Riyadh, 14 June 2022 (TDI): Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), Dr. Nayef Al Hajraf, met with Assistant Foreign Minister and Director-General for the Middle East and African Affairs at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kansuke Nagaoka.

During the meeting, they discussed aspects of joint cooperation in various fields between the two sides and ways to strengthen them towards broader horizons to serve common interests.

In addition, they debated the latest developments in regional and international issues.

JAPAN-GULF COUNCIL COOPERATION 

Japan is the world’s third-largest economy. It also has good trade relations with the oil and gas exporting countries in the GCC.

These relations are essential for maintaining Japan’s and GCC countries’ technological and industrial development.

The country provides the GCC with industrial and trade goods and has emerged as an important partner in several sectors.

Japan imports 34 percent of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia, 24 percent from the UAE, 11 percent from Qatar, and 7 percent from Kuwait.

Similarly, but to a smaller extent, the GCC is also an important supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan, namely through the UAE, Qatar, and Oman.

With the UAE, Japan has decades-old trade relations that started with oil imports as early as the 1970s.

Today, Japan is among the top five sources of foreign direct investment in the UAE, and bilateral trade stood at $51 billion (Dh187 billion) in 2014 with Japan mainly importing oil, gas, and aluminum (the UAE is Japan’s top supplier), metals, chemicals, and precious stones, while the UAE imported mainly vehicles, machinery, electrical and electronic goods, rubber, textiles, as well as iron and steel from Japan.

However, due to both the decline in the exchange rate of the yen and the drop in oil prices, bilateral trade in the first half of 2015 — as per the latest figures provided by the Dubai chapter of the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) — was valued at $16.25 billion.

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