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High-level Japanese delegation visits SRTIP, as Japan explores better investments in Sharjah

Farzana Mansoor

SHARJAH (UAE): A high-level Japanese delegation, led by Jun Imanishi, Consul General of Japan in Dubai, explored investment opportunities at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park), one of the region’s fastest growing technology parks, during an official visit.
In keeping with Japan’s expanding trade ties with the UAE, delegation sought to explore new avenues of collaboration and partnerships in various technological sectors, stressing on more proactive communication on both sides, against the backdrop of booming bilateral trade which has crossed $30 billion in recent times.
The delegation was briefed on the extensive facilities provided to investors at SRTI Park – both corporate and individual.
The delegation was welcomed by Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, along with several senior officials. The visiting group included Taro Kimura, Chief of the Economic Section, Maya Tokoh, Vice Consul and Agricultural Attaché, and Ms. Kaori Saeki, Researcher in the Economic and Cultural Section, from the Consulate General of Japan in Dubai.
Al Mahmoudi pointed out that the UAE and Japan have linked their futures to innovation, and stressed the SRTI Park’s desire to attract Japanese companies and investment institutions engaged in the fields of innovation, research and development, and advanced technology.
“The strong UAE-Japan bilateral relations date back to several decades, and have been witnessing phenomenal growth in diverse sectors. Sharjah stands out as a major hub for Japanese investments, with numerous Japanese companies operating in the emirate, contributing significantly to economic cooperation. Among the prominent Japanese companies in Sharjah are those engaged in the manufacturing and technology sectors, as well as several others within the free zones of Sharjah,” Al Mahmoudi added.
The visitors were introduced to the supportive business environment in Sharjah with a focus on SRTI Park’s pioneering innovations in creating technological solutions for vital sectors, available investment opportunities and services offered to investors and startups.
The delegation was briefed on the park’s major investments and the conducive investment environment that enables innovative companies and investments to grow and prosper. SRTI Park expressed its readiness to provide all necessary facilities for Japanese companies willing to work and invest in the knowledge sector, which is a pivotal element of the park’s vision, through a vibrant innovation ecosystem and applied scientific and technological research.
The delegation visited the Middle East Testing and Smart Manufacturing Center (focused on additive manufacturing) which hosts latest technologies and applied research labs in multiple fields.
Additionally, they visited the SRTIP Maker Space, known as the Sharjah Open Innovation Lab (SOILAB), the first incubator for startups and innovative businesses in Sharjah, which provides a dynamic space for practitioners to exchange materials, learn new skills, and engage in learning content, and allows schools and universities to be part of this project.
Reports indicate that trade volume between the UAE and Japan reached approximately $30 billion in recent years, with a significant focus on technological and industrial sectors. Over 4,000 Japanese nationals reside and work in the UAE, marking the largest number of Japanese citizens living in the Middle East and North Africa.
Additionally, more than 400 Japanese companies operate in the UAE.
In Sharjah alone, there are over 200 Japanese companies working in diverse fields, endorsing Sharjah’s position as a magnet for Japanese investments in the region. The UAE’s imports from Japan amounted to around 29.3 billion AED during 11 months in 2023, accounting for 39.5% of Japan’s total exports to the region, which totaled approximately AED 74.8 billion, according to data from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

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