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10 December 2023

Thani Al Zeyoudi meets Japanese counterpart to discuss strengthening bilateral economic cooperation


Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, met Iwata Kazuchika, Japan’s newly appointed State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, in Abu Dhabi for talks on deepening the two countries’ trade and investment ties.

During the meeting, Al Zeyoudi underlined the strength of economic relations between the UAE and Japan, which he said continue to expand. In the first half of 2023, the two countries shared non-oil trade worth US$7.4 billion, a rise of 4.2 percent compared to the same period in 2022, with the UAE’s non-oil exports to Japan exceeding US$718 million. Imports from Japan to the UAE amounted to US$6.3 billion in H1 2023, while re-exports from the UAE to Japan reached US$421 million.

The importance of the relationship was also reflected by an official visit from Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the UAE in July 2023, and the corresponding bilateral agreements that were signed in the fields of energy, industry, advanced technology, artificial intelligence, space, health, transport, and the circular economy.

Al Zeyoudi said, “As the eighth largest global trade partner of the UAE in 2022 and the fourth largest among non-Arab Asian countries, Japan remains one of our most important foreign trade partners. With its rich legacy of innovation, and strong spirit of collaboration, Japan is also a key knowledge partner that is helping the UAE to advance our economic diversification efforts. By working together more closely, we can look ahead to enhancing trade exchange between our two nations, and to providing new investment opportunities for ambitious businesses both in the UAE and Japan.”

As per the latest data, Japan is one of the UAE’s largest investment partners. Japanese investment into the country currently exceeds US$3.3 billion, accounting for 3 percent of total FDI inflows, and 13 percent of investments from non-Arab Asian countries. At the same time, the UAE is one of the most important Middle Eastern investors in Japan, with investment valued at US$1.2 billion at the end of 2022, which represents 42 percent of total MENA region investment in Japan.