DAVOS: The president of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) highlighted on Tuesday the significance of the Saudi-Japanese cooperation, reiterating how Saudi Arabia has been, and will continue to be, a very important country for Japan.
Stressing on maintaining good relations with the kingdom, TANAKA Akihiko, President of JICA, told Arab News at the 2022 World Economic Forum that Saudi Arabia is important for Japan “not just as a source of natural resources, but also as a key country in the Middle East.”
Tanaka also acknowledged Saudi’s interest in “keeping collaborative relations, particularly in the area of technology advancement and necessary technology of standardisation and future development.”
Speaking about Saudi Vision 2030, Tanaka assured Arab News that Japan will continue to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms that are being promoted under the initiative.
Tanaka explained that JICA has provided knowledge sharing and training for dissemination of “Kaizen”, promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, and effective use of water resources in accordance with Saudi-Japan Vision 2030.
Tokyo-based JICA is one of the world’s largest public development assistance institutions, established in 2003, with over 96 overseas offices.
According to Tanaka, upcoming cooperation between JICA and GCC countries will focus on tackling the triple crisis of COVID-19, climate change and geopolitical crises, including turmoil starting from the Arab Spring, stalled peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel and the impact of Ukraine crisis in the world.
“Our vision in working with Saudi Arabia is to create mutual benefit to realise a more sustainable world,” Tanaka said. “Our overall vision in JICA is to lead the world with trust, and so as a very important partner and a key actor in the Middle East, we would like to also maintain good and productive relations with trust.”
JICA has been cooperating with Saudi Arabia since 1975, and their focus, according to Tanaka, has been and will continue to be human resource development.
“JICA had implemented a variety of technical cooperation in Saudi Arabia in the field of Technical Education, Water Resource Development, Water Treatment, Electricity Development and so forth.
He added that there were “many potential cooperation opportunities” between Saudi Arabia and Japan.