By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Japanese entertainment firm Avex plans to open an office in Saudi Arabia
Japanese firms are increasingly interested in investing in Saudi Arabia’s entertainment and tourism sector, according to Saudi officials at the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum in Tokyo.
Avex, a Japan-based entertainment company, for example, plans to launch an office in the kingdom, according to Muhanned Abanmy, the general manager of entertainment infrastructure of the General Entertainment Authority.
“We’ve locked in a meeting with Avex [on Thursday] to seal (the deal) with them to open their office in Saudi Arabia,” he told Arab News.
According to Saudi officials, the total trade volume between Saudi Arabia and Japan is approximately $38 billion.
“Japan has a lot to offer in terms of expertise,” Sultan Mofti, the deputy governor for investment attraction at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) told Arab News.
“Looking at the size of investments in Saudi Arabia by Japanese companies tells you that there’s a lot of room to grow.
“The creation of the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 program, the inauguration of the Riyadh office and the launch of the Tokyo office will help a lot in bridging the gap in communicating opportunities to Japanese businesses,” he added.
Saudi officials believe that the kingdom’s entertainment industry will generate $67 billion over the course of the next 10 years.
“It’s challenging because it’s new, but the future is there,” said Abanmy said.
Additionally, Abanmy said that the Saudi government has spent $1.33 billion over the last two years to support the entertainment industry, which in turn will help provide up to 1 million jobs for Saudis.
“75 percent of those jobs will be in the private sector, while the government can fulfil the rest,” said Majid Al-Ghanim, tourism and quality of life manager at SAGIA said.