Tokyo, 19 September 2011

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Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN recently met Japan’s new Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Mr Yukio Edano in Tokyo to discuss a wide range of economic cooperation issues between ASEAN and Japan.

Their discussion centered around the current status of Japan’s economy, the development of an ASEAN-Japan 10-year Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap, the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Road Show to Japan next year, and the support of Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) towards ASEAN Community building efforts.

“It is heartening to know that the supply chain has recovered and I am confident that Japan will come back strongly in the global community of nations,” said Dr Surin. He also exchanged views with Minister Edano on the contribution of ERIA in producing research work that are critical for ASEAN and East Asia as they explore new ways and new directions for cooperation, facilitation, and liberalisation.

Minister Edano welcomed the development of the 10-year roadmap and looked forward to the visit of the Ministers to Japan next year. These initiatives would mark another milestone in further strengthening ASEAN-Japan economic cooperation and collaboration.

Japan is an important trade partner and source of investment to ASEAN. Total ASEAN-Japan trade grew 26.7 per cent from US$ 160.9 billion in 2009 to US$ 203.9 billion last year. Japan is ASEAN’s third largest trading partner last year, with 10 per cent share of ASEAN’s total trade. On the other hand, ASEAN is Japan’s second largest trading partner after China.

Foreign direct investment from Japan to ASEAN, furthermore, rebounded significantly from US$3.8 billion in 2009 to US$8.4 billion last year, representing an increase of 124.3 per cent. Japan was the second largest source of FDI flow into ASEAN after the European Union, with a share of 11.4 per cent of total inward investment to ASEAN last year.