Abu Dhabi / WAM
The fourth session of Abu Dhabi-Japan Economic Council kicked off on Sunday under the co-chairmanship of Yosuke Takagi, the Japanese State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Ali Majid Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development (ADDED).
Al Mansouri added that Abu Dhabi enjoys now a fast growing economy where the actual GDP has increased to $212bn in 2015. Abu Dhabi economy has been and still is the fastest growing economy in the region, with an average actual growth rate of about 5% over the last ten years and an actual growth rate of 6.3% in the year 2015.
“The government of Abu Dhabi has launched mega development projects and massive industrial projects to ensure the sustainable development and the diversification of local economy. The results of these efforts was a very advanced economy and increasing contribution of non-oil activities in the real GDP, which amounted to 51% by the end of 2015; one of the biggest leap from 41% in 2005,” Al Mansouri said.
He went on to say, “Abu Dhabi’s economy is based now on a wide range of non-oil activities in addition to its hydrocarbon resources. Manufacturing industries, renewable energy, aerospace industries, finance, information and telecommunication technology, tourism, real estate are all important elements of Abu Dhabi’s economy today.”
Concluding his speech, he expressed hope that this meeting will be a unique opportunity to review the achievements of both parties, consider the challenges ahead and plan for the promising joint future by looking into joint investment projects, stressing in this respect the commitment of Abu Dhabi government to encourage diversified economy, improve business environment and support financial markets to make Abu Dhabi economy more competitive.
On his part, Yosuke Takagi, the Japanese State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, expressed in his keynote speech at the session his gratitude and appreciation for the ADDED and the senior officials of Abu Dhabi government for hosting the 4th session of Abu Dhabi-Japan Economic Council in Abu Dhabi in cooperation with the Japanese Embassy to the UAE and Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East.
“This meeting comes at a time that reflects the willingness of the governments of the two friendly countries to translate the common goals into concrete reality by reaching closer understanding and agreement on the key strategic and vital sectors that would form an appropriate ground to bolster joint partnership and investments between the two sides,’’ he said.
The Japanese State Minister pointed out that the partnership featured in this session between Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Center and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation stands as a live example of cooperation between the two parties, stressing that the opening in Abu Dhabi in April 2014 of an office for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, which is a first class commercial banks in Japan, comes out of Japan’s commitment to consolidate its partnership with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE at large.
“Japan looks with great interest to successive efforts put by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to diversify and develop its industries and several sectors that are the base and foundation to build a sustainable economy,” added, pointing out that in the agricultural sector, Japanese firms that have developed agricultural technologies in Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general can help boost the efficiency of this sector to improve the self-sufficiency measures in the field of food and food diversity.
‘‘With this understanding between Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Center and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, it is hoped that Japanese firms that want to develop their business in Abu Dhabi would provide agricultural information and advanced technologies in a way that will encourage local companies to invest and work jointly with Japanese firms,’’ he concluded.
UAE, Japan trade reaches AED29.2 billion in 2015
Abu Dhabi / WAM
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) issued a report on the economic ties between the UAE and Japan on the sidelines of the 4th session of Abu Dhabi-Japan Economic Council, which is being held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Abu Dhabi, jointly chaired by Yosuke Takagi, Japanese State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Ali Majed Al Mansoori, ADDED Chairman.
The report shows that overall foreign trade between the UAE and Japan reached AED29.2 billion in the first nine months of 2015, and UAE imports from Japan accounted for about AED27 billion, non-oil exports accounted for AED1.7 billion and re-export accounted for AED492 million.
The report indicates that the overall foreign trade between the two countries has increased from about AED36.6 billion in 2012 to about AED40 billion in 2014, with a growth rate of 12%. Non-oil exports from the UAE to Japan have grown from AED904 million in 2012 to AED1.7 billion in the first 9 months of 2015, a growth rate of 90%.
The report adds that UAE imports from Japan have dropped from approximately AED35 billion in 2012 to AED27 billion during the first 9 months of 2015, or 24% of its 2012 level. The size of foreign trade between the two countries, it says, is in favour of Japan as the UAE has contributed just to 8% of the total foreign trade in the first 9 months of 2015 while Japan contributed to 92% of the foreign trade between the two countries.
According to the report, the size of trade between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Japan in the first seven months of 2015 reached AED5.1 billion, while the overall foreign trade between the two sides from 2010 to 2014 has seen a growth rate of 10%. Abu Dhabi imports from Japan accounted for the biggest part of foreign trade between the two sides, with a value of AED5 billion in the first 7 months of 2015 while Abu Dhabi’s exports to Japan in the same period were about AED45.5 million.
The report covered the agreements and Memoranda of Understanding signed between the UAE and Japan, especially the agreement between Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company (ADGAS) and Tokyo Electrical Power Company (TEPCO) in 1973 to provide TEPCO with LNG and LPG, and the renewal in 1990 of that same agreement for 25 years as from 1994.
It also highlighted the economic agreement between the two countries whereby the UAE provides Japan with its crude oil needs against a US$3 billion loan to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) from a group of Japanese banks under the sponsorship of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
The report says that in October 2012, the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Finance, signed an initial agreement to avoid double income taxation with Japan at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Finance in Tokyo. In February 2013, Abu Dhabi Education Council and Japan International Cooperation Council signed an MoU to tighten ties between them in the field of academic programmes. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the meeting of Abu Dhabi-Japan Economic Council, organised by ADDED to promote cooperation between the two countries in some vital sectors like education, health, industry, investment and oil and gas.
In February 2013, several departments and entities of Abu Dhabi government signed 10 agreements of joint cooperation with the government of Japan in the areas of economy, investment, infrastructure and community services during the meetings of Abu Dhabi-Japan Economic Council. The agreements aimed to promote the role of three joint work groups that work under the Council’s umbrella in the fields of energy, industry, infrastructure, education and human resources development. A joint cooperation agreement was also signed between ADDED and the Tokyo Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology. The agreement is aimed at promoting better cooperation in the field of advanced science and technology, encouraging scientific research and applications and use it for the common goals of both countries.
MoU’s were also signed in the field of energy between ADNOC and Japan Bank for International Cooperation and between ADNOC and Japan International Cooperation Centre in the field of oil and gas, minerals and investment. The Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones also signed an MoU with Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East.
In the area of HR development, a number of MoU’s were signed between the UAE University and Tokyo University and between Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and Japan International Cooperation Centre, and between the Tokyo Research Centere for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) and the Research and Training Centre and Japan Energy Institute.
In May 2013, ADEC signed a number of MoU’s with Abu Dhabi Oil Co. Ltd. (Japan), Cosmo Oil Company Ltd., Ritsumeikan Group and Japan International Cooperation Centre to promote educational partnerships between the UAE and Japan, and offer UAE students the best global educational choices.
In February 2014, Masdar signed a framework agreement with a Japanese bank to expedite the spread of energy technologies and another framework agreement with Japan Bank for International Cooperation to explore the best opportunities to finance and construct renewable energy projects for service facilities across the world and to invest in clean energy technologies and investment funds.
In February 2014, the air services agreement between the UAE and Japan was amended and a Cooperation Memorandum was signed on developing the work of the two countries’ Joint Cooperation Committee. Another Memorandum was signed between Japan’s Foreign Ministry and the UAE Ministry of International Cooperation and Development to enhance cooperation on international development initiatives and humanitarian assistance in areas of common interests.
The UAE Ministry of Energy has also signed a Cooperation Memorandum with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the UAE.
The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development also signed an extension and amendment agreement with the Japanese Organisation For Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation.