RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Japan further strengthened bilateral relations by finalizing 14 agreements in multiple sectors.
At the Saudi-Japan Investment Forum held in Riyadh on Tuesday, several memorandums of understanding and announcements on critical projects were signed between government entities and private sector players from both countries.
The agreements cover areas of cooperation in the finance, health, water and energy sectors, among others.
The Saudi Ministry of Investment has signed several deals, including a memorandum of understanding with EIZO Corp., a Japanese technology company.
The two parties mutually agreed to use EIZO’s product solutions to support the ministry’s business activities and contribute to the expansion of the Kingdom’s economy.
In addition, the ministry signed an agreement with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Bank to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
It came as Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih addressed the forum, saying there was plenty of room for future investment for Japanese banks under the Kingdom’s gigaprojects and its Tadawul stock exchange.
He said: “We know today that there is a large amount of financial resources in the sector, as Japanese banks currently manage over $20 trillion in assets.”
He added: “Thus, it (the giga-projects) will add increased demand for loans in the Kingdom, with a value in excess of $1.5 trillion, a demand for loans that I am sure Japanese banks and asset managers will continue to contribute.”
Several agreements and letters of cooperation in the water sector were also signed at the forum, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between National Water Co. and Japan’s Fuji Clean Co., a world leader in wastewater treatment systems, to locate treatment technologies in Saudi Arabia.
An additional memorandum of understanding in the water sector was signed between Olayan Financing Co. and DG TAKANO Co., which “aims to identify and pursue strategic, trade and investment partnership opportunities in the Saudi Arabian market by leveraging the unique strengths of both countries,” a ministry statement said.
In addition, the parties agreed on terms and conditions for trialling DG TAKANO products in key properties owned by Olayan such as hotels, complexes, restaurants and mosques,” the release added.
In addition, the parties may continue their partnership by establishing a joint venture or negotiating additional commercial arrangements.
According to the release, the countries are also cooperating on a new large-scale water conservation and total reuse project to meet the needs of local agriculture.
In the energy sector, Al-Falih noted that the Kingdom “expects investments to exceed $600 billion in petrochemicals alone by 2030.”
Thus, numerous agreements were signed between bodies from both countries in the energy sector, including a memorandum of understanding between Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Ventures and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization to explore cooperation in energy-related technology and innovation and environment.
A ministry release added that the memorandum of understanding is expected to facilitate the exchange of information in related fields, the holding of seminars and interaction opportunities between Japanese startups and Aramco Ventures.
The healthcare sector witnessed the signing of an agreement between the Unaizah Patient Friends Association and Fujifilm Middle East. The association is actively working on the development of a medical tourism plan for the city of Unaizah, intending to use international experience.
The goal is to provide cutting-edge technology supported by artificial intelligence, with an emphasis on preventive examinations and increasing the quality of life of guests.
Considering Fujifilm Middle East’s extensive experience in the field of healthcare, the two parties mutually agreed to cooperate by establishing a center in Unaizah and working together in its operation.
In the field of trade and investment, a tripartite agreement was concluded between the Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia, the Riyadh Chamber and the Japan Foreign Trade Organization.
This agreement aims to streamline cooperation in bilateral trade and investment, including the exchange of information on trade, investment and economic matters.
The agreement also includes mutual support by providing information, promoting networking and supporting events and activities such as forums, seminars and exhibitions.