TOKYO, Aug. 2 – On August 1, 2017, the Gulf Japan Food Fund (GJFF), a private equity fund established by the Central Cooperative Bank for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (the Norinchukin Bank), Mizuho Bank, and other investors, said that it invested in Yamanote Atelier Restaurant, a firm developing a new bakery business in Dubai, the U.A.E, in July this year.
Yamanote Atelier Restaurant is a new bakery chain created around the concept of “Japanese bakery.” It emphasizes high quality and food safety and imports ingredients such as wheat and beverage from Japan. This was the first investment made through the fund.
The investors including the Norinchukin Bank anticipate that the new investment will help Japan to get a toehold and expand its food and agricultural exports in the Middle East. The investment will then help Yamanote to construct central kitchen facilities and expand its branch network in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC countries).
According to a person representing the Norinchukin Bank, the bank “wants to keep adding value to agriculture and food business that it supports through the fund in order to expand exports.”
GJFF was established jointly by the Norinchukin Bank, Mizuho Bank, Cool Japan Fund (a public-private fund for creating new demand for Japanese products and services), and Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), which is a government-owned investment corporation formed by the six GCC countries. It began investment operation in March last year.