EUR 230 billion (JPY 31 trillion), the Bank fosters development in existing and new EU Member States, part of its remit in the corporate sector being to facilitate foreign direct investment in the new EU Member States, in Bulgaria and Romania as well as in Turkey. Some EUR 5 billion (JPY 675 billion) of EIB financing for corporates have been concluded or are in preparation in the Central and Eastern European region, in addition to the EUR 20 billion (JPY 2.7 trillion) of lending which has gone to infrastructure and other sectors in the New Member States over the last decade.

Over recent years, partly through close cooperation with leading Japanese banks, the EIB has co-financed investment by Japanese companies worth EUR 4.7 bn with loans of about EUR 1.3 bn.