The UAE has become Japan’s major economic partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region over the past decade,  providing Japan with 25 per cent of its oil needs, a report by the Japanese External Trade Organisation (Jetro), a government agency, showed.
The UAE exports to Japan constitute 25 per cent of the total MENA exports to Japan and the country’s imports from Japan form 32 per cent during the first ten months of 2012.
“The UAE imports from Japan in the first ten months of 2012 were worth $7.5 billion while its exports to Japan amounted to $36.7 billion for the same period compared to $35.1 billion,” Jetro said.
The report revealed that the UAE maintained its position as the largest Middle East market for Japanese products  in the first 10 months of 2012 while it was the second regional exporter to the Southeast Asian giant.
The report showed that Japan is also a major investor in the UAE, mainly in the hydrocarbon sector, with investments exceeding $3 billion.
The UAE’s exports to Japan were mostly mineral fuels that include crude oils and other gaseous hydrocarbons, gas and aluminum, while UAE’s imports were mainly general machinery and automobiles.
Mohammad Amerah, an economic adviser at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry told Gulf News that the increased trade exchange is attributed to the lower dollar value against the Japanese yen.
“The low exchange rate of the dollar against the Japanese yen had contributed to the rise in trade exchange between both countries and that Japan had high public spending last year to boost businesses,” said Amerah.