1. The Second ASEAN – Japan Economic Ministers Meeting ,as held in Tokyo on June 27 – 28, 1985.
2. Ministerial Members of the Delegation of Japan ,ere Their Excellencies Mr. Shintaro Abe, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Noboru Takeshita, Minister of Finance, Mr. Moriyoshi Sato, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr. Keijiro Murata, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Mr. Ippei Kaneko, Minister of State for Economic Planning and Mr. Toshio Komoto, Minister of State in charge of the Special Assignment.
3. Ministerial Members of the Delegation of the ASEAN countries were Their Excellencies Mr. Rachmat Saleh, Minister of Trade and Mr. Hartarto, Minister of industry, Indonesia; Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Development Brunei Darussalam; Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Minister of Trade and industry and Dato’. Leong Khee Seong, Minister of Primary industries, Malaysia; Mr. Roberto V. Ongpin, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Vicente B. Valdepenas, Jr., Minister of Economic Planning, Mr. Antonino P. Roman, Deputy Minister of Finance aid Dr. Orlando Sacay, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food, the Philippines; Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam, Minister for Trade and Industry ,.d Education, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, Minister f State for Trade and industry and Defence and Mr. Sidek Saniff, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Trade id industry, Singapore; and Mr. Sommai Hoontrakool, Minister of Finance, Mr. Kosol Krairiksh, Minister of Commerce, Sub-Lt. Prapas Limpabandhu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya Deputy Minister of Industry, Thailand. His Excellency Mr. Phan Wannamethee, Secetary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat as also present at the Meeting.
4. The Economic Ministers of Japan and the ASEAN Economic Ministers exchanged views on wide ranging subjects relating to the global economic situation, global trade problems, economic situations and policies of Japan and the ASEAN countries and economic relations between Japan and ASEAN.
Global Economic Situation
5. The Economic Ministers noted that there still existed many problems to be overcome in order to ensure sustained world economic growth. These problems include a large amount of budgetary de.
Global Trade Problems
7. The Economic Ministers expressed serious concern over the resurgence of protectionist trends and agreed that renewed and determined efforts must be made at this critical juncture to strengthen a free and open world trading system. The Economic Ministers agreed that there should be a roll back of protectionist measures and that any trade problems should be dealt with in a transparent, predictable and non-discriminatory manner.
With regard to the developed countries declaration at the Bonn Summit on a new round of multilateral trade .negotiations, the Economic Ministers welcomed the launching of the New Round. Towards this end it would be necessary to move into a preparatory process expeditiously.
8. In this connection, the Economic Ministers stressed the need to fulfill the past commitments of he Tokyo Round and the relevant provisions of the 1982 GATT Work Programme. They agreed hat, in particular, the interests of ASEAN and other developing countries should be fully taken to account in the New Round and that due consideration should be given to the improvement of developing countries access to the markets of the developed countries
9. The Economic Ministers of Japan stressed that Japan, in its Outline of the Action Programme Concerning Tariffs on 25 June, 1985, had taken the lead in announcing the main policy fines regarding tariffs to be taken in the course of the negotiations of the New Round: namely, to reduce the tariff rates on industrial products to zero along with other advanced industrialized countries through the negotiations of the New Round, and to promote the tariff negotiations on agricultural and fisheries products in the New Round, considering the special characteristics of agriculture and taking into account the rectification of tariff escalation.
10. Furthermore, the Japanese Economic Minister stated that Japan had decided to make concrete and tangible contributions prior to launching the New Round. These included such measures as the elimination or reduction by 20% in principle or more of the tariff rates on more than 1,800 products as ell as the substantial improvement of the Generalized System of Preferences including the expansion of coverage on agricultural products.
11. The ASEAN Economic Ministers welcomed Japans policy lines and measures on tariff announced on June 25, 1985, and looked forward to ASEANs concerns including the question of non-tariff barriers being taken into account in the Action Programme to be announced in July 1985.
12. In view of the heavy dependence of the SEAN countries on primary commodities for heir foreign exchange earnings and development, the recent change in supply and demand of international commodity markets and the present depressed commodity prices, the Economic Ministers agreed to continue to make greater efforts toward achieving the objectives of the existing commodity agreements.
13. In this context, both sides agreed to play constructive roles in the renegotiations of such commodity agreements as the international Natural Rubber Agreement (INRA), International Tin Agreement (ITA) and International Sugar Agreement (ISA) to make them more effective. They were also of the view that with regard to the international Coffee Agreement, an appropriate formula of quota allocation for exports of coffee acceptable to both producing countries and consuming countries should be worked out by taking into account such elements as stocks, actual demand of consuming countries, export performance, actual production and export capacities of producing countries.
14. In the search for new directions and in the interest of longer-term perspective, the ASEAN Economic Ministers subscribed to the vie of encouraging greater downstream processing of primary commodities within the producing countries of ASEAN to obtain the higher value-added, income, employment and foreign exchange earnings, and of promoting closer collaboration in research and development in the primary commodities sector. ficits in major advanced countries, high interest rates and persisting protectionist pressures. The developing countries on the whole continued to find themselves in a severe economic situation, beset with uncertainties caused by unresolved foreign debts, difficulties in market access, depressed prices of primary commodities and volatility of exchange rates. Both sides agreed that under such circumstances each country, individually and cooperatively had to make efforts in an integrated and comprehensive manner to accomplish a widespread and non-inflationary sustained growth.
6. The Economic Ministers of Japan informed the ASEAN Economic Ministers of the outcome of the Bonn Summit meeting held in May 1985. In this context, the Economic Ministers reaffirmed that the sound development of the economies of the developing countries as indispensable- for the stable development of the world economy. They agreed on the need for a sustained growth in developing countries through measures such as the promotion of free trade, increase of the official development assistance (ODA), transfer of technology and improvement of market access
Economic Situations and Policies of Japan and the ASEAN Countries
15. The Economic Ministers of Japan and ASEAN explained their respective economic situations and economic policies.
Issues Regarding Economic Relations between Japan and ASEAN
16. The Economic Ministers discussed cooperative relations between Japan and ASEAN in the fields of trade, investment and technology transfer.
(a) Trade (including market access)
17. The Japanese Ministers stated that in the Outline of the Action Programme Concerning Tariffs, the Government of Japan, giving special consideration to Japans relations with ASEAN, had made utmost efforts and decided on the elimination and substantial reduction of tariffs on a number of products of interest to ASEAN.
18. The ASEAN Economic Ministers expressed appreciation for the recent decision on tariff reductions made by the Japanese Government, particularly those made on boneless chicken, palm oil and bananas. They also recognized that such market opening measures enhance ASEAN-Japan trade relations.
19. The ASEAN Economic Ministers in addition requested the Japanese Government to give favourable consideration to other ASEAN requests on tariffs, non-tariff barriers as ell as on GSP and to make further efforts to facilitate the access of ASEAN products to the Japanese market.
20. The Japanese Economic Ministers took note of the above requests for future consideration.
21. The Economic Ministers recognized the importance of Japans assistance in the promotion of exports of ASEANs manufactured and semi-manufactured products and the efforts made by the Government of Japan, including the formulation of the Action Programme, and various forms of cooperative activities undertaken by relevant organization in Japan. Hence the ASEAN Economic Ministers requested more assistance to be extended by the Japanese Government to the export development and promotion programmes of the ASEAN countries, including assistance from JETRO in the formulation of export promotion programmes tailored to the individual needs of the ASEAN countries.
They also requested Japan to encourage Japanese subsidiaries and joint ventures located in ASEAN to make efforts to promote the export of their output to Japan.
22. The Economic Ministers emphasized the importance they attach to investment, especially in export-oriented, processing and supporting industries, in the overall framework of Japan – ASEAN relations.
23. While recognizing that overseas investments are results of decisions made by private enterprises, the Economic Ministers agreed that Japan and ASEAN would cooperate to create an environment conducive to promoting and facilitating smooth flow of investment from Japan to the ASEAN countries, which would contribute to the structural changes of the ASEANs industry and trade.
(c) Transfer of Technology
24. The Economic Ministers agreed on the importance of increased and smooth flow of transfer of technology from Japan to the ASEAN countries.
25. The ASEAN Economic Ministers stated that an appropriate and practical approach in the transfer of technology needed to be adopted and that the process would be facilitated through the continuation of mutual cooperation. They also stated that the process of the transfer of technology should be executed consistently covering both the existing and future technology which would be appropriately related to development stages and changes in both Japan and the ASEAN countries so as to bring about beneficial effects on the economies of the ASEAN countries.
26. The Japanese Economic Ministers agreed to consider in detail the ways and means of implementing the policy of transferring technology to the ASEAN countries. They also stated that in this connection the Government of Japan had put the highest priority on cooperation to the ASEAN countries and would further expand it in accordance with their development needs.
(d) Future direction
for cooperation in investment and transfer of technology
27. To attain the above objectives, the Economic Ministers agreed to examine at officials level ways and means including the following specific measures:
- collection and dissemination of investment and technological information, both in Japan and the ASEAN countries;
- strengthening of linkages among existing investment and technology related organizations;
- further utilization of existing financial schemes to encourage participation of Japanese enterprises in the ASEAN Industrial joint Ventures progamme; and
- enhancement, of investment and technology related activities of JICA, JETRO and ASEAN Promotion Center on Trade, investment and Tourism.
28. The Economic Ministers exchanged views on the outlook for the economic development of the ASEAN countries and their policies for its realization, and on the outlook of cooperation for the development of Japan-ASEAN economic relations. They highly appreciated that cooperation between Japan and ASEAN had been expanding in all fields and expressed their hope that such cooperation would be further promoted.
29. Both sides recognized that for the future development of Japan-ASEAN economic relations, it was necessary for Japan to cooperate with ASEAN, from a comprehensive and medium and long-term perspective, in ASEANs efforts towards advancement of its industrial structure as they approach the 21st Century.
30. In this context, the Economic Ministers agreed to strengthen mutual efforts at the governmental and private levels for contributing to the advancement of ASEANs industrial and trading structure through various means such as economic cooperation, trade, investment and transfer of technology.
31. in view of the close interdependence between ASEAN and Japan, the Economic Ministers also agreed to continue to have close and timely exchange of views on matters of mutual interest.
32. The Meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere. The Economic Ministers highly appreciated that the present Meeting proved fruitful in advancing cooperative relations between Japan and ASEAN and in increasing their mutual under- standing.
33. The ASEAN Economic Ministers expressed their deep appreciation to the Government and people of Japan for the arrangements of the Meeting and the hospitality accorded to them.
Joint Press Statement Meeting Of The ASEAN Economic Ministers With The Minister For International Trade And Industry Of Japan
Manila, Philippines, 24 October 1992
1. The ASEAN Economic Ministers, The Honorable Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam; H. Dr. Arifin M. Siregar, Minister of Trade of Industry Indonesia; The Honorable Dato Seri Rafidah Aziz Minister for International Trade and Industry Malaysia; H.E. Mr. Rizalino S. Navarro, Secretary Trade and Industry of the Philippines; H.E. SG (Re Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore; and H.E. M Supachai Panitchpakdi, Deputy Prime Minister Thailand met with the Japanese Minister for International Trade and Industry, H.E. Mr. Kozo Watanabe in Manila on 24 October 1992.
2. The Meeting was the first bilateral meeting between the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) a Japan’s MITI Minister and was co-chaired by H. E. Rizalino S. Navarro, Secretary of Trade and Indus of the Philippines and Chairman of the AEM and H. Mr. Kozo Watanabe, Minister for International Tra
3. Paying attention to the continued economic growth of the region, the Ministers exchanged view on current global and regional issues relating to trade investment and other areas of cooperation between ASEAN and Japan. The Ministers also consider various policy measures to further expand the free flow of trade and investments between Japan and ASEAN and to contribute to the strengthening of multilateral trading system and continued prosperity in the region.
REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS
4. The Ministers examined the recent econ trends and developments affecting the growth of Asia Pacific region. The Ministers were of the view good and they expected the dynamic growth of the countries in the region to continue in the next few years. The Ministers recognized the importance of strengthening the multilateral trading system and promoting closer economic linkages which would encourage market-oriented policies conducive to further growth of the region.
5. The Ministers exchanged views on the present status of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (URMTN) and reaffirmed their strong commitment for an early and successful conclusion of the Round.
6. The Ministers recognized that the successful conclusion of the Round with a balanced and comprehensive package for liberalizing market access on goods and services would increase growth in world trade, dampen protectionist pressures, and generate greater global economic reforms.
ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)
7. On the establishment of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), the Minister agreed that the ASEAN’s initiative to further liberalize the ASEAN markets will contribute to the strengthening of the multilateral trading system. In this regard, the MITI Minister reiterated Japan’s support of AFTA while expressing the hope that the ASEAN market would become more attractive and conducive to expansion of trade and investment through efforts to reduce and remove its barriers. The MITI Minister proposed that seminars organized by ASEAN, with MITI providing cooperation on all levels, be held in Japan early next year to promote better understanding of AFTA among the Japanese private sector. The participants agreed to continue policy dialogue to discuss AFTA.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
8. On the newly established North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Minister s exchanged views on its possible trade and investment creation and diversion effects and expressed their hope that NAFTA would not turn into a regional economic bloc. In this regard, the Ministers emphasized that NAFTA should be GATT – consistent and should contribute to the economic growth, not only of NAFTA members, but the other countries as well.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
9. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to foster greater cohesion in the Asia Pacific region through APEC. The success of APEC in sustaining market-oriented growth through advancing global and regional trade liberalization will forge even closer ties among APEC members. The Ministers recognized the necessity of active involvement and close coordination between Japan and ASEAN specifically in the area of regional trade liberalization which would be the main focus of the next APEC Ministerial Meeting.
10. The Ministers noted that regional arrangements should be outward-looking, GATT – consistent and support the processes of broader trade liberalization. The Ministers were also of the view that, as long as they are consistent with these principles, sub-regional arrangements could enhance the process of globalization, thus leading to increased investment and trade cooperation.
Japan’s Policy to Expand Imports
11. The Ministers noted that ASEAN was Japan’s third largest trading partner, accounting for 13 per cent of Japan’s global trade in 1991. On the other hand, Japan was ASEAN’s largest trading partner accounting for 11 per cent of ASEAN’s total trade and supplying 14 percent of ASEAN imports. The Ministers acknowledged the importance of further expanding trade relations between ASEAN and Japan. The MITI Minister explained in detail the policy measures to expand imports such as the Foreign Access Zone (FAZ) and Business Support Center. The MITI Minister also explained Japan’s 10.7 trillion yen comprehensive economic measures which aim to expand Japan’s domestic demand and are expected to contribute to a stable development of the world economy.
12. The ASEAN Ministers welcomed this initiative and expressed the hope that they would take advantage of these measures particularly in ASEAN’s development as the manufacturing export base to Japan. The MITI Minister assured that his Ministry would provide active support to this end.
Japan’s Generalized System of Tariff Preferences (GSP)
13. On Japan’s Generalized System of Tariff Preferences, the ASEAN Ministers agreed that it was a vital tool in promoting ASEAN’s exports to Japan. In this regard, the ASEAN Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Government of Japan for extending the GSP until 2001 and acknowledged its efforts in further liberalizing the quota ceilings for certain products. The ASEAN Ministers further urged Japan to favorably consider those outstanding requests by ASEAN to improve the Japanese GSP scheme.
ASEAN Centre Activities and Other Programs
14. The participants agreed to work together to encourage the private sector to make good use of the activities of the ASEAN Promotion Centre, various JETRO programs and other existing programs to promote export of manufactured goods which meet the market needs of the importing countries.
INVESTMENT AND INDUSTRIAL COOPERATION
15. In explaining the current situation and future prospects of Japanese foreign direct investments (FDI), the MITI Minister pointed out that Japanese FDI to the ASEAN countries, while having recently declined, had increased its share in the total Japanese FDI and would trend upward again in the medium to long-term. He added that Japanese FDI tended to increase in the sectors of higher value-added and supporting industries. The MITI Minister also reassured the ASEAN that the region remains a priority area for Japanese investments and encouraged member countries to further improve the region’s investment climate by expanding infrastructure, developing appropriate technology transfer, and maintaining a pool of trained and skilled personnel.
16. The MITI Minister stated that MITI would actively cooperate to help develop supporting industries and to advance the industrial structure of the ASEAN countries. The Ministers agreed on the importance of promoting dialogue between public and private sectors of Japan and the ASEAN countries and of continuing effort on human resource development.
17. The ASEAN recognized the investment patterns emerging from recent economic trends in Japan and with this consideration, submitted a four-point proposal for the enhancement of ASEAN-Japan investment and industrial cooperation.
18. Specifically, ASEAN requested (1) the ASEAN-Japan Experts’ Group meeting to consider and review the progress of the implementation of The ASEAN-Japan Development Fund (AJDF) as well as the additional needs of ASEAN, in accordance with Article 13 of Framework of the AJDF and Guidelines for Implementation agreed in July 1988; (2) the institution of a program for improving intellectual property protection and the system for industrial standardization and quality control in ASEAN which would be necessary for smoother technology transfer to ASEAN countries; (3) the establishment of a comprehensive program for developing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES) in ASEAN; and (4) the application of MITI’s Green Aid Plan to provide technical support that will lead to the improvement of the overall investment condition of ASEAN member countries.
19. The MITI Minister introduced MITI’s policy measures for preventing industrial pollution, its comprehensive program to deal with global environment problems designed to address environment, energy and economic growth concerns together and its specific actions to realize the “New Earth 21″ concept based on development of innovative technology and technology transfer to developing countries. The MITI Minister stated that MITI was prepared to apply the “Green Aid Plan” which provides to ASEANI countries incentives for economic development compatible with environmental problems from the viewpoint of industry and trade ministers.