Joint Statement on Strengthening the Bilateral Economic Relations between Japan and Qatar
On September 30, 2010, H.E. Mr. Seiji Maehara, Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Akihiro Ohata, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry on the Japanese side, and H.E. Mr. Abdulla Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Deputy Premier, Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar on the Qatari side, held the fifth meeting of the Japan-Qatar Joint Economic Committee in Tokyo.
- Both sides welcomed the holding of the fifth meeting of the Japan-Qatar Joint Economic Committee on the occasion of H.E. Mr. Abdulla Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah's visit to Japan.
- Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the fact that the bilateral economic ties have been strengthened by frequent mutual visits of leading figures of the two countries.
- Both sides welcomed that three Working Groups established at the first Joint Economic Committee held in November 2006, namely the Energy Working Group, the Improvement of Business Environment and Investment Working Group, and the Comprehensive Working Group, have taken place to discuss a broad range of topics. Both sides shared common recognition that three Working Groups have been playing an important role in further developing the economic relations between the two countries. Both sides stressed their common intention to proceed with the Joint Economic Committee and its three Working Groups in an active and constant manner.
- Both sides took note of the outcome of the first meeting of the Japan-Arab Economic Forum held in Tokyo in December 2009, which was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the League of Arab States, and attended by H.E. Dr. Khalid Bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Acting Minister of Business and Trade, and a group of Qatari officials. Both sides stressed that the Japan-Arab Economic Forum was an important and useful channel for strengthening cooperation between Arab countries and Japan in areas including financing for investment, water, solar power systems, industry, trade, environment and tourism. Both sides also shared common intention to cooperate in preparing for the second Japan-Arab Economic Forum, which will be held in Tunisia in December 2010.
- Both sides welcomed the outcome of the business forum "Cutting Edge Smart Energy Technologies Contributing to a New Energy Future in the Middle East" held in Doha in January 2010 attended by the high ranking officials of both countries. Both sides emphasized the fact that the forum constituted an important venue to promote understanding the latest technology in energy efficiency/renewable energy and to discuss the ways on enhancing business-to-business interaction between Japan and Qatar.
- Both sides reconfirmed the importance of oil and natural gas including LNG in the mutual relationship, and recognized the importance of further promoting the bilateral cooperation in energy field based on mutually beneficial relationship between Qatar, with its important role in the energy market, and Japan as the first LNG buyer for Qatar as well as the biggest LNG importer in the world.
The Japanese side expressed its recognition that Qatar would remain a reliable supplier of these natural resources for the world including Japan, and that the role of Qatar, which is increasing the capacity of producing LNG, would be more significant in the energy market. Meanwhile, the Qatari side expressed its intention of continuing to supply oil and natural gas including LNG to the world including Japan at mutually acceptable terms and conditions in a stable manner.
Both sides shared the view that both market transparency and well-balanced supply and demand of energies are important to enhance market stability. Both sides shared the view that instability in energy prices is undesirable for both energy producers and consumers. Also, both sides confirmed that further enhancement of Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) is needed to improve market transparency which will contribute to stabilizing energy price.
The Japanese side reported commencement of receipt of a Q-max in Japan, and also explained about necessary preparations for receiving Qatari LNG tankers (Q-Flex and Q-Max) at its ports. The Japanese side expressed its intention to continue appropriate measures in an expeditious manner so as to improve and expand the transportation of LNG from Qatar. The Qatari side appreciated such Japanese efforts.
Both sides welcomed the four "Qatar-Japan Joint Seminars on Technical and Economic Energy Issues" held since early 2009 in Doha and Tokyo, in which people of both countries involved in the energy sector exchanged their views and information regarding forecast of energy demand and supply, utilization of technologies in the energy sector and other energy issues for the purpose of deepening mutual interchange and understanding.
Both sides reaffirmed that they would continue discussions on concrete projects concerning the expansion of mutual investment activities, including both upstream and downstream of the energy sector, through appropriate channels.
- Both sides stressed the firm intention to continue an approach in an active manner for the creation of better business environment for both countries based on the discussion at the Improvement of Business Environment and Investment Working Group so far. Both sides confirmed to discuss broad range of fields such as finance, total quality management and scientific research so as to strengthen bilateral economic relations. Both sides stressed the importance of encouraging the private sector to participate in developing joint scientific research and development. In this context, the Qatari side expressed their expectation for the advance by Japanese companies to Qatar Science and Technology Park.
- The Qatari side showed an interest in the information communication technology (ICT) which have been or is being developed in Japan. Both sides shared the intention to study means of cooperation for spread and promotion of the ICT in Qatar, and expressed that the cooperation in the field of ICT will lead to the promotion of business activities in the future.
- The Japanese side welcomed that Qatar Airways commenced services between Narita and Doha on April 26, 2010. Both sides expressed their expectation for promoting personal exchanges as well as increasing the flow of products and overall efficiency of transportation between the two countries. In this context, both sides expressed their expectation that improvement of efficiency in the transportation contributes to promoting the exchange and cooperation in the field of tourism.
- Both sides expressed their expectation to promote the cooperation in the field of financial intelligence by facilitating the exchange of information in assisting investigations concerning money laundering, terrorist financing and related crimes based on the Statement of Cooperation signed in 2009 between the Japan Financial Intelligence Center of the National Public Safety Commission of Japan and Qatar Financial Information Unit.
- Both sides expressed their intention to render continuous support for Japanese companies executing the projects in Qatar such as the construction of new Doha Airport and power grid network. The Qatari side welcomed the active embarkation and further investment by the Japanese side to the development projects in progress or planned in Qatar including the expansion of power grid and the laying of railway. The Japanese side expressed the intention to consider the possibility of cooperating in these projects by utilizing excellent Japanese human resources and technology. The Japanese side introduced its intention to dispatch joint mission consisting of public and private sectors to Qatar early next year to hold a seminar on urban transportation. The Qatari side appreciated such Japanese efforts. Both sides shared the common recognition to keep close cooperation for further strengthening the economic ties between the two countries.
- Both sides confirmed their common intention to start the negotiation as soon as possible with a view to concluding a bilateral investment agreement. Both sides expected the negotiation for the free trade agreement between Japan and GCC (Japan-GCC FTA) to reach an expeditious close.
- Both sides shared the view that the education and the development of human resources are indispensable for the national development, and confirmed their intention to promote the cooperation in the field of education. The Qatari side appreciated efforts and support by the Japanese side which intends to contribute to the development of the Qatari human resources by the ways of acceptance of the Qatari students at the Japan School of Doha whose land and school building were provided by the Qatari side to reopen and promotion to study at higher educational institutions in Japan. The Qatari side expressed the intention to consider possible support to promote Japanese education style in Qatar. The Japanese side expressed the expectation that Qatari students start enrolling in the Japan School of Doha soon.
- Both sides recognized the importance of enhancing further mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries, noting that the year of 2012 is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and expressed their intention to raise a trend of this anniversary by possible means.
- Both sides expressed their intention to promote plant factories in Qatar through private sectors which utilize Japan's advanced technology and serve Qatari needs.
- The Japanese side emphasized the significant contribution that will be made by the wide use of environmentally friendly regional passenger aircraft being developed in Japan. The Qatari side looks with interest to this project.
- Both sides expressed their desire to continue to cooperate on WTO issues in particular trade facilitation negotiation.
- Both sides reaffirmed the importance of continuing discussions on the way to strengthen the bilateral relations in the broad range of fields centering economic issues under the framework of the Joint Economic Committee and decided to convene the sixth meeting of the Committee, taking into account the discussion of each working group.
- Seiji Maehara
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
- Abdulla Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah
Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar
- Akihiro Ohata
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
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