Japan iktva forum looks to drive business to Saudi Arabia

The Japan iktva event organizing team from Aramco Asia-Japan’s Strategic Procurement and Logistics Department pose with Saudi Aramco vice president of Procurement and Supply Chain Management Mohammad A. Al-Shammary following the event. Held in Osaka, the event looked to tap into the region’s small- and medium-sized enterprises, as they contribute nearly 53% of Japan’s gross domestic product, and represent a strategic part in the supply chain as second-tier suppliers for many of the large corporations in Japan.

Aramco Asia Japan (AAJ) took a big leap to engage with Japanese small- and medium-sized enterprises by hosting an event in Osaka, 400 kilometers west of Japan’s capital, Tokyo.

Increasing iktva’s level for existing large manufacturers is in line with the Kingdom’s objective to promote the localization of second tier suppliers. These enterprises play an instrumental role, contributing nearly 53% of Japan’s gross domestic product, and they represent a strategic part in the supply chain as second-tier suppliers for many of the large corporations in Japan.

Establishing a new bridge for opportunities in Osaka

Osaka is highly reputed to be one of Japan’s largest financial hubs with very strong small- and medium-sized companies with growing innovation capacity. AAJ saw remarkable potential in Osaka’s supply base to expand Saudi Aramco’s sourcing capabilities.

In a keynote speech, Mohammad A. Al-Shammary, vice president of Procurement and Supply Chain Management with Saudi Aramco, emphasized the pivotal role of Japanese supply companies.

“We recognize that Osaka’s suppliers are mobile and experienced in pioneering many innovations as well as leading-edge technologies,” said Al Shammary. “We also understand that small- and medium-sized enterprises are the engine of major innovation for economic growth, with their internal environment naturally better suited to creativity and translating it into value.

We believe it is a crucially needed step for Saudi Aramco to establish a new bridge for opportunities for all the great companies in the city of Osaka.”

Japanese businesses are excited to explore the Kingdom

The one-day forum featured various elements. While AAJ provided practical guidance on the opportunities with Saudi Aramco and required procedures, presentations by bank and governmental entities elaborated on the economic outlook and opportunities in the Kingdom from a Japanese perspective.

Moreover, success stories and experiences were presented by Japanese businesses, including a nonmetallic and chemicals trading company, Koike Sangyo, and a Japanese drone technology company, Terra Drone.

The event attracted more than 80 participants representing 50 companies and entities from the region, including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry-SME Agency, as well as the Osaka Chamber of Commerce.