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‘Jordan optimal place for Japanese companies seeking to help reconstruction of Iraq, Syria’

By Mohammad Ghazal - Aug 08,2018 - Last updated at Aug 08,2018

TOKYO — The Japan External Trade Organisation's (JETRO) senior official has recently said that studies are underway to identify the main sectors in Jordan where Japanese companies can invest to ultimately put in place the investment deal the two countries announced in May. 

Masaru Nishiura, senior director for global strategy, Middle East Planning Department at JETRO, told The Jordan Times in an interview in Tokyo recently that visits will be arranged this year for representatives of Japanese companies and concerned authorities to Jordan to build on the investment agreement announced during a visit in May to Amman by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where he held talks with His Majesty King Abdullah.

“We will soon increase our efforts to follow up on the implementation of the deal as we are keen on boosting investments in Jordan and believe the potential is high for Japanese companies to be based in the country “The agreement opened the door for more investments...we have already started meeting with Japanese companies to listen to their needs and expectations to proceed,” he said, adding that the Japanese companies can greatly benefit from Jordan’s stable and safe business environment, and strategic location as a gateway into countries in the region.

Nishiura said Japanese companies are keen on implementing infrastructure projects, including in the water and energy sectors.

Jordan, he said, is an optimal place for Japanese companies seeking to take part in the reconstruction process in Iraq and Syria.

A meeting is scheduled between Japanese companies, which have branches in Dubai, with investment officials from Jordan to follow up on the agreement, the official at JETRO, which is Japanese government-related organisation that promotes mutually beneficial trade and investment, added.

“We will eventually see more Japanese investments coming to Jordan after all studies and discussions are completed as part of the deal... we place heavy emphasis on our great relationship with Jordan,” he said.

According to Mitsuhito Ono, director in charge of overseas marketing research at JETRO, there around 19 Japanese companies that operate in Jordan of whom a small number are “actually active”.

“The Jordanian market is a small market but is a gate to other regional markets, and there is a need for exploring new areas of cooperation and trade exchange,” Ono said during a meeting with The Jordan Times recently at JETRO headquarters.

Japan’s exports to Jordan reached $547 million in 2017, he said.

Japan’s imports from Jordan in 2017 reached $47 million up from $35 million in 2016, he said, adding that Japan’s imports from Jordan out of total imports from the Middle East are “very, very small in volume”.

During his May visit to Jordan, the Japanese Premier Jordan has a potential to become a hub in the logistics and information technology sectors.

Abe, who was accompanied by a high-profile business delegation and CEOs from various Japanese companies, announced that the two countries agreed in substance on a Japanese-Jordanian investment agreement, which he said shows the improvement of the business environment in Jordan.

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