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July 25, 2017 | 17:30 | Dubai
H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, the Ministry of Economy’s Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, discussed various means for further developing economic and trade cooperation with Japan during a meeting held with H.E. Yasushi Akahoshi, President of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), in Dubai.
The two sides expressed their satisfaction with their advanced level of economic and trade relations and their mutual keenness to develop effective mechanisms for cooperation, the exchange of experiences, and facilitating investment in a number of vital economic fields that serve their respective developmental goals, especially in the fields of innovation, R&D, and small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) incubators.
The meeting was also attended by Mohammed Al Yousfi, National Program Director for SMEs, senior Ministry advisors, and senior officials of JETRO.
H.E. Al Saleh said that Japan occupies a special place in the UAE’s international relations as their countries have made significant progress in advancing cooperation at all economic and commercial levels. He specifically pointed to the efforts exerted to fulfill their mutual desire to establish advanced models of cooperation in various major fields that are priorities under their respective economic agendas.
The Undersecretary also praised the decision of the Japanese Government to exempt UAE Nationals from entry visas, noting that this will positively affect their bilateral relations and provide more opportunities for UAE investors to enhance their presence in the Japanese market.
He further reviewed several prospects for manufacturing partnerships particularly in the petrochemical and aluminum fields, as well as in renewable energy, transport and logistics, and other areas where the two sides enjoy a number of preferential advantages. This, he said, enables promising partnerships for their countries as well as additional potential investments in other promising markets in Central Asia and Africa.
H.E. Al Saleh emphasized the importance of developing joint platforms for enhancing linkages between their private sectors, pointing out that the UAE has issued directives towards organizing a number of visits and trade missions to Tokyo to promote the former’s diverse investment environment. Plans include the organization of a ‘UAE Week’ in Japan during the first quarter of 2018 to be participated in by officials from the public and private sectors which will cover major Japanese cities.
The Undersecretary called on Japan to be the partner country in the next session of the SME Conference, a specialized conference organized by the Ministry of Economy which gathers officials, experts, academics and representatives of various organizations and authorities supporting entrepreneurship along with private sector entities to discuss major issues and challenges faced by entrepreneurs and exchange opinions and ideas on global solutions and best practices.
It was mentioned that the volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and Japan exceeded USD 14.5 billion in 2016, while the volume of Japanese direct investments in the country amounting to around USD 4 billion.
For his part, H.E. Yasushi Akahoshi, President of Japan’s JETRO, highlighted the importance of maintaining strong economic and trade relations with the UAE which Japan considers as its most important trading partner in the region.
H.E. Akahoshi added that Japan is keen to develop frameworks of cooperation in various vital fields and further diversify UAE-Japan foreign trade to support joint efforts to pursue wider horizons and help achieve the development goals of their friendly countries as well as heighten their levels of trade and investment cooperation.
JETRO’s president expressed Japan’s interest in facilitating more economic and trade missions from the UAE to Tokyo to constantly review major investment opportunities and to strengthen relations between their business communities.
H.E. also reviewed several cooperative models between JETRO and a number of economic organizations and authorities representing the UAE’s private sector. He explained that these provide joint platforms for businessmen and investors from both sides to determine the most important partnership opportunities available. He pointed out that the presence of Japanese investments in the UAE market opens wide areas for expanding to other promising neighboring markets which consider the UAE as a distinctive destination for investment and a major regional trade hub.