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METI Minister Seko Visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

On October 8 (Sat.) and 9 (Sun.), 2016, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the city, he attended the Japan-Saudi Joint Group for Vision 2030 meeting, paid a courtesy call on Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, and H.R.H. Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince. He also held meetings with H.E. Mr. Adel M. Fakeih, Minister of Economy and Planning, H.E. Dr. Majid Bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment, and H.E. Mr. Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.

1. Japan-Saudi Joint Group for Vision 2030 meeting (October 9)

Minister Seko attended the Japan-Saudi Joint Group for Vision 2030 meeting, an opportunity afforded by the agreement between Prime Minister Abe and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed in September 2016. The meeting brought together officials and people from 33 ministries, agencies and related organizations in Japan and Saudi Arabia, thereby organizing a framework to advance comprehensive cooperation in the future.

Minister Seko stated that Japan intends to cooperate in realizing economic growth as an investor nation, in Saudi Arabia’s domestic industrial transformation and its other future visions, focusing on three axes: [i] the synergy between Vision 2030 and the Abenomics policies, [ii] expanding the scope of cooperation toward transforming industrial structures, and [iii] developing multi-layered energy cooperation. Saudi Arabia welcomed the statement.

In addition, both sides recognized the importance of intensive discussion to determine specific actions toward achieving these goals, and to this end, they decided that both countries will establish subgroups for each major subject—trade and investment opportunities, investment and finance, energy and industry, SMEs and capacity building, and culture and sports—and will hold the second ministerial-level meeting in Tokyo in the spring or summer of 2017.

2. Courtesy call on H.R.H King Salman and H.R.H Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed (October 9)

Minister Seko paid a courtesy call on H.R.H King Salman and H.R.H Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed. Minister Seko confirmed that Japan and Saudi Arabia enjoy an extremely favorable relationship and stated that Japan intends to fully commit itself to the efforts for the Joint Group through achieving the three axes. In response, Saudi Arabia praised Japan’s stance and expressed high expectations for the increasingly strengthened future relationship between Japan and Saudi Arabia.

3. Meetings with Minister Fakeih, Minister Al Qasabi, and Minister Al-Falih (October 9)

  1. Minister Seko held bilateral meetings respectively with the three ministers who attended the Joint Group meeting. They all agreed that Japan and Saudi Arabia will endeavor to cooperate in a cross-ministry/agency manner by uniting all public-private efforts. In addition, Japan proposed that Saudi and Japan should intensively support smooth implementation of projects particularly significant for realizing Vision 2030, and Saudi Arabia demonstrated its support for the proposal.
  2. At the meeting with Minister Al Qasabi, Saudi Arabia explained that the development of SMEs is one of the most important matters for Vision 2030.
  3. At the meeting with Minister Al-Falih, both sides agreed that Japan and Saud Arabia will advance multi-layered energy cooperation, e.g., energy efficiency and conservation, and renewable energy efforts, not limited to the conventional efforts involving oil and gas. In addition, Minister Al-Falih demonstrated that Saudi Arabia intends to diversify its industries, particularly through establishing new supply-chains, and he expressed his interest in Japan’s cooperation in these fields. Minister Seko responded that Japan will cooperate in diversifying the industries in Saudi Arabia.

Meeting with Minister Fakeih

Meeting with Minister Al Qasabi

Meeting with Minister Al-Falih

4. Attending a meeting between the Saudi Arabian ministers listed immediately above and management executives of Japanese companies (October 9)

Minister Seko attended a meeting between the three ministers who attended the Joint Group meeting and management executives from about 30 Japanese companies accompanying Minister Seko. Japanese companies expressed their intention to proactively contribute to Vision 2030 and introduced individual projects, while the Saudi Arabian ministers praised the efforts by Japanese companies and made other statements, including Saudi Arabian intention to proactively support such efforts.

Release date

October 11, 2016

Related Information

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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