Japan and UAE strengthen bilateral ties, boost cooperation in various sectors

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The United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed al-Jaber, and senior Japanese government officials and business leaders met to discuss ways to strengthen ties, Emirates News Agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

The meetings focused on strengthening the two nations’ economic, energy, and industrial cooperation as well as plans to drive low carbon growth opportunities.

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The minister, who is also the country’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, said that Japan was “one of the UAE’s largest and most important energy and trading partners,” expressing the UAE’s keenness to “bolster bilateral ties” and strengthen their relationship “across multiple sectors.”

“The UAE is keen to leverage every facet of our relationship, including climate diplomacy to drive economic development, enable low-carbon growth and enhance energy security,” said al-Jaber.

“The UAE-Japan relationship is underpinned by long-standing energy partnerships, and we are very pleased to be working closely with Japan to capitalize on the economic opportunities of the energy transition, strengthen industrial cooperation and expand economic and trade relations,” the minister added.

Throughout the three-day visit to Japan, al-Jaber met with senior Japanese government officials including the Asian country’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda Koichi, environment minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, and foreign affairs minister Odwara Kiyoshi.

He also met with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, among many others.

At the meetings, al-Jaber reiterated the UAE’s commitment and support for Japan’s energy security, vowing to continue ensuring reliable supplies of crude oil and liquified natural gas (LNG), WAM reported.

The Gulf country is Japan’s top crude oil supplier, providing it with more than 20 percent of its crude oil requirements.

The UAE minister’s meetings covered a range of topics, including the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative (CSPI) between Japan and the UAE which was launched in 2018.

During the visit, ADNOC and ENEOS Corporation and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) signed an agreement to explore establishing a hydrogen supply chain between the two countries. The agreement aims to assess the potential to convert hydrogen produced as a byproduct from ADNOC’s refining and petrochemical operations, and blue hydrogen produced from natural gas.

Separately, Mitsui also signed a new partnership agreement with Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC Ltd (TA’ZIZ), Fertiglobe and GS Energy in the world-scale low-carbon blue ammonia production facility at the TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.

Japan and the UAE enjoy a strong bilateral trade agreement. As of now, over 340 Japanese companies are based in the UAE.

In 2021, the UAE was ranked as Japan’s tenth-largest trading partner globally.

Bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded $30 billion in 2021, with UAE exports to Japan accounting for $26 billion and imports from Japan rising to $6.2 billion.

The last 12 months have witnessed further economic cooperation between the UAE and Japan, with the signing of an agreement between ADNOC and three Japanese companies, INPEX Corporation, JERA Co. Inc and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation to explore the commercial potential of blue ammonia production in the UAE, according to WAM.

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