Published: Wed, March 15, 2017
Science | By Kerry Wheeler

Japan woos Saudi Arabia for world's largest IPO

Japan woos Saudi Arabia for world's largest IPO

The two governments will also explore setting up special economic zones in Saudi Arabia, with tax breaks and looser regulations that could benefit Japanese companies. "Saudi Arabia is aiming to obtain aid both from Japan and China by hedging between the two countries", a diplomatic source said.

It is the first visit by a Saudi king to Japan since King Faisal's arrival in 1971.

"Saudi Arabia is on the one hand targeting to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil by fostering growth and job creation across various non-oil related industry sectors", read a joint statement entitled Saudi Japan Vision 2030, released after Abe's talks with Salman at the Prime Minister's Office.

"Direct and secondary economic effects are expected", Sakakibara Sadayuki, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, told reporters on Monday.

Japan has launched a diplomatic offensive at the highest level in an attempt to lure Saudi Aramco to Tokyo for its $100 billion initial public offering.

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The King, who last visited Japan as Crown Prince in 2014, is in Tokyo for a four-day visit ending tomorrow, with what local media have described as a "mammoth delegation" in tow. It included princes, Cabinet ministers, other members of the royal family and business leaders.

She also said that King Salman deeply appreciated the warm welcome of Indonesian people and the Indonesiangovernment.

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". Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king's son, is spearheading the effort, announced a year ago and dubbed Vision 2030. The group held its first ministerial meeting in Riyadh the following month.

On Tuesday, about 500 Japanese businesspeople and officials, including the king, plan to attend an economic forum in Tokyo organized by the Japan External Trade Organization, a government-affiliated commerce body.

He will also be hosted to a lunch banquet by Emperor Akihito.

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