DUBAI - Economic and business leaders from Japan and across the Middle East meet at the Japan Cooperation Forum for the Middle East in Dubai.
The two-day event that started on Thursday, organized by the Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) and held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City, aims to develop and enhance relations between Japan and the MENA region.
The outcomes from the conference will be used by the Japanese government to help develop Japan’s policy planning and approaches for economic cooperation with countries in the GCC and across the MENA region.
Those in the event included Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, United Arab Emirates; Hiroyuki Ishige, Japanese Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy Trade & Industry (METI); Hiroyasu Kobayashi, Japanese Consul General, Consulate General of Japan; and Sultan Bin Nasser Al-Suwaidi, Governor, Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates.
Briefings by three Japanese businesses working in the MENA region - Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of the UAE; JGC of Algeria; and Marubeni Corporation of Iran - also formed a key part of the program.
The Middle East is a key market for Japan, with recent reports citing a 27.5 percent jump in exports from 2007.
Making up a large proportion of Japanese exports to the Middle East are Japanese cars and electronics.
In Saudi Arabia, Japanese cars represent some two-thirds of new car sales, with Japanese investment in Saudi Arabia recently strengthened by the establishment of the Saudi Arabia-Japan Industrial Cooperation Task Force.
In addition, Japanese companies are involved in some significant projects in the fields of water and power, petroleum, and petrochemicals in the region. Leading Japanese manufacturers attending the event included representatives from globally recognized brands including Toyota, Mitsubishi and Mitsui.
Jiro Nemoto, chairman of JCCME, said: “We are delighted to be here in the Middle East for the first time. Japan is known as the world’s most technically advanced nation, and consumers in the MENA region are among those embracing Japanese products and technologies. We believe there are more opportunities for businesses and governments in the MENA region to work with their counterparts in Japan to develop partnerships, technologies and economic ties for mutual benefits.”
Founded in 1973 JCCME was established, through the joint efforts of the Japanese government and the private sector, with the aim to develop and enhance relations between Japan and the MENA region.
The forum is being held in Vienna, Austria since 1979. – Agencies