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Arab League Chief urges Japan to expand business in region

Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmad Abul Gheit urged the Japanese government to continue encouraging Japanese companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to expand their operations in the Arab region while also calling on Arab companies to take advantage of opportunities in the Japanese market.

This statement was made during a speech distributed by the Arab League in Cairo on Wednesday at the Arab-Japanese Economic Forum between the public and private sectors of the Arab and Japanese sides, held in the capital of Tokyo.

Abul Gheit emphasized that while government cooperation is important, it is not the sole determinant of Arab-Japanese economic relations, as the private sector remains a key player in enhancing trade between the two sides, and called for stronger partnerships between government and private sectors, as well as between companies.

Since its inception, the Arab League has been keen to establish cooperation forums with influential countries and major regional blocs, with Jap
an naturally receiving special attention due to its esteemed position and advanced economy, he noted.

Arab-Japanese relations are always on the agenda of the Arab League’s councils and bodies and receive significant Arab attention, Aboul Gheit added.

He asserted that Arab-Japanese economic cooperation has proven resilient in the face of the accumulated challenges posed by various crises and tensions, citing the increase in trade between the two sides to nearly USD 140 billion since early 2024.

Trade exchange maintained its positivity even during periods marked by complex and severe global crises such as COVID-19, the Ukraine war, tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and US-China competition in Southeast Asia, he added.

The Arab region is a major hub for global trade, housing key passages like the Suez Canal, Bab Al-Mandab, and the Strait of Hormuz, and that the impact of these crises on the Arab energy sector and its influence on global markets is significant, as the region is also a major supplier in this f
ield, he explained.

Arab-Japanese economic relations are dynamic and diverse, thanks to the commitment of both sides to nurturing them, and highly valued the extensive efforts of the Japanese government in all its sectors to enhance cooperation with Arab countries, he underlined.

He commended Japan’s financial support for the Palestinian economy and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), emphasizing that UNRWA’s role should be expanded rather than restricted.

Abul Gheit expressed his aspiration to elevate partnership to a strategic level that aligns with the goals of both people and the economic potential of both sides.

This forum could play a vital role in promoting partnership opportunities in these fields and in advancing Arab-Japanese partnership in the coming period, he underscored, highlighting readiness to develop its mechanisms.

Abul Gheit is participating in the fifth session of the Arab-Japanese Economic Forum on July 10-11, organized by the
General Secretariat of the Arab League in cooperation with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

The current session of the forum focuses on topics such as partnership, enhancing Arab-Japanese trade exchange, and cooperation in the fields of energy transition and digital transformation.

Source: Kuwait News Agency