January 17, 2019
From January 13 (Sun.) to 15 (Tue.), 2019, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, the State of Israel.
In Abu Dhabi, Minister Seko held meetings with H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Minister of State, and other government dignitaries in the UAE. In addition, he attended the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2019 and a signing ceremony between the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEE Japan) and Khalifa University of Science and Technology for a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) in industry-academia collaboration. Moreover, he held a meeting with H.E. Eng.Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and H.E. Mr. Mohammad Al Tuwaijri, Minister of Economy and Planning, Saudi Arabia.
In Israel, Minister Seko attended the Second Japan-Israel Economic and Innovation Policy Dialogue (EIPD) and the second plenary meeting of the Japan-Israel Innovation Network (JIIN). Approximately 200 representatives from nearly 100 Japanese companies accompanied Minister Seko in these meetings. Following this, he paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister.
1. The UAE (January 13 and 14)
(1) Meetings with government dignitaries and other officials
- At the meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister Seko expressed his gratitude for the UAE’s stable crude oil supply to Japan and both sides shared the importance of promoting cooperation in a broad variety of fields including energy. In particular, they held constructive discussion on cooperation in the fields of education, medical care, foods, etc.
- At the meeting with Minister Jaber, they agreed to advance cooperation in a wide variety of areas ranging from the upper through to lower streams of development in the fields of oil and natural gas. Moreover, Minister Seko and Minister Jaber, a leader of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative (CSPI) between Japan and the UAE, agreed to further expand cooperation to new fields given the progress of the past efforts.
- At the meeting with Minister Al-Falih and Minister Al Tuwaijri, Minister Seko expressed his gratitude for Saudi’s stable crude oil supply to Japan, and they agreed to advance cooperation in energy conservation, renewable energy and hydrogen. Following this, they agreed to advance comprehensive cooperation by the public and private sectors under the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030.
(2) Attending a signing ceremony between IEE Japan and Khalifa University of Science and Technology for a MOC in industry-academia collaboration
Following the meeting with Minister Jaber, Minister Seko and Minister Jaber attended a signing ceremony between IEE Japan and Khalifa University of Science and Technology for a MOC in industry-academia collaboration. This MOC aims to establish a framework to promote industry-academia collaboration between the two parties with the support of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), in accordance with relevant provisions of the CSPI. This MOC is expected to encourage the advancement of joint research and cooperation initiatives in a variety of fields.
(3) Attending WFES 2019
Minister Seko attended WFES 2019 and exchanged views with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister Jaber, H.E. Mr. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, and other UAE government dignitaries and other ministers and officials from participating countries. Additionally, he toured the Japan Pavilion at the WFES site to see displays showcased under the subject of efforts to use hydrogen to increase the renewability of energy used in heavy industry.
2. Israel (January 14 and 15)
- Attending the second JIIN plenary meeting
Minister Seko attended the second JIIN plenary meeting, which brought together representatives from competent ministries for economic and industrial policy, economic associations and other entities from Japan and Israel. Participants received briefings on achievements of participating associations’ activities in 2018, and agreed on an action plan for 2019. In particular, they agreed on the establishment of two new committees under JIIN-- the Digital Health Sub-committee and the Investment Sub-committee--so as to fortify collaboration among related companies. Furthermore, they agreed on the establishment of a new division called the “JIIN Hub” at the JETRO Tel-Aviv Office so as to further enhance inter-company collaboration between Japan and Israel.
- The Second EIPD
The EIPD, a ministerial-level meeting, was held, bringing together Minister Seko and H.E. Mr. Eli Cohen, Minister of Industry and Economy. The ministers welcomed that JIIN activities have been encouraging the advancement of inter-company collaboration and the establishment of many new frameworks for the further promotion of such collaboration (see the Appendix). Following this, they exchanged views on future progress in certain areas (e.g., cooperation in the field of cybersecurity, joint R&D projects and cooperation in the Kansai region).
- Attending the Japan-Israel Business Forum
Minister Seko attended a Japan-Israel Business Forum. He delivered a keynote speech, signed a memorandum with Minister Cohen to open one-stop counters in the field of digital health both in Japan and Israel, and agreed on further promotion of collaboration in the field in the future. Following this, both sides exchanged “Japan-Israel Business Partners’ Booklet” and witnessed a signing ceremony for agreements and other documents between private companies.
- Paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Netanyahu
Both sides confirmed that Japan and Israel have been enriching bilateral cooperation in an accelerating manner placing innovation at the core, and agreed that the governments of the two countries will strongly promote development of business environments so as to further enrich business collaboration between the two countries. In addition to a courtesy call by Japanese government officials, an extended meeting also attended by representatives of Japanese companies was held. Participants agreed on further promotion of inter-company collaboration between Japan and Israel.
Division in Charge
- Information on the United Arab Emirates:
Petroleum and Natural Gas Division, Natural Resources and Fuel Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
- Information on the State of Israel:
Middle East and Africa Division, Trade Policy Bureau