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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Japan have strengthened bilateral relations by finalizing 14 agreements across multiple sectors.
The Saudi-Japanese Investment Forum held in Riyadh on Dec. 26 saw the signing of several memorandums of understanding and announcements of critical projects between governmental entities and private sector players from both nations.
The agreements addressed areas of cooperation in the financial, healthcare, water and energy sectors, among others.
The Investment Ministry inked several deals, including an MoU with EIZO Corp., a Japanese technology company.
Both sides mutually agreed to utilize EIZO’s product solutions to support the ministry’s business activities and contribute to expanding the Kingdom’s economy.
Furthermore, the ministry signed an agreement with the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Bank to enhance cooperation between both parties.
This came as Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih addressed the forum, stating that there is ample room for future investment for Japanese banks within the Kingdom’s giga-projects and its stock exchange, Tadawul.
He said: “Today, we know that there is a great amount of financial resources in the sector, as the Japanese banks currently manage over $20 trillion in assets.”
He added: “Thus, this (the giga-projects) will add an increased demand for borrowing within the Kingdom, with a value exceeding $1.5 trillion, a demand for borrowing which I am sure the Japanese banks and asset managers will continue to contribute to.”
The forum also saw several agreements and letters of cooperation inked in the water sector, including the signing of an MoU between the National Water Co. and Japanese Fuji Clean Co., the world leader in manufacturing wastewater treatment systems, to localize treatment technologies in Saudi Arabia.
An additional MoU was signed in the water sector between Olayan Financing Co. and DG TAKANO Co., which “aims to identify and pursue strategic, commercial and investment partnership opportunities in the Saudi Arabian market by leveraging both parties’ unique strengths,” a release by the ministry said.
The parties further agreed on terms and conditions to trial DG TAKANO’s products in key Olayan-owned properties, such as hotels, compounds, restaurants and mosques,” the release added.
Furthermore, the parties may continue their partnership by forming a joint venture or agreeing on additional commercial arrangements.
According to the release, the parties are also collaborating on a new large-scale project for water conservation and total reuse to fulfill the needs of local agriculture.
In the energy sector, the investment minister noted that the Kingdom “expects investments to exceed $600 billion in petrochemicals alone by 2030.”
Thus, multiple agreements were signed between bodies from the two countries in the energy sector, including an MoU between Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Ventures and the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization to explore cooperation in energy and environment-related technology and innovation.
A release by the ministry added that the MoU is expected to facilitate the exchange of information in related fields, the holding of workshops, and opportunities for interaction between Japanese startups and Aramco Ventures.
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