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Japanese investments in Abu Dhabi hit $1.6bn in 2017

UAE Business


The size of Japanese investments in Abu Dhabi reached approximately Dh6.1 billion ($1.66 billion) by end of 2017, while the number of trade licenses issued to Japanese investors in Abu Dhabi reached 32, a media report said.

Similarly, the value of non-oil trade between Japan and Abu Dhabi stood at Dh9.803 billion between January and October 2018, compared to Dh8.320 billion in the same period last year, representing a 17.8 percent growth, Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development DED) was quoted as saying by Emirates news agency Wam.

He was speaking at the 6th Abu Dhabi-Japan Economic Council, ADJEC, which began on Tuesday to discuss ways to promote economic cooperation, partnerships and investment opportunities between the UAE and Japan in various sectors.

Chaired by Saif Al Hajeri, Yoshihiro Seki, Japan's State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and Seiji Hirota, representative executive director of Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East, the event drew the participation of a high-level Japanese delegation.

Aimed at examining the progress achieved in the implementation of the decisions and recommendations made during the previous ADJEC session in Tokyo last year, the meeting highlighted the need to elevate the levels of cooperation between the business communities in both countries and help Japanese companies that are planning to expand their businesses and investment activities in the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular.

In his opening address, Saif Al Hajeri said, "Within the framework of the Abu Dhabi-Japan Economic Council, the government of Abu Dhabi prioritises the enhancement of economic and investment cooperation with Japan, establishing a new era of productive synergies between our countries. Our annual meeting is an opportunity to discuss and find the best ways to promote economic cooperation, partnerships and investment opportunities of interest to the UAE and Japan, particularly in the fields of energy, transportation, pharmaceuticals and healthcare through technology transfer and sharing economic know-how."

"From ADJEC's 5th session in Tokyo in 2017 until the present time, new developments have been set in motion in both Abu Dhabi and Tokyo to achieve this shared agenda. First, a new Project Facilitation Team was launched under ADJEC to coordinate with 18 Japanese companies that are keen to set up their businesses across Abu Dhabi.

“Second, various initiatives developed by working groups established under the umbrella of ADJEC to achieve these priorities have already made headway. Notable among them are the transportation workshop held in May 2018 to follow-up on the second ADJEC Infrastructure Working Group, IWG, as well as the agreement inked between Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, DoT, and Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East to enhance collaboration in the transportation sector - including the railways, transport policy, Transit Oriented Development, and automated driving technology in Abu Dhabi,” he added.

Al Hajeri also noted that the bilateral announcement of the "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative" marked a new phase in the relationship between the two countries, especially following the successful visit of Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, to the UAE in April 2018.

To support this initiative, discussions are underway between the two sides to explore the upgrading of various initiatives under ADJEC to a higher level through exchanging information and data about the strategies that improve the overall business environment.

ADJEC also welcomed the MoU signed between Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi and Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East to enhance collaboration in the vital transportation sector.

The number of Japanese investors registered with Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, ADX, totalled 723, including 622 individual investors and 101 investment corporations by the end of Q1 2018. Furthermore, the (sell and buy) value of Japanese investor trading totalled nearly Dh150 million in 2017.

The market value of stocks owned by Japanese investors on the ADX until the end of 2017 reached Dh800 million. Likewise, the value of the Japanese trading (sell and buy) during Q1 2018 totalled approximately Dh31 million - making up nearly six percent of cumulative investor trading from Asian countries during the same period.

The ADJEC was set up in early 2011 to promote communication and facilitate bilateral investment and trade in goods and services between Abu Dhabi and Japan. ADJEC also seeks to identify common factors affecting the economies of both countries and enhance their competitive edge across multiple sectors.

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