Abe seeks Saudi support for Aramco listing in Tokyo

Kristopher Drake
March 14, 2017

Japan hopes to use the visit to widen its relations with Saudi Arabia and help the country's efforts to diversify its economy, including exploring ways to increase Japanese investments in non-energy sectors such as manufacturing, according to officials.

Prime Minister Abe last visited Saudi Arabia in 2013.

Saudi authorities plan to list up to 5 percent of the world's largest oil producer on the Saudi stock exchange in Riyadh, the Tadawul, and also one or more worldwide markets.

He added that Japan also partakes in worldwide efforts tackling various issues, pointing out that there is ongoing political coordination with Saudi Arabia.

It is an ambitious project, designed on the back of falling global oil prices, that will see the country invest in businesses around the world while expanding non-oil businesses and small and medium enterprises at home.

The agreements came on the second day of Saudi King Salman's visit to Tokyo, the first by a Saudi monarch since 1971. Japanese imports from Saudi Arabia totaled 2.1 trillion yen ($18.6 billion) in 2016, mostly oil and gas, compared to exports of 546.3 billion yen ($4.8 billion).

Mr Abe, reaffirming that the two countries are "strategic partners", added: "Japan will further promote investment and technology cooperation in support of Saudi Arabian economic reforms".

Salman, 81, is on a monthlong tour of Asia to advance his kingdom's economic and business interests. He is due to travel on to Brunei, China and the Maldives.

More than 1,000 Saudi officials accompanied the king, Japanese officials said, filling Tokyo's luxury hotels.

Saudi King Salman, left, with Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, right, is greeted by the ambassadors to Japan from Middle Eastern countries, upon his arrival at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Sunday, March 12, 2017.

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