New York, New York - October 19, 2007 - KWR International, Inc. (KWR) announces the launch of a new initiative dedicated to facilitating business agreements and investments between Japanese trading companies, industrial firms and other major consumers of natural resources with promising exploration and production companies around the world. This initiative will be supported by the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).
Through planning, strategy development, intelligence gathering, marketing and network development, the organization of site visits, road show presentations, one-on-one meetings, and additional appropriate assistance throughout the negotiation and business development process, KWR will help exploration and production companies in their efforts to realize tangible business agreements and investments from Japanese firms. KWR is now moving to identify targeted prospects and working with JOGMEC and NEXI to schedule one-on-one and group meetings with Japanese firms and investors this fall.
Special emphasis will be placed on identifying firms that possess attractive properties that offer promising sources of energy, base, rare earth and industrial metals, non-metals mining and related technologies and services. Preference will be given to companies that possess strong management, a competitive business structure, and a real interest and capacity to develop and sustain cross-border business and investment relationships.
Current Trends Impacting Availability of Resource Investment
Despite rising global demand for a wide range of natural resources, supplies remain constrained due to a lack of new exploration and production activity. This has led both developed and developing nations to expand and to diversify their procurement of resources around the world.
Despite this growing imbalance, in recent years, the needs of industrial firms and other consumers of energy and base and specialty metals have in many ways been overshadowed by those of financial investors. Low interest rates and inadequate pricing of risk has encouraged speculation. This allowed exploration companies to secure financing utilizing higher valuations and less stringent conditions than might be expected using traditional metrics.
The lessening of speculation and re-pricing of risk seen in recent months, however, is making it more difficult for resource companies to source this financially-driven capital. Firms are now being asked to demonstrate more stable funding and operations. This is a condition that can be satisfied through investments, production and other business arrangements with larger, cash-rich strategic partners who can help these firms to plan, and manage, their development plans and operations with a longer-term perspective. It is also likely to elevate their standing with other investors and analysts, as it will provide more confidence on their ability to successfully implement their business and production plans.
Japan's Important Role in Global Energy, Mineral and Resource Markets
While substantial attention is devoted to the growing needs of China, India and other developing countries, Japan remains the world's second largest economy. With few natural resources of its own, it is the world's third largest consumer of crude oil, copper and zinc, the fifth largest consumer of lead and seventh largest consumer of natural gas. Similar statistics can be found for many other base and rare earth metals, commodities and other natural resources.
The need to ensure sustainable inventories of a wide range of resources is leading Japanese trading and industrial firms to seek out new procurement sources. As a result, they are now more willing to consider investments into, and production agreements with, more geographically diverse and smaller projects than in the past.
KWR Now Working with JOGMEC and NEXI To Schedule Meetings this Fall
To facilitate partnerships and transactions between promising resource companies and Japanese trading and industrial firms, KWR is now moving to identify targeted prospects and working with JOGMEC and NEXI to schedule one-on-one and group meetings with Japanese firms and investors this fall. Moving forward, additional consideration is being given to organizing road show presentations and workshops in New York, Tokyo and other targeted locations to provide both knowledge and awareness as well as a platform upon which closer relationships and business and investment agreements can be developed between Japanese and foreign firms.
Details concerning this initiative, including participation requirements and tentative presentation dates, are available through the contact below.
"KWR consultants have been actively promoting trade and investment between Asia and other markets for several decades -- and in recent years this work has become more focused on the resource sector", states Keith W. Rabin, President, KWR International, Inc. "Recognizing the clear benefits of increased cooperation between Japanese trading and industrial firms with foreign exploration and production companies and the number of inquiries we have been receiving, we are very pleased to be able to work with JOGMEC and NEXI so that we might better support this growing interest and help to realize a greater number of agreements and transactions between these parties."
"Increased global competition for resources have constrained supplies and necessitated a move beyond the large-scale projects Japanese firms and institutions have relied upon in the past toward the types of properties that lie within junior exploration and production company portfolios," notes Hirohide Hirai, General Manager, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, Washington, DC. "This necessitates a broader network of relationships and we look forward to working with KWR to support its efforts to introduce, and to facilitate business and investment agreements between, promising exploration and production companies and Japanese firms and investors with a presence in the sector."
"As the largest provider of foreign trade and investment insurance products and services in Japan, NEXI actively supports Japanese firms in their efforts to procure natural resources by helping them to enter new markets, and to manage political, commercial, transportation and other forms of risk, in countries throughout the world", comments Ryo Minami, Chief Representative, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, New York. "This initiative, however, helps us go a step beyond and provide additional value to our customers as they seek to identify and access new supply sources. As a result, we welcome this opportunity to join KWR and JOGMEC in this effort to facilitate business and investment agreements between Japanese and foreign firms in the resource sector."
ABOUT KWR International
KWR International, Inc. (KWR) is a consulting firm specializing in the delivery of business development, research, public/investor relations and advisory services with a particular emphasis on international trade and investment in Japan and the Asia/Pacific region. KWR consultants have managed numerous investment, business development and other projects for a wide range of private and public sector clients dealing with Japan, Asia and the natural resource market. Relevant experience includes, but is not limited to, assistance to the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Ministry of Finance (MOF), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Barrick Gold, ATLUS Corp., Mainline Global Systems, Buy-Rite Corp., Eastman Kodak, GE Capital and Nagase Kenko Corp. KWR consultants have also served many other U.S. and Asian corporate, government and financially- oriented clients as well as donor agencies, hedge funds, financial institutions and several of the world's largest public relations and professional service firms.
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) was established in February 2004 with the mission of securing a stable supply of oil, natural gas, nonferrous metals and minerals to Japan, and controlling pollution caused by metal mining activities in Japan. One of our primary functions is to provide financial and technical assistance to support Japanese private companies' exploration, production and stockpiling activities in the fields of oil, natural gas and metals, and to assist pollution control for metal mining in Japan.
Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) is an independent administrative agency of the Government of Japan. It was established in April 2001 as a Japanese Export Credit Agency, which provides insurance programs to support export & international investment activity by Japanese firms. NEXI places special emphasis as a public agency on supporting business activities to secure natural resources and energy. This year it has implemented a new Investment and Loan Insurance Program for Natural Resources and Energy to facilitate activity in this sector.