Japan's foreign direct investment in UAE exceeds $ 1 bn

Apr 01, 2002 02:00 AM

Japan's foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UAE is currently over $ 1 bn, mainly in the oil and gas sector but further investments will be made only after Japan rides out its recession, a top Japanese government official said. Meanwhile, trade between Japan and UAE will touch $ 17 bn end-2001, level with the previous year's figures.
Masato Akazawa, executive vice-president, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) said although Japanese companies are interested to invest in the UAE, "the Japanese economy now does not allow any FDI because of the recession."

Also, Japan is serious about bringing down its trade imbalance with the UAE. "It is very unusual for Japan to have a trade imbalance with any country. In the case of the UAE, it is because of our huge imports of crude oil and gas. We are making a lot of efforts to increase our exports and reduce our trade deficit with the UAE," he said.
According to latest figures available with JETRO, Japan's exports to the UAE for the first 11 months of 2001 were valued at $ 2.323 bn while its imports stood at $ 13.38 bn. "The total trade in 2000 was $ 17.41 bn and trade for 2001 should close around the same figure."

Some 90 % of Japan's total imports are oil and gas. While crude oil accounts for 76 % of imports, LPG accounts for 8.2 % and LNG accounts for 7 %. Japan's exports to the UAE are mainly automobiles, electronics and machinery.
"Japan wants to export other goods and services to the UAE to bring down the trade deficit. We want to diversify into non-oil from the oil-centred trade that is dominating now. The weak yen is favourable to our exporters."
Earlier, Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Economy and Commerce, who opened the Japan Today exhibition in Abu Dhabi said the exhibition was a clear manifestation of Japan's interest in the region.
"This is also a new field in economic relations between the two countries.
It signifies a real, strategic relationship from beyond oil and gas and reflects the inter-dependence between Japan and the UAE."

Lauding Japan's initiative, the minister said Japan's expertise goes beyond automobiles and electronics into many other technologies which could benefit this region. Some 27 companies are showcasing products, services and latest technologies from Japan with an eye on the UAE and gulf markets.
Several senior government officials from the UAE and Japanese side attended the opening of the exhibition which runs until April 4.

Source: Gulf News Online
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