ABU DHABI, 30th April, 2018 (WAM) — Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, highlighted Japan’s desire to strengthen and widen its co-operation with the UAE while praising the developing relations between the two countries, in light of the support and patronage of their leadership.
He stated this during his speech at the UAE-Japan Business Forum, which was launched today in Abu Dhabi, under the theme, “UAE’s Economic and Industrial Diversification and Innovation,” with the attendance of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, Group; Khaldoun Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority; Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organisation, JETRO, and other officials from both countries.
Abe said that his country has worked over the past 45 years with the UAE, which is a pioneer of development in the Middle East, to achieve the development and progress that benefitted both countries and advanced their ties to the level of a strategic relationship.
“The relations between the two countries are strong in the energy sector, and they have expanded in recent years to include the sectors of technology, infrastructure, food, education, culture and space programmes, as well as scientific and academic exchange,” Abe said while affirming that his country’s government will support the relations between their countries, and they will remain partners in dealing with international causes and strengthening their business and economic relations.
Abe also praised the role of businessmen in strengthening the economic relations between the UAE and Japan while highlighting the forum’s importance and stressing that the signing of agreements represents progress in their economic relations.
The forum was organised by JETRO, in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and the Japanese Government, and in co-operation with the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, JOGMEC, and the Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East, JCCME.
Sultan Al Mansouri said, in his speech, that the forum is an effective platform to discuss future co-operation opportunities while pointing out that their discussions will enable the exchange of the latest information and ideas that will promote growth, in light of the current economic conditions in both countries and the prosperous ties and partnerships between their private sectors.
He also expressed his pride at their previous achievements in promoting co-operation in key sectors, projects and initiatives, which will be the centre of focus during the upcoming period.
Al Mansouri added that there are many factors that reflect the solid ties that bring together the UAE and Japan, most notably the ongoing government and private visits and meetings between both sides.
“The amount of commercial and investment exchange reflects another important aspect of the flourishing economic relations between both countries, as the value of non-oil commercial exchange between the UAE and Japan during 2017 reached around US$15 billion a growth of 8.4 percent from 2016.
The average growth of non-oil intra-trade of both countries during the last five years reached around 2.5 percent.
“Japan is considered the sixth most important commercial partner of the UAE according to the data of 2017, the fourth biggest exporter to the country, and in the 15th place internationally among the most important countries importing from the UAE, and the Japanese investment balance in the country reached around AED14.3 billion, equivalent to $3.9 billion dollars. The UAE is among the 20 most important markets importing from Japan, the first in the Arab world, and among the 10 most important countries exporting to Japan and the first in the Arab world for oil trade as well,” he added.
He asserted that co-operation between both countries during the past contributed to deepening the partnership in a number of important traditional sectors such as energy, industry, commerce, investment, tourism, aviation and others. The joint work contributed to strengthening small and medium projects, innovation, entrepreneurship, and encouraging emerging companies to help with research and development activities and connect them with the investment opportunities in international markets, he added.
He pointed out that this forum, through its important theme, which focusses on the policy of economic and industrial diversification and innovation in the UAE, sheds light in a detailed way on important opportunities and sectors for targeted co-operation according to the economic plan of both countries based on the directives for the private sector.
He said that the business world is currently witnessing prominent transformations in the economic models followed to achieve development and new ideas keep turning into commercial projects pushed by the advancement of technology and research, development and innovation activities. The UAE focusses on innovation as the main driver for development within the framework of its Vision 2021, which aims to build a diverse international competitive economy based on knowledge and innovation led by capable national adequacies, he stressed.