Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan watches as Shinzo Abe signs the visitors book during a reception at the Presidential Palace. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi:

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Shaikh Mohammad expressed confidence that Abe’s visit will have a massive impact on bilateral relations between the two countries, developing them to levels that meet the aspirations of the UAE and Japan.

The meeting saw the exchange of an agreement to protect and encourage investments, which was signed earlier by Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, and Kanji Fujiki, Ambassador of Japan to the UAE.

A joint statement issued by both countries on Monday said, “Both sides welcomed the signing of the agreement between Japan and the United Arab Emirates for the promotion and protection of Investment.”

Earlier in the day, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was on a visit to the UAE said the agreement will solidify relationship with the UAE on the investment front.

“Japan government will solidify the bilateral economic relations with the UAE by signing the investment treaty,” said Abe speaking at Japan, UAE Business Forum in Abu Dhabi.

According to the Ministry of Finance’s website, the UAE has signed 58 agreements for the protection and promotion of investments with 25 per cent of the countries in the world, including most of the UAE’s trading partners,

These agreements aim to protect the UAE’s investments from non-commercial risks, facilitate the transfer of profits and revenues and organise conflict resolution.

“The investment treaty is very important for both sides. This will enable both sides to invest more with a framework that will ensure investments are protected. By signing this agreement, we will open doors for private sector to explore new areas of cooperation not only in oil but in various other sectors like health and education,” Juma Mohammad Al Kait, assistant undersecretary for foreign trade affairs in the ministry of economy told Gulf News.

Speaking at Japan-UAE Business Forum, Abe said ties between the two countries are strengthening in various sectors including energy and other sectors.

“Japan’s Inpex has renewed offshore concession agreement solidifying relationship in energy sector. There have also been advancements in infrastructure projects, education and space development, culture and people to people exchange,” said Abe.

The prime minister was accompanied by a strong delegation of 27 business executives representing various industries like energy, construction, manufacturing, trade, among others.

The two countries also reaffirmed their willingness to encourage business exchanges among small and medium enterprises of the two countries, taking advantage of supports such as incentive of the UAE’s free zones and SME Overseas Business Support Platform based in Dubai.

In the energy sector, both sides confirmed the UAE’s willingness to expand its downstream business and Japan’s interest in participating in both downstream and upstream projects for a win-win relationship.

Japan and the UAE will also deepen financial cooperation between Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Adnoc, according to the joint statement.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) also signed an agreement appointing Jodco Lower Zakum Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan’s Inpex Corporation as the asset leader for Abu Dhabi’s lower Zakum concession area.

— With inputs from WAM