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 Saudi Arabia and Japan Sign Multiple MoUs to Boost Bilateral Relations Across Sectors

Saudi Arabia and Japan have taken significant strides in strengthening their bilateral relations, solidifying their commitment to collaboration across various sectors. The collaborative effort was highlighted during the Saudi-Japanese Investment Forum held in Riyadh on December 26th, where 14 agreements were finalized between government entities and private sector players from both nations. The memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and project announcements covered a wide range of sectors, including finance, healthcare, water, and energy. The forum showcased the commitment of both nations to fostering economic growth, technological advancement, and mutual cooperation.

The Saudi Investment Ministry played a pivotal role in the agreements, signing several deals aimed at enhancing collaboration between the two countries. An MoU with EIZO Corp., a prominent Japanese technology company, marked a significant step forward. The agreement outlined the utilization of EIZO’s product solutions to support the ministry’s business activities, contributing to the expansion of Saudi Arabia’s economy. Additionally, the Investment Ministry inked an agreement with the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Bank, emphasizing the importance of cooperation between financial institutions from both nations. Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih addressed the forum, highlighting the vast investment opportunities for Japanese banks within Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects and its stock exchange, Tadawul.

Al-Falih stated, “Japanese banks currently manage over $20 trillion in assets. This will add to an increased demand for borrowing within the Kingdom, with a value exceeding $1.5 trillion, a demand for borrowing that I am sure the Japanese banks and asset managers will continue to contribute to.”

In the water sector, several agreements were reached, including an MoU between the National Water Co. and Japanese Fuji Clean Co. to localize wastewater treatment technologies in Saudi Arabia. Another MoU between Olayan Financing Co. and DG TAKANO Co. focused on strategic, commercial, and investment partnerships, with a potential joint venture for water conservation projects.

Turning to the energy sector, Al-Falih highlighted expectations of investments exceeding $600 billion in petrochemicals alone by 2030. Agreements in this sector included an MoU between Saudi Aramco Ventures and the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization to explore cooperation in energy and environment-related technology and innovation.

The healthcare sector witnessed collaboration between the Patients Friends’ Association in Unaizah and Fujifilm Middle East. The partnership aims to develop a medical tourism plan for Unaizah, leveraging Fujifilm’s expertise to provide cutting-edge technology and enhance the quality of life for visiting guests.

Trade and investment were also focal points, with a tripartite agreement between the Saudi Ministry of Culture, Riyadh Chamber, and the Japan External Trade Organization. The agreement aims to streamline cooperation in bilateral trade and investment, facilitating the exchange of information and mutual support through various channels.

The agreements underscore the commitment of Saudi Arabia and Japan to fostering enduring partnerships that span multiple sectors, creating a framework for sustainable economic growth and technological advancement between the two nations.