13 March 2017
RIYADH: The visit of King Salman to Japan and China will add momentum to trade and investment relations with the Kingdom, according to an expert.

The visit, expected to result in the signing of several agreements, will expand partnerships between the Saudi business sector and Japanese and Chinese counterparts, Tariq Al-Qahtani, the board chairman of the Saudi-Japanese Business Council, told local media.

The Council of Saudi Chambers is dispatching two business delegations during the king’s visit to Japan and China, he said.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-Japanese business forum will explore aspects of cooperation and shed light on strategic partnerships between Japan and the Kingdom, he said.

He said Japan is a key partner and strategic ally of the Kingdom, adding that cooperation covers many areas, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), young businessmen, knowledge exchange, technology transfer and localization, and training.

Saudi Arabia and Japan maintain strong economic relations. Japan is considered a key trade partner of the Kingdom.

The volume of trade between the two countries reached SR117.9 billion in 2015. Saudi exports to Japan stood at SR80.6 billion. Saudi imports from Japan reached SR37.2 billion, a trade balance of SR43.3b in favor of the Kingdom, Saudi Press Agency said.

In 2014, the volume of trade exchange between the two countries stood at SR194 billion. Saudi exports to Japan reached SR156 billion and its imports from Japan totaled SR37 billion, or a trade balance of SR113 billion in favor of the Kingdom. The Kingdom’s key exports to Japan were represented in oil products, methanol and petrochemicals. Imports from Japan focused on vehicles and heavy industries, SPA said.

The number of Saudi-Japanese joint ventures in the Kingdom reached 83 projects, including 24 industrial and 59 non-industrial plans. The volume of capital invested in these projects hit SR56 billion, and the number of Saudi employees stood at 3,759, with a Saudization rate of 45 percent.

© Arab News 2017