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  5. METI State Minister Makihara Visits the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the State of Kuwait and the State of Qatar

METI State Minister Makihara Visits the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the State of Kuwait and the State of Qatar

January 17, 2020

From January 12 (Sat.) to 15 (Thur.), 2020, Mr. Makihara Hideki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait City of the State of Kuwait and Doha of the State of Qatar.

In Abu Dhabi, State Minister Makihara participated in the World Future Energy Summit 2020 (WFES 2020). In addition, with Mr. Abe Shinzo, Prime Minister of Japan, and H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, attending, State Minister Makihara signed an Agreement on the Japan-UAE Joint Oil Storage Project. Moreover, he held meetings each with H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), H.E. Mr. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, and other dignitaries of the UAE government. Furthermore, he held a meeting with H.E. Ms. Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, European Commission.

In Kuwait, State Minister Makihara held a meeting with Dr. Khalid Ali Mohammad Al-Fadel, Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity and Water.

In Qatar, he held meetings each with H.E. Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs, and H.E. Mr. Ali Bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

1. The UAE (January 12 and 13)

(1) Participating in the WFES 2020

On January 13, State Minister Makihara participated in the WFES 2020 and exchanged views with people from participating countries worldwide. He also visited the Japan Pavilion, showcasing displays focusing on the subject of carbon recycling, and booths exhibited by Japanese companies.

(2) Bilateral meetings with dignitaries of Abu Dhabi, UAE, and other officials

[i] Meeting with Minister Jaber, also as CEO of ADNOC

On January 12, State Minister Makihara held a meeting with Minister Jaber, also as CEO of ADNOC, at the main office of ADNOC. He encouraged the UAE to support Japanese companies in winning new mine exploration rights in Abu Dhabi and delivered METI’s intention of its proactive contribution to: specifying the Japan-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative (CSPI), on which agreement was reached between the leaders of Japan and the UAE in 2018; and expanding Japan-UAE cooperation areas, including cooperation in technological innovation. Following this, the two sides agreed that the two countries will continue to advance close collaboration.

[ii] Meeting with Minister Mazrouei

On January 13, State Minister Makihara held a meeting with Minister Mazrouei in the city of Abu Dhabi. The two sides exchanged views on the situations of the Middle East region, in which tensions are increasing, and situations surrounding crude oil, as well as on energy policies in Japan and the UAE, including renewable energy and carbon recycling. Moreover, State Minister Makihara encouraged the UAE to cooperate with Japanese companies in energy-related projects. They agreed on proactive advancement of Japan-UAE cooperation in the field of energy and close information exchange between the governments of the two countries.

[iii] Meeting with European Commissioner Simson

On January 12, State Minister Makihara held a meeting with European Commissioner Simson in the city of Abu Dhabi. The two sides held discussions on energy policies in Japan and the EU, respectively, as well as on potential for cooperation in the fields of hydrogen, offshore wind power generation, carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies, nuclear energy and energy conservation. They agreed on continuous close information exchange between the governments of Japan and the EU in order to further advance cooperation.

(3) Attending the summit meeting between Japan and the UAE and signing an agreement  on the Japan-UAE Joint Oil Storage Project

On January 13, State Minister Makihara attended the summit meeting held between Prime Minister Abe and Crown Prince Mohammed. Following this, State Minister Makihara and Minister Jaber, also as CEO of ADNOC, signed and exchanged an agreement on Expansion and Continuation of the Japan-UAE Joint Oil Storage Project, with Prime Minister Abe and Crown Prince Mohammed attending.

(4) Visiting a plant for manufacturing large-diameter steel pipes operated by Al Gharbia Pipe Company

On January 12, taking the opportunity of his visit, State Minister Makihara visited a plant for manufacturing welded steel pipes with large diameters, which are used for oil or gas pipelines. This plant is operated by Al Gharbia Pipe Company, in which JFE Steel Corporation and Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc. have jointly invested. Following his touring of the plant, he exchanged views with the representatives of the plant.

2. Kuwait (January 14)

(1) Meeting with Minister Al-Fadel

On January 14, State Minister Makihara held a meeting with Minister Al-Fadel at the Ministry of Electricity and Water, Kuwait. Concerning the field of electricity and water, State Minister Makihara mentioned Japanese companies’ interest in Kuwait projects in the field, and the two sides shared recognition on the importance for the two countries to have Japanese companies be committed to efforts for satisfying an increasing demand for electricity generation and water generation in Kuwait. Concerning the field of oil, State Minister Makihara requested Kuwait to supply crude oil to Japan in an inexpensive and steady manner. Following this, the two sides focused on cooperation in the midstream and downstream fields in third countries and agreed to closely collaborate, including addressing challenges in specific projects.

(2) Visiting the Az-Zour North power and water plant

On January 14, State Minister Makihara visited the Az-Zour North power and water plant located in the southern part of Kuwait. The plant is the first Independent Water and Power Producer (IWPP) project conducted in Kuwait, which has been led by a Japanese company, and currently, it satisfies approximately 20% of the total demand for electricity and approximately 30% of that for water in Kuwait. At the plant, State Minister Makihara received explanations from the representatives of the Japanese company and an operating company, which have been participating in the IWPP project, and toured the site, e.g., facilities for electricity generation and water generation and a central control room.

3. Qatar (January 15)

(1) Meeting with Minister Al-Kaabi

On January 15, State Minister Makihara held a meeting with Minister Al-Kaabi. He encouraged Qatar to relax the tensions in the Middle East region. Following this, the two sides held discussions on specific LNG projects and infrastructure projects undertaken in Qatar, in which Japanese companies have been participating. Taking this visit of State Minister Makihara to Qatar as an opportunity, they agreed to enrich exchange between the energy authorities in Japan and Qatar.

(2) Meeting with Minister Al Kuwari

On January 15, State Minister Makihara held a meeting with Minister Al Kuwari at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar. The two sides exchanged views on the importance of enriching Japan-Qatar economic cooperative ties not limited to the field of energy as well as the importance of the Japan-Qatar Joint Economic Committee as an opportunity for holding discussions on issues involving the cooperative ties.

(3) Visiting the Ras Laffan Industrial Area

On January 15, State Minister Makihara visited the Ras Laffan Industrial Area located in the northern part of Qatar, in which multiple Japanese companies have been participating in plant construction, upstream gas development, gas liquefaction projects and other fields. At the area, he exchanged views with stakeholders on challenges in LNG projects and other issues.

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