Bridging the economies bilaterally

As an organisation, JETRO Dubai continues to play pivotal role in guiding Japanese companies to establish or expand their business presence in the region

By Muzaffar Rizvi

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Nobuyuki Nakajima, Managing Director at JETRO Dubai and Middle East and North Africa.
Nobuyuki Nakajima, Managing Director at JETRO Dubai and Middle East and North Africa.

Published: Mon 11 Dec 2023, 11:56 AM

Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has been playing a pivotal role in establishing and nurturing bilateral trade ties between UAE and Japan for decades and it will continue to help Japanese companies in decision-making while entering or expanding in the UAE and the region, its top official says.

Nobuyuki Nakajima, Managing Director at JETRO Dubai and Middle East and North Africa (MENA), said JETRO has taken consistent steps to promote Japanese promote Japanese foodstuff ingredients, Japanese Startups, medical equipment’s, contents, handicraft amongst others.

“These products are promoted through business matching platforms by connecting Japanese companies with potential UAE partners by organizing trade missions, seminar and networking event to foster collaboration.  One of the main focuses is to promote and support Japanese SME grow and expand in the UAE market,” Nakajima said during an interview.

JETRO conducts extensive market research to provide Japanese business information on industry trends, consumer preference and regulatory changes. This helps Japanese companies make informed decisions when entering or expanding in the UAE.

JETRO also aids in connecting companies based in UAE to explore potential partners for the Japanese market in various sectors such as health care, startups, F&B, anime etc. through its wide network in Japan.

UAE-Japan Business Forum

Referring to recently signed 23 memoranda of understanding (MoUs), Nakajima said these MoUs will pave the way for further strengthening bilateral between the two countries. “These MOUs are poised to reinforce and deepen the bilateral relations between the two nations, with particular focus on five key sectors: energy, space, health, circular economy and technology.  The UAE and Japan prioritise energy,” he said.

The UAE-Japan Business forum in Abu Dhabi in July 2023 was a huge success with business delegates from both the UAE and Japan attending it. The UAE and Japan signed 23 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) during the UAE-Japan Business Forum. The signings took place in the presence of Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The MoU fosters business partnerships, joint investments, and tech adoption for industrial and carbon goals. Both countries aim for sustainability, vowing to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, focusing on green technology and eco-friendly economic growth in MoUs.

5th Japanese Business Delegation to the UAE

JETRO facilitated the visit of the 5th batch of Japanese business delegates to the UAE from March 6 to March 9, 2023 as part of its strategy to strengthen the relationship between Japan and the UAE and support Japanese companies in expanding their international business. “The delegation examined the country's potential as a manufacturing hub and explored investment opportunities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, and Sharjah. The delegation was led by  Mitsuhito Sendai, the Executive Vice-President of JETRO,” he said.

Sendai headed a group of 12 Japanese companies from different manufacturing industries, such as plastic products, weighing equipment, factory automation machinery, dental materials and equipment, construction and engineering, and AI tech solutions for the manufacturing industry.

Japanese startups potential

Japanese startups and SMEs have an important role in promoting cooperation in artificial intelligence (AI), fintech, blockchain and other tech verticals. Japan has a strong tradition of innovation and excellence in advanced manufacturing, robotics, and financial services, which are key areas for applying these technologies.

JETRO offers a supportive ecosystem for startups that want to scale globally or enter the Japanese market. Since 2013, JETRO has helped thousands of Japanese start-ups scale globally. JETRO support 700+ Japanese start-ups per year through its 15 different acceleration programs, and 3,000+ through mentoring.

Some of the services that JETRO provides are:

Acceleration programs for Japanese startups in partnership with top-tier accelerators around the world.

Mentoring and connections for Japanese startups by business partners in offices around the globe through the Global Acceleration Hub.

Startup scouting and portfolio services to explore potential startups and watch pitch videos from the most promising ones..

Featured companies and latest posts to showcase the best startups and their stories in Japan.

JETRO supports

JETRO supports Japanese and UAE companies investing in each other's markets.

In the UAE, JETRO Dubai offers info on the market, industries, and regulations through consultations. Seminars and forums facilitate business perspectives and one-on-one meetings.

JETRO Dubai is the central office for the Middle East and North Africa, coordinating trade and investment activities. For UAE companies in Japan, JETRO provides one-stop service through Invest Japan Business Support Centers in six cities. Online support via Digital IBSC and a hotline for inquiries on investment and regulatory reform in Japan are also available.

New Instagram account

In an era dominated by digital engagement, Nakajima said JETRO Dubai has stepped up its game by launching a brand-new Instagram account.

This will offer followers a unique peek behind the scenes about the success stories, seminars, webinars and events organized by JETRO Dubai. Stay connected with JETRO Dubai and access latest information on our activities, all you need to do is hit the ‘’Follow’’ button our Instagram account JETRO_DUBAI.

Business Matching Platform  'E-Venue'

Nakajima also highlighted JETRO’s business matching platform ‘E-Venue’ to identify global partners for Japanese companies.

“We would like to introduce our business matching site, " E-Venue" which is entirely free international business matching website operated by JETRO. Here, you can find global partners on this platform. This platform helps you to find business partners and business needs in international transactions and helps you contact foreign companies,” he said.

For more information and enquiry, please visit

Event Participation

JETRO Dubai is actively involved in the UAE business and corporate events by supporting Japanese companies’ participation in major exhibitions and conferences. Some of the major exhibitions and conferences include:

Gitex Global: In the recently concluded Gitex Global – Expand North Star in Dubai, JETRO showcased 18 dynamic startups from Japan, featuring their cutting-edge technologies from vairous fields such as artificial intelligence, education, environment, energy & clean tech, gaming, VR/AR, web3, telecommunication, travel & hospitality, and many more.

Arab Health: This year, the Japan Pavilion at the Arab Health event showcased 18 Japanese medical product manufacturers. They featured a wide range of cutting-edge healthcare technologies, including disposables, medical equipment, imaging, orthopedics, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation.

Gulfood: JETRO featured 30 Japanese companies under the Japan Pavilion offering high quality and tasty food products from all over Japan which includes seasonings, confectioneries, tea, rice, healthy food, processed foods, seafood, beverages and many more.

COP28 Initiative: Nakajima also explained support for COP28 initiative and said JETRO organised the ‘Japan Green Innovation Conference’ during the COP28 climate conference, served as a platform for experts in sustainability and energy to share insights.

Key themes included "Low Carbon Solutions," "Decarbonization Initiatives in the Energy Industry," and "Sustainable Forest Management with AI."

The discussions centered on strategies to address global climate change and achieve the shared objective of decarbonisation.

Furthermore, the event featured presentations from seven startup companies showcasing their technologies aimed at combating climate change. During the event Japanese seafood products were also promoted, Chefs from TOMO, Dubai's Japanese restaurant, served authentic Japanese seafood.

Promoting Anime content

JETRO has partnered with Spacetoon, a prominent content creator, provider, and streaming platform, to introduce a new section called 'Japan Anime Street' on Spacetoon's online streaming platform, Spacetoon Go.

The curated content on 'Japan Anime Street' aims to cater to Arabic anime fans, providing them with the opportunity to enjoy their favorite anime shows in their native language. Anime enthusiasts can access this new section starting from today only through Spacetoon Go. You can download Spacetoon Go app through App Store and Google Play.

Actively promoting Japanese seafood products

JETRO is actively promoting exports of seafood products from Japan, this project offers e-commerce buyers around the world the opportunity to have special promotions for Japanese seafood products and processed seafood products.

To further bolster seafood product exports from the Sanriku/Tokiwa region, we have launched a buyer invitation programme to bring buyers to the area and allow them to inspect the products in person and conduct business negotiations. We will provide seamless support from implementation to buyer invitation. Furthermore, JETRO Dubai will also promote Japanese seafood products at the Gulfood 2024 and other events in the future.


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