Inauguration ceremony of SME Overseas Expansion Platform in Abu Dhabi, the UAE

October 2017

On October 8, JETRO held an inauguration ceremony for the SME Overseas Expansion Platform in the United Arab Emirates (hereinafter referred to as the UAE Platform). The ceremony held in Abu Dhabi was joined by the UAE and Japanese economic ministers Sultan bin Saeed Mansouri and Hiroshige Seko and approximately 200 other government officials and business people from both countries.

For these Platforms, JETRO dispatches coordinators who have knowledge of the region as well as established networks with local governments and companies, with the aim of responding to inquiries from Japanese SMEs and offering support in a coordinated effort with local cooperative organizations and public institutions to lead these SMEs to success in their business endeavors. The UAE Platform is the 22nd for JETRO and its first in the Middle East.

Entry in the Middle East by Japanese companies has demonstrated an upward trend in recent years, with new record highs continually being seen since 2011. The UAE is home to a concentration of various Japanese companies active in fields such as trade, manufacturing and service. Many of these companies struggle with procedures regarding taxes and local incorporation as well as problems in institutional aspects, while many seek information on local markets and how to develop sales channels or to find local partners. In order to respond to such needs, coordinators specialized in accounting and taxation as well as local business customs, are dispatched to the UAE Platform and assist Japanese SMEs in doing business in the country.

Conclusion of MOU with Department of Economic Development of Dubai

In the inauguration ceremony of the UAE Platform, JETRO signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Economic Development of Dubai regarding the support of Japanese SMEs. The following points in which the department will help Japanese SMEs were included in the MOU:

  • Providing information on business, rules, regulations and companies in Dubai
  • Holding events such as workshops to promote business in cooperation with Japanese SMEs, and introducing Dubai companies which are interested in working with Japanese companies
  • Providing information on the markets and companies of third countries to Japanese SMEs aspiring to expand business to those countries from their local operations in the UAE, and exchanging opinions on issues of economy and trade between the UAE and Japan on a regular basis
  • Conducting activities which will contribute to improving the business environment for UAE and Japanese companies

Expectation for increased investment in UAE by Japanese SMEs

At the inauguration ceremony, Minister Seko stated that the establishment of the UAE Platform will further encourage SMEs to enter its market, emphasizing that the UAE is an important partner for Japan in terms of the complementary economic relationship. JETRO Executive Vice President Osamu Mizui boasted that the UAE Platform will help Japanese SMEs, which face greater challenges regarding experience and knowhow than large corporations, solve a wide variety of problems, and expressed his expectation that it will be a footing to promote exchange between UAE and Japanese SMEs. Following Minister Seko, Minister Mansouri highly praised innovative Japanese technologies and products. He also expressed his hope that many more Japanese SMEs will enter the UAE market, declaring that the launch of the UAE Platform will strengthen mutual relationship between the two countries in terms of economy and trade, in particular in the areas of business start-ups and innovation.

Outline of ceremony

Date and time October 8, 2017, 10:00 – 11:30
Venue St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Organizer Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Co-organizer Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan
Ministry of Economy on the UAE
  • Opening remarks by Osamu Mizui, Executive Vice President, JETRO
  • Greetings by Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan
    Sultan bin Saeed Mansouri, Economic Minister of the UAE
  • Presentation on agricultural cooperative research between the UAE and Japan
  • MOC signing ceremony between the Department of Economic Development of Dubai and JETRO Dubai
  • Photo session
  • Introduction of coordinators of the UAE Platform
  • Closing remarks by Masami Ando, Managing Director, JETRO Dubai
  • Networking reception