Japan seeks Saudi partnership on SMEs

The delegation included 24 Japanese businessmen and four members of the Japanese parliament

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An interaction session between Japanese SMEs visiting delegation and their Saudi counterparts was held at the Business Development Center at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) on Tuesday evening.

The delegation includes 24 Japanese businessmen, four members of the Japanese parliament and headed by Toru Shiraishi, a Japanese Diet member.

Ziad al-Bassam, Vice Chairman of (JCCI) welcomed the delegation and said interactions between Saudi Arabia and Japan started in the era of King Abdulaziz and was strengthened by the Saudi students in Japan.

Bassam added that “Japanese technology is very welcomed in Saudi Arabia as Japanese investments are the largest in Saudi Arabia through giant companies like Sumitomo and PetroRabigh where the volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached SR 214 billion.” He said a survey by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that Saudi Arabia is among the top 20 countries that Japanese like to invest in.

He hoped that the volume and movement of trade will increase through the visits of such delegation which may lead to many different types of partnerships. He further said JCCI will provide all possible help and assistance for the Japanese companies.

Matahiro Yamaguchi, Consul-General of Japan in Jeddah, expressed his pleasure for the holding of such matchmaking meeting between Japanese and Saudi businesspeople in the field of SMEs.

He noted that there are 4.3 million SME companies in Japan, representing 99.7 percent of the total number of companies in Japan.

Yamaguchi pointed out that the meeting is the first of its type in Jeddah after the visit paid to Japan by Prince Salman, the Crown Prince, where he agreed with Abe, Prime Minister of Japan on cooperating to promote SME activities in the Kingdom.

He also expressed his special thanks to the JCCI and SAGIA for holding the meeting.

Toru Shiraishi, Japanese Diet Member and Head of the Delegation said that meetings were held with Dr. Abdulaziz Turkistani, Ambassador of the Kingdom in Japan to promote investment in the Kingdom.

He said Japan would like build partnerships between Saudi and Japanese SMEs based on Japanese work ethics and by using Japanese technology.

“We can say that the Japanese Economy is based on SME activities. I think that this is where the power of the Japanese Economy comes from. The Saudi Government has already realized the importance of SME in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure a sustainable Economic Development.”

He added that Saudi Arabia is a very important country for Japan and he wishes to see more cooperation between the two countries.

Muhyiddin Hakami, Assistant Secretary-General of JCCI, said during the last two weeks JCCI held many matchmaking sessions for many foreign delegations, but this matchmaking is the biggest one which proves that the Saudi businessmen are aware about the good opportunities by showing their interest in Japanese industry and technology.

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