The Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) hosted the joint Saudi-Japanese Business Council meeting, which focused on fostering bilateral trade and investment relations, and investment opportunities in the two countries. The meeting was attended by more than 100 investors and representatives from Saudi Arabia and Japan.
Co-Chair of the Saudi side of the joint council, Tariq Al Qahtani, praised the significant developments in Saudi-Japanese trade and investment relations over the past two decades, noting that Japan has remained the Kingdom’s second largest trade partner for all those years. He added that per statistics, around 6 per cent of Saudi imports are from Japan, and around 11 per cent of its exports are to Japan – reflecting the mutual keenness on maintaining economic relations, which reached around USD 27 billion in 2016.
Al Qahtani emphasized the significance of maintaining these robust relations, especially in an ever-changing world economy, explaining that it is harder to maintain success than it is to attain it in such competitive economic environment. He added that Saudi Arabia is one of the more attractive investment destinations with its profuse natural resources and its economic, political, and social stability, particularly for Japanese foreign direct investments, which are expected to increase significantly with the formation of the Saudi-Japanese Investment Enterprise, and the implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs, which entail significant reforms and ambitious plans that will further foster trade and investment.
Al Qahtani concluded his speech by stating: “We look forward to the opportunities that our cooperation will bring along. And on this note, the Saudi-Japanese Business Council must increase its efforts to support and maintain these trade and investment relations, and explore cooperation in various areas, within a healthy economic environment.”
Co-Chair of the Japanese side of the joint council, Hiroshi Saito, conveyed Japan’s interest in fostering relations with the Kingdom in various sectors, and encouraged more cooperation between the two countries’ respective business communities to further elevate trade relations, especially in light of their capabilities and promising opportunities. He assured Japan’s readiness to partner with, and support, the Kingdom, especially in the SMEs sector, in which Japanese has expertise. He commended the successful experiences of Japanese companies based in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the infrastructure sector, encouraging more cooperation in this area.
The meeting included four sessions that tackled several topics on developing joint economic relations. The first session discussed the creation of the Saudi-Japanese Investment Enterprise. The second session discussed the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030. The third session discussed the trends towards privatization and PPP. Whereas the fourth and final session discussed support for SMEs in the Kingdom.
Additionally, the two sides held an open session that shed light on developing joint enterprises in various sectors, and exchanging expertise in the SMEs sector in particular, through transferring technology and capitals. In addition to several other topics relevant to the business communities in both countries.