1. The Sixteenth Consultations between the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan (16th AEM-METI Consultations) was held in Da Nang, Viet Nam on 26 August 2010. The Consultations was co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam, and H.E. Masayuki Naoshima, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan.
2. The Ministers noted that due to the current global economic crisis, total trade between ASEAN and Japan went from USD 214.4 billion in 2008 to USD 160.9 billion, representing a decline of 25 percent. However, the Ministers also noted that Japan remained an important trading partner for ASEAN with a share of 10.5 percent of total ASEAN trade in 2009.
3. The Ministers were pleased to note that foreign investment flows from Japan to ASEAN was not affected by the global crisis with a growth of USD 4.7 billion in 2008 to USD 5.3 billion in 2009, representing a growth of nearly 14 percent. Japan has remained an important source of foreign investment with a share of 13.4 percent of total inward investment to ASEAN in 2009
ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP)
4. The Ministers were pleased to note that all Parties have ratified the AJCEP Agreement, which entered into force on 1 December 2008. The Ministers recognised that the full implementation of the AJCEP Agreement will re-invigorate trade and investment in the region, as well as strengthen economic cooperation among the countries in East Asia. Towards this end, the Ministers tasked officials to address all implementation issues and concerns to ensure the smooth implementation and maximum utilisation of the AJCEP. The Ministers also emphasised the importance of promoting certainty, transparency and predictability in the implementation of the AJCEP and therefore urged officials to complete the process of transposing and verifying tariff reduction schedules to HS 2007.
5. The Ministers also shared the intention to commence negotiations on investment and trade in services, aiming to reach substantive outcomes by the 2011 AEM-METI Consultations.
ASEAN-Japan Economic Cooperation
6. The Ministers expressed appreciation to Japan’s continuing commitment to strengthen economic relation between ASEAN and Japan and to further enhance cooperation in promoting ASEAN economic integration, especially in narrowing the development gap within ASEAN. The Ministers also tasked the ASEAN-Japan Sub-Committee on Economic Cooperation, through the AJCEP Committee, to meet regularly to ensure the effective implementation of economic cooperation activities. Towards this end, the Ministers recognise the need to appropriately utilise available funds.
Smart Community Initiative
7. Ministers noted the initiative proposed by the Government of Japan toward realising smart communities in the East Asia and ASEAN countries, which will accommodate smart energy systems and various smart social infrastructures leading to sustainable society in the region, with the support from the Japan Smart Community Alliance (JSCA) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), through various tangible activities including missions and projects.
Asian Sustainable Chemical Safety Plan
8. The Ministers expressed appreciation on Japan’s commitment to promote the “Asian Sustainable Chemical Safety” Plan. The technical cooperation on personnel training and ERIA research on chemical management system in ASEAN and East Asia would contribute in developing sustainable society in the region.
Asia Knowledge Economy Initiatives
9. The Ministers also welcomed the ongoing Asia Knowledge Economy Initiatives, such as promoting “Green IT”, assuring information security in business activities, establishing e-commerce infrastructure, and supporting for fostering of IT professionals.
Future Direction of Japan’s Economic Cooperation for ASEAN
10. Ministers welcomed the report on the outcomes of the 3rd Dialogue between the Secretary General of ASEAN and Federation of Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA) which captures the needs and strategies of Japanese business community operating in the region. In this connection, Ministers encouraged relevant officials to study the proposals in the “Request from Japanese Business Community in ASEAN” with a view to further improving the business environment of ASEAN through the efforts to realise the ASEAN Economic Community. Malaysia, as the host country of the 4th FJCCIA Dialogue, welcomed the Chair of the ASEAN Economic Ministers and other Ministers to join the event.
AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC)
11. The Ministers noted with appreciation the progress in implementing the AMEICC projects, especially those related to the further development of CLMV members towards realising the ASEAN Economic Community. They affirmed their commitment to further strengthen the economic partnership between ASEAN and Japan by implementing the proposed projects through AMEICC and other schemes, especially for the enhancement of regional economic integration.
LIST OF MINISTERS
1. Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
2. H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
3. H.E. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia
4. H.E. Masayuki Naoshima, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
5. H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
6. H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
7. H.E. U Soe Tha, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
8. H.E. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
9. H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
10. H.E. Porntiva Nakasai, Minister of Commerce, Thailand
11. H.E. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
12. H.E. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN