News & Updates

FY2021 Survey on Business Conditions of Japanese Affiliated Companies in the Middle East

Apr 15, 2022

Japanese affiliated companies in the Middle East show a clear recovery in operating profits, high interest in decarbonization in the Gulf states

In September 2021, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) conducted its latest survey on business operations of Japanese-affiliated Companies in 10 countries in the Middle East.

Survey outline:

Method Questionnaire
Period September 1 to 30, 2021
Target 255 companies in 10 countries (Valid responses received from 230 companies in 10 countries, response rate of 90.2%)
Question items
  1. Operating Profit Forecast
  2. Future Business Outlook
  3. Investment Environment in the Middle East
  4. Business Areas with Future Promise
  5. Impact of normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel

Key points of the results:

  • In 2021, the percentage of companies expecting a profit increased in all countries to 65.2%, the highest level in the past five years. An increasing number of the companies expected a year-on-year increase due to a rebound from the previous year's decline and growth in sales caused by COVID-19. As for the future business outlook, about 40% of the companies chose expansion, up 7.0 points from the previous year.
  • About 50% of the companies highly rated the market size and growth potential of the business environment in the Middle East. On the other hand, more than 50% of the companies said that sudden introduction or a change in the system and inadequate or unclear legal systems were challenges. Many companies cited the unstable political and social situation in Iran, Israel and Turkey, and soaring real estate rents in the UAE and Israel as issues.
  • As for promising fields, the most common answer was resources and energy. Renewable energy and decarbonization-related fields such as hydrogen and ammonia accounted for a high percentage. As for the countries of focus, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were ranked first and second, respectively, with many companies citing decarbonization as the reason.

Middle East and Africa Division, JETRO