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METI State Minister Yamagiwa Visited Africa and the Middle East

Dr. Daishiro Yamagiwa, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Madagascar, the South African Republic, Sultanate of Oman, State of Kuwait, and Kingdom of Bahrain from April 29 to May 6, 2015 in order to attend talks with dignitaries of different countries to further deepen bilateral economic relations, a business exchange meeting between Japan and Madagascar and the Japan Business Strategy Meeting for Africa.

1. Republic of Madagascar

Meeting with His Excellency Mr. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of Madagascar


State Minister Yamagiwa and President Rajaonarimampianina

A public-private mission visited Madagascar for the first time in seven years. State Minister Yamagiwa reported on Japan’s support via personnel training and other measures, and requested that Madagascar improve the investment environment for the sake of smooth advancement of the Ambatovy Nickel Project (nickel processing and refining project), which is supported by Japan’s public and private sectors.
President Rajaonarimampianina welcomed the visit and emphasized the potential for development of Madagascar’s resources and economic growth, and expressed the expectation that the cooperation between both countries would become more active as a result of this visit, and that investment will be accelerated. Madagascar’s Foreign Minister, Minister of the Presidency’s Department in charge of Strategic Resources Management, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Private Sector Development, and Minster of Trade and Consumption also participated the meeting.

Meeting with His Excellency Mr. Joéli Valérien Lalaharisaina, Minister of the Presidency’s Department in charge of Strategic Resources Management


State Minister Yamagiwa’s meeting with Minister Lalaharisaina

State Minister Yamagiwa requested that Madagascar support the Ambatovy Nickel Project, which is supported by Japan’s public and private sectors, and cooperate for the success of the Second Japan-Africa Ministerial Meeting for Resources Development (JAMM 2).
Minister Lalaharisaina expressed his intention to continue to give full support to the Ambatovy Nickel Project as the most important project for Madagascar and to participate in JAMM 2 by sending an official delegation.

Attendance of the business exchange meeting between Japan and Madagascar


State Minister Yamagiwa delivering speech at the business exchange meeting

In order to promote business between Japan and Madagascar, a business exchange meeting between the two countries was held, with approximately 70 participants including private sector representatives from both countries as well as government officials at the ministerial level, such as the Minister of State for Presidential Projects, Spatial Planning and Equipment, and the Minister of the Presidency’s Department in charge of Strategic Resources Management.
State Minister Yamagiwa expressed his hope and expectations of further expansion of economic exchange between both countries and concrete business outcomes. The Minister of State for Presidential Projects, Spatial Planning and Equipment expressed his hope for further introduction and investment of highly reliable Japanese technologies both now and in the future. In addition, participants from companies of both countries actively exchanged information.

2.Republic of South Africa

Attendance of the Japan Business Strategy Meeting for Africa


State Minister Yamagiwa delivering speech at the Meeting on Business Strategies in Africa

Over eighty attendees, consisting of participants from Japanese companies expanding into Africa, embassies, and government organizations such as JETRO, gathered for the Japan Business Strategy Meeting for Africa in order to discuss the current state of business as well as future challenges. State Minister Yamagiwa participated in the meeting. Not only representatives from companies residing abroad but also ambassadors and Executive Directors of JETRO's brunch office in Africa made presentations and actively exchanged opinions. State Minister Yamagiwa expressed his hope that the public and private sectors will cooperate with each other, and that companies will collaborate across industries, thereby accelerating businesses in Africa.

3. Oman

Meeting with His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Hamed al Rumhi, Minister of Oil and Gas


Meeting with Minister Rumhi

State Minister Yamagiwa requested that Oman strengthen the partnership between Japan and Oman for the upstream development of crude oil and strengthen use of Japanese technologies for petrochemical projects in Oman. Furthermore, he stated that Japan intends to expand its cooperation with Oman through the cultivation of human resources.
In response to the request, Minister al-Rumhi expressed appreciation for Japan’s past cooperation with Oman. He welcomed the fact that Japanese enterprises are interested in projects in Oman and expressed his expectation for Japanese enterprise to participate in the projects. In addition, he expressed his hope for increased human exchanges between Japan and Oman, and for strengthening partnerships concerning energy between both countries. Both sides reached an understanding that Japan and Oman should strengthen cooperation based on friendly relations that have already been built. They also shared their opinions about recent trends in the crude oil market and regional dynamics.

4. Kuwait

Signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation in the Fields of Electricity and Water, and a Meeting with His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Khaled Al-Jassar, Minister of Electricity and Water


Signing the MOC in the Fields of Electricity and Water

Meeting with Minister Al-Jassar

In Kuwait, a number of large infrastructure projects, such as desalination and electricity generation, are planned. Accordingly, a signature ceremony for the conclusion of a memorandum of cooperation between Japan and Kuwait in the fields of electricity and water was conducted, and a meeting with Minister Al-Jassar was held in order to confirm the partnership between both countries and to assist Japanese enterprises in participating in infrastructure projects.

Minister Al-Jassar expressed high expectations for Japanese enterprises participating in desalination and electricity generation projects to be conducted in the future. State Minister Yamagiwa expressed that the government of Japan would promote the participation of Japanese enterprises, and also requested support from Kuwait. As a result, both parties recognized the importance of furthering strong cooperation between both countries. In addition, State Minister Yamagiwa requested that Kuwait enhance the business environment that will assist and enable Japanese enterprises to further expand their business.

Meeting with His Excellency Dr. Ali Al-Omair, Minister of Oil


Meeting with Minister Al-Omair

State Minister Yamagiwa and Minister Al-Omair exchanged their opinions about the crude oil market and the stable supply of oil, and confirmed that they would promote human resource development and technical cooperation projects in the field of petroleum refining.

Additionally, State Minister Yamagiwa expressed appreciation anew to Kuwait for providing Japan with five million barrels of oil for free on the occasion of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair expressed appreciation to Japan for having supported Kuwait.

5. Bahrain

His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Political and Economic Advisor to H.R.H. the Crown Prince


Meeting with Advisor Mohammed

State Minister Yamagiwa requested cooperation toward the solution of challenges faced by Japanese companies expanding into Bahrain.
Advisor Mohammed expressed his intention to continually support Japanese companies expanding into Bahrain, to facilitate investment from Japanese companies, and to strengthen economic relations in a wide range of areas other than trade relations in which Bahrain exports crude oil to Japan and imports products from Japan. Both sides shared the recognition that they should cooperate to strengthen the economic relationship continually.

Meeting with Mr. Khalid Almoayed, Chairman, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)


State Minister Yamagiwa and Chairman Almoayed

State Minister Yamagiwa requested cooperation toward the solution of the challenges Japanese companies expanding into Bahrain face.
Chairman Almoayed expressed his intention to assist in the execution of smooth business in Bahrain and his expectation that Japanese companies will further expand into Bahrain. Both sides shared the recognition that they should invigorate their economic exchanges and take measures to strengthen the bilateral economic relationship.

Release date

May 11, 2015

Division in Charge

  • Middle East and Africa Division, Trade Policy Bureau, for the whole process
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Division and Policy Planning Division, Natural Resources and Fuel Department, for Oman
  • Office for Promotion of International Project, Infrastructure System and Water Industry, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, for Kuwait
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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