1. The Fourteenth AEM-METI Consultations was held in Makati City, Philippines, on 25 August 2007. The Consultations was co-chaired by H.E. Peter B. Favila, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines, and H.E. Akira Amari, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan.

ASEAN-Japan Trade and Investment Relations

2. The Ministers exchanged views on recent global and regional developments. They noted that total trade between ASEAN and Japan increased from US$ 154.6 billion in 2005 to US$ 161.8 billion in 2006.

3. The Ministers noted that FDI flows from Japan also increased from US$ 7.2 billion in 2005 to US$ 10.8 billion in 2006. Japan is now ASEAN’s largest source of FDI.

Progress of Work under the Framework of ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP)

4. The Ministers welcomed that ASEAN and Japan have reached agreement in principle on the major elements of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (hereinafter referred to as the “AJCEP”) which would provide for comprehensive arrangements covering a wide range of economic activities. In this regard, the Ministers confirmed that all Parties finalized their lists for regional exchange of concessions for trade in goods. The Ministers also took note of the progress on other parts of the Agreement.

5. Based on the achievement made so far, Ministers confirmed that ASEAN and Japan expeditiously will proceed with the work on the text, including ROO, in order to conclude the AJCEP by November 2007.

6. Recognising that some of the outstanding issues were still under consideration, they tasked the AJCCEP to explore creative ways to narrow the gaps to accelerate the AJCEP to finalize the AJCEP Agreement by the ASEAN-Japan Summit in November 2007.

ASEAN-Japan Economic Cooperation

7. The Ministers noted the progress of the joint project “ASEAN Common Investment Climate Initiative” that includes holding discussions between top management of Japanese corporations and the Secretary-General of ASEAN and initiating the surveys on investor views. The Ministers stated that they would like to be briefed on the progress of the Initiative in due course.

8. The Ministers recognised that a secure information technology (IT) environment is important to the conduct of economic activities including investment and outsourcing in the region. In this context, they welcomed the proposal of Japan in the field of IT security and encouraged their relevant senior officials to explore necessary areas for cooperation.

Toward Further Economic Development and Integration in East Asia

9. The Ministers welcomed the progress of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), noting that the Experts Group agreed on its objective, basic concept, principles and institutional set-up, as reported by Secretary General of ASEAN who was requested to coordinate steps to reach a consensus on ERIA’s location at the next EAS. They noted the progress of Test-Run projects; “Developing a Roadmap toward East Asian Economic Integration” and “Energy Security in East Asia”, as stated in the report by Chair of the Experts Group, in that they are policy-oriented and truly relevant for policy makers. They expressed their commitment towards the establishment of the ERIA at the next EAS.

10. The Ministers welcomed the launch of a Track Two study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) in June and expressed expectations that the progress of the study would be reported to the next EAS and the study would be concluded by summer in 2008.

11. The ASEAN Ministers noted Japan’s continuing support to ASEAN, particularly in efforts to narrow the development gaps between Member Countries, deepen economic integration and realise its vision to establish the ASEAN Economic Community.

AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC)

12. The Ministers noted the timely implementation of the AMEICC projects as well as the effective manner by which these projects are being implemented. The ASEAN Ministers decided to communicate with EU about the concerns of the ASEAN Chemical Industry on REACH1. The Ministers noted the progress of the ASEAN Brand Project which has obtained funding from the Japan ASEAN Integration Fund, and the ASEAN Common Standard Curriculum which has finalized its coordination process with the Senior Labour Official’s Meeting (SLOM).

___________________

LIST OF MINISTERS

The 14th AEM- METI Consultations was attended by:

  • H.E. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
  • H.E. Dr. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
  • H.E. Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia
  • H.E. Mr. Akira Amari, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
  • H.E. Dr. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
  • H.E. Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
  • H.E. U Soe Tha, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
  • H.E. Mr. Peter B. Favila, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
  • H.E. Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
  • H.E. Mr. Krirk-Krai Jirapaet, Minister of Commerce, Thailand
  • H.E. Dr. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
  • H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN

_______________________

# 1. Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) – new EU regulation on the manufacture or import of chemical substances which entered into force on 1 June 2007.