A Japanese delegation met yesterday with the UAE's Minister of Economy to discuss mutual collaboration in information and communications technology (ICT).
The UAE is Japan's primary trade partner in the Middle East and the meeting explored ways to boost trade in the field of ICT and related services.
The Japanese delegates discussed their country's leadership in traffic information, personal authentication, telepathology, and e-government technologies, and offered their services in establishing digital terrestrial broadcasting, mobile WiMAX and advanced cellular phone systems in the UAE. Minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri (pictured above) said: "IT services spending in the UAE rose 23 per cent to Dh1.86 billion in 2007 and is expected to grow by 15 per cent this year – we thus welcome our Japanese partners' offer of further expanding this growth industry. Japanese ICT technologies will also perfectly complement federal efforts to enhance inter-agency communications and develop the country's ICT infrastructure to meet burgeoning consumer demand."
Bilateral trade between the UAE and Japan reached Dh69 billion in the first half of 2007, with Japan importing more than 30 per cent of its mineral fuels from the UAE during the same period. The group agreed that this productive relationship should be further expanded into growth areas such as ICT. They also exchanged views on the ICT-related policies of their respective countries and the important role of ICT technologies and services in societal development. The Japanese delegation included: Senior Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Takayoshi Taniguchi; Director-General, Telecommunications Department, Telecommunications Bureau Nobuhiro Takeuchi; Director, International Policy Coordination, International Affairs Department, Telecommunications Bureau, Masanori Kondo; Corporate Senior Executive Vice President, Fujitsu, Chiaki Ito; General Manager, NEC Corp, Middle East and Africa, Masahiro Yoshikawa; and Managing Director, NTT Europe, Kazuhiro Nishihata.
Present from the UAE side were: Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi; Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Affairs and International Cooperation Khalid Ghanim Al Ghaith and Assistant Undersecretary for Industry Jamal Lootah.