The meeting is an important part of the Israeli government’s decision to strengthen economic relations with japan, the world’s 3rd largest economy
(Communicated by the Ministry of Economy Spokesperson)
An economic dialogue between the Economy Ministries of Israel and Japan took place this week. This, the second such session, was led by the Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, Mr. Ohad Cohen and by the Director General of Trade Policy at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Mr. Hirofumi Katase.
Economic talks are an important instrument for the Israeli government to promote economic ties and trade relations between the two countries: In January 2015, the government decided to establish an extensive economic partnership between the two countries that would increase Israeli exports to Japan by 2020 by 50% to $1.1 billion, and increase the number of exporters to Japan by 33%, to 210.
During the economic dialogue, the sides discussed diverse trade issues in order to promote cooperation between the countries and to remove commercial obstacles met by Israeli and Japanese businesspeople.
Ohad Cohen, Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, who co-led the session, said: “The economic dialogue with Japan, the world’s third largest economy after China and the US, is of strategic importance to the Israeli economy. In the past, Israel’s level of trade with Japan was relatively limited, due to, among other issues, Japan’s sensitivity to the Arab boycott. Nevertheless, the current Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is promoting a policy of stimulating innovation. This policy has made Israel more attractive to the Japanese, due to Israel’s unique global position as a country that fosters innovation. Following this, relations began warming between the two countries and this has trickled down from the highest tiers to the leaders of the Japanese market.”
Noa Asher, Trade Representative for the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry – Foreign Trade Administration – in the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo, said: “Over the past two years we have been witnessing a very significant increase in the interest Japanese companies are showing in Israel, and this is exemplified by the number of Japanese companies coming to Israel and their great willingness to meet Israeli companies in Japan.”
As part of strengthening relations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Japan in May 2014 and met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mr. Abe visited Israel in January 2015 with a senior business delegation. In July 2014, the economy ministries of both countries signed a memo on cooperation in industrial R&D.