UAE, Japan discuss latest developments in comprehensive strategic partnership, sign MoUs

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, met with the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Shihab Al Fahim, UAE Ambassador to Japan.

During the meeting, Dr. Al Jaber conveyed greetings from President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to the Japanese Prime Minister, along with his best wishes for continued progress and prosperity for Japan and its people.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative and the implementation of joint projects and programs within this framework.

This visit comes as part of the efforts to strengthen the enduring relations between the two friendly countries, and their aspirations to achieve sustainable economic growth, and to enhance the prospects for joint cooperation and ways to develop it in various fields, within the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership initiative that was launched during the visit of H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, to Japan in September 2022.

During the visit, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber met with Kamikawa Yoko, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ken Saito, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Taro Kono, Minister for Digital Transformation, and Yoshimasa Hayashi, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan.

Dr. Al Jaber also met with Chief Executive Officers of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Ineos, Mitsui & Co., Inpex, Jira, Itochu, Hitachi, and SoftBank Group.

Dr. Al Jaber affirmed during the meetings with the Japanese side the keenness of the UAE leadership to extend and strengthen bridges of communication and cooperation to serve sustainable economic and social development efforts.

He discussed the importance of securing energy supplies to benefit from artificial intelligence tools and solutions in order to improve the performance of the energy sector and raise its efficiency, in addition to stimulating and encouraging innovation, which helps to explore, develop and apply more solutions to stimulate low emission economic growth, and supporting the achievement of the goals of the “UAE Consensus” reached during the Conference of Parties “COP28”.

He highlighted as well that the UAE adopted from an early stage the development and implementation of clean energy projects locally, regionally and globally, and called for attracting more investments in the energy sector to meet the growing global demand for it.

In turn, Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi stressed that Japan is one of the most important trading partners of the UAE around the world (the ninth largest trading partner of the UAE globally and the fifth largest in the Gulf Cooperation Council), and the UAE is also the largest trading partner of Japan among the GCC countries.

Bilateral relations are witnessing remarkable development in light of the joint will of the leadership of the two friendly countries to advance these relations to new heights of mutual economic growth, in a way that serves common interests, by encouraging more cooperation in a number of fields, including economy, trade and investment.

He said that Japan is also a pivotal knowledge partner for the UAE in the areas of economic diversification and sectors of the future economy based on knowledge and innovation, given its rich history in these fields.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi pointed out that the visit of the UAE delegation to Japan aimed to strengthen bilateral relations and conclude more partnerships and agreements to accelerate and stimulate growth in sectors of common interest, in a way that supports enhancing trade exchange and exploring more new investment opportunities for business sectors and companies.

The visit witnessed the signing and announcement of new strategic and vital partnerships between the two countries. A memorandum of Understanding was signed between ADNOC and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for green financing worth $3 billion. This agreement will support ADNOC’s pioneering efforts in reducing emissions and adopting low-carbon solutions in its operations.

A Memorandum of Cooperation was also signed regarding strategic reserves between ADNOC and the Natural Resources and Energy Agency (affiliated with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry – METI) aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy and ensure its security and sustainability.

The MoC will support the growth of the Japanese economy by providing a strategic reserve that helps mitigate energy price shocks amid market and supply chain fluctuations.

During his meeting with Kamikawa Yoko, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Sultan praised the UAE-Japanese relations, which are witnessing remarkable development within the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership. The talks included the latest developments in the implementation of joint projects, programs and initiatives and enhancing cooperation horizons.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber also met with Ken Saito, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

The meeting reviewed the various aspects of economic cooperation between the two countries and ways to enhance them to serve mutual interests. Additionally, they explored ways to strengthen trade, investment, energy, renewable energy, industry, advanced technology, and other fields of mutual interest.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber held a meeting with Taro Kono, Minister of Digital Transformation, where the two sides affirmed their keenness to cooperate in the field of advanced technology and digital transformation, including artificial intelligence and its applications in various vital sectors, supporting and encouraging related industries, and working to explore investment opportunities and joint projects in these areas.

The UAE delegation included Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Saeed Mubarak Al Hajeri, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs; Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Executive Director of Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth at ADNOC; Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company “Masdar”; and Thomas Pramotedham, CEO of Presight.

The UAE is a reliable source for supplying Japan with energy sources and is considered a strategic partner in various fields. The UAE is the largest supplier of oil to Japan, as its oil exports during the month of April amounted to about 35.8 million barrels (representing more than 45 percent of Japan’s imports during the same month).

Oil exports in 2023 represented 44.7 percent of Japan’s total oil imports. On the other hand, the UAE exported the world’s first certified shipment of low-carbon ammonia to Japan, which was produced using “carbon capture and storage” technology through cooperation between Vertiglobe and Japan’s Mitsui. This shipment comes as part of ADNOC’s efforts to accelerate the development of global value chains for low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia.

Mubadala Investment Company also announced its first renewable energy projects in Japan, through PAG’s platform (“PAG REN I”), which mainly specializes in providing solar energy to companies. The platform aims to provide its services in the Asia-Pacific region, with a primary focus on Japan.

The UAE is a source of about 60 percent of foreign direct investment flows to Japan from the Middle East during the year 2023, while the UAE attracted about 82 percent of the total Japanese investments in the Middle East countries during the same year (an increase of 71 percent from the year 2022), mainly covering diverse sectors such as technology, renewable energy and transportation.

The total trade exchange between the two countries in 2023 amounted to about $47.4 billion (including petroleum products), while non-oil trade exchange amounted to about $15.6 billion during 2023, achieving a growth of 6.1 percent compared to 2022.

The UAE is considered as the first trading partner to Japan in terms of exports and imports to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, as the country receives 47 percent of Japan’s exports to the GCC countries.