Mohammed Bin Salman To Visit Japan As Saudi Arabia Seeks To Strengthen Economic Ties With US Asian Ally

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is set to visit  U.S. Asian ally Japan later this month, which is expected further to strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries.

What Happened: The Crown Prince, who is the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, will be in Japan from May 20 to May 23, as reported by Bloomberg. He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his visit.

Japan is a significant trade partner of Saudi Arabia, with their trade volume reaching $42 billion last year. Saudi Arabia is also Japan’s primary supplier of crude oil. The two countries have a “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030” agreement, aimed at encouraging Japanese companies to invest in various sectors in Saudi Arabia, including agriculture, medical care, energy, and infrastructure.

The Vision 2030 initiative, spearheaded by the Crown Prince, is a comprehensive plan to transform the Saudi economy through substantial investments in sectors such as tourism, electric vehicles, and semiconductors.

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The Crown Prince was initially scheduled to visit Japan in late 2022, but the trip was canceled. This upcoming visit is seen as a significant step in strengthening the economic ties between the two nations.

Why It Matters: The visit by the Saudi Crown Prince comes at a time when the country is making significant strides in diversifying its economy. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is on track to reach $1 trillion by 2025, making it a major player in global investments, particularly in transformative tech. The PIF is a key financial vehicle for executing the Crown Prince’s Vision 2030.

Furthermore, the country is prioritizing investments in AI as a means to innovate, create jobs, and enhance competitiveness. This is evident in projects such as NEOM, a $500 billion zero-emission smart city, which is a core Vision 2030 project.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s need for data centers and semiconductors is nudging it towards historic talks with the U.S. These developments indicate a significant shift in the country’s economic focus, making the upcoming visit by the Crown Prince a crucial step in solidifying its economic partnerships.

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Photo via Kremlin on Wikimedia Commons

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Posted In: NewsGlobalFumio KishidaJapanKaustubh BagalkoteMohammed bin SalmanSaudi ArabiaSaudi-Japan Vision 2030
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