Thu, 21 Sep 2023

TOKYO, 5th August, 2023 (WAM) -- ISHIGURO Norihiko, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), says his country is aiming to strengthen trade and investment relations with the United Arab Emirates.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency WAM in Tokyo, Ishiguro noted the significance of Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio's visit to the UAE last month, which included a delegation of about 40 CEOs of Japanese companies.

Ishiguro said Japan wishes to make contributions in areas that are not limited to the field of energy, such as the environment, health care and space. Japanese universities and companies are very interested in such fields, he said, especially with the UAE seeking cooperation in new fields as it tries to diversify its economy.

"Japan and the UAE recently signed an agreement exempting entry visas, which reflects the importance of the tourism sector for both countries, as the visa exemption will enhance the opportunities for Japanese business people and tourists to visit the UAE and vice versa," Ishiguro said.

Ishiguro explained that, for Japan, the UAE is mainly important to attract financial investments, including government investment funds. "We would like to create a model through which Japanese technologies can be implemented in the UAE," he said.

Ishiguro said that on his recent visit to Japan, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, stated that the UAE is looking forward to strengthening cooperation in areas such as infrastructure development, high-tech industries, artificial intelligence, insurance, medical care, tourism financing, asset management and advanced industries.

On the formation of the UAE-Japanese Business Council and its role in interacting with Japanese investors in the UAE and vice versa, Ishiguro explained that JETRO signed a memorandum of understanding with the The Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry to establish a joint UAE-Japanese business council that aims to strengthen communication between Japan and the UAE and to be a platform to improve business cooperation.

He pointed out that there are agreements between the two governments on energy security, industrial acceleration, and a framework for cooperation in investment in semiconductors and batteries.

Looking towards COP28, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ishiguro stressed Japan's desire to support the UAE's efforts towards climate neutrality and expressed the hope that there would be strong participation by Japanese companies in the conference.

Regarding Japan's current trade situation, he noted the challenges of rising fuel prices and the depreciation of the yen but said that if the yen's depreciation stops and energy prices stabilise during the next year or two, it is likely that Japan's trade balance will turn into a surplus in the near future.

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