Japan seeks to boost ties with UAE

Japan is opening up borders for investments in non-oil related fields, and hopes to share its stable economy concept with the UAE.

By Farhana Chowdhury

Published: Sat 15 Mar 2014, 11:04 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:30 PM

Toshio Oya, Norihiko Ishiguro and Haruyuki Toyama met with top UAE officials during their visit. — Supplied photo

The Invest in Japan initiative came about after a recent diplomatic meeting between General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Delegates from Japan visited Abu Dhabi recently to meet prospective investors and showcased affluent opportunities in Japan.

“During their meeting in February, General Shaikh Mohammed and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to expand the countries’ mutual cooperation from the oil business to other areas such as investments in healthcare, education, facilitation of infrastructure, and so on. It was then that Prime Minister Abe announced to send a mission to invest in Japan, so here we are today,” said Norihiko Ishiguro, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Delegates involved in the investments and finance sector joined the exclusive gathering to learn about sterling possibilities in the Land of the Rising Sun. The seminar included case-by-case content to demonstrate Japan’s advanced technologies and its contribution towards companies with a competitive edge.

With a focus on structural reforms and growth strategies, Ishiguro was joined by Haruyuki Toyama, director-general of the Bank of Japan’s International Department, who elaborated on monetary policy, while Toshio Oya, counselor of the Minister’s Secretariat at the Ministry of Finance spoke about fiscal policy — each making up the three fundamentals of Abenomics, an economic policy initiated by Abe that helped strengthen Japan’s economy since its implementation in December 2013.

“We had a very productive meeting with executives of many funds in Abu Dhabi and other state companies. With Abenomics moving at a steady flow, it has become an attractive point for investors with its stable monetary policy, fiscal policy, tax policy, etc. So far, things are looking optimistic, and I believe there is a positive impression of the Japanese economy,” he said.

To date, there are about 50 Japanese companies that operate in Abu Dhabi alone, and the country seeks to increase its numbers in the coming years.

According to figures released by the Japan External Trade Organisation, the total value of trade between the UAE and Japan stood strong at $51.41 billion in 2013.

The UAE is Japan’s top exporter of oil and gas, and over 40 per cent of upstream crude oil output produced by Japanese companies comes from Abu Dhabi.

“We expect a stable supply of crude oil, and we would like to maintain good relationship with the UAE in the supply of oil and gas, especially the upstream and downstream sectors. However, this time, we would like to focus on other areas, specifically a smart community, which consists of smart transportation systems such as electronic buses and vehicles. Japan is also good at renewable energy and control of green technology,” Ishiguro said.

“We would like to enhance these industries for the future. Another area is that our Japanese society currently has an ageing community, so we have to focus on the healthcare industries [medical services and devices] that we can export as well. We would like investments from the UAE and in turn promote these goods and infrastructures to the UAE.”

— farhana@khaleejtimes.com

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