DAVOS: The president of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency highlighted on Tuesday the significance of Saudi-Japanese cooperation, reiterating how Saudi Arabia has been, and will continue to be, a very important country for Japan.
Stressing the importance of maintaining good relations with the Kingdom, Akihiko Tanaka, 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 Arabia’s interest in “keeping collaborative relations, particularly in the area of technology advancement, standardization and future development.”
Speaking about Saudi Vision 2030, Tanaka assured Arab News that Japan will continue to contribute to the economic reforms that are being promoted under the initiative.
Tanaka explained that JICA has provided knowledge sharing and training for the dissemination of “Kaizen,” the 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 Gulf Cooperation Council countries will focus on tackling the triple threat of COVID-19, climate change and geopolitical crises, including issues that originated with the Arab Spring, stalled peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel and the impact of Ukraine crisis on the world.
“Our vision in working with Saudi Arabia is to create mutual benefit to realize 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 [based on] 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.
Tanaka said that JICA has already established cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the fields of technical education, water resource development and treatment, and electricity development, adding that there were “many potential cooperation opportunities” between Saudi Arabia and Japan.