Volume 21 – January 2023
Greetings from DISG Secretariat
We extend our warmest wishes for a prosperous 2023 as we begin the new year. This year marks the Golden Jubilee of the ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and we are committed to commemorating this milestone through various initiatives.
As previously announced at the 25th ASEAN-Japan Summit Meeting in 2022, Prime Minister Kishida have proposed to hold a special summit meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our friendship and cooperation, and it has been agreed to hold the meeting in Tokyo in 2023.
As we mark this important milestone, we will continue to work towards further strengthening our friendly relations with ASEAN, building on the [Trust] that has been established over the years. Various efforts have already been initiated in this regard, including the Dialogue for Innovation and Sustainable Growth (DISG).
DISG was established during the 26th AEM (ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting)-METI Consultation in 2020, and is organized by various organizations such as JETRO, AMEICC, ASEAN, and BAC. As we commemorate the 50th anniversary, we aim to play an even greater role in strengthening private sector friendly relations.
As our first announcement of the year, we would like to inform you about the movement towards formulating the ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision. At the 28th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting held in September 2022, it was agreed to summarize the way private sector cooperation will be handled as "ASEAN Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision" and input it into the "Future Design and Action Plan" to be taken up by the government. The working draft of "ASEAN Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision" has been published on January 6th, which we would like to introduce it to you this time. We are currently soliciting opinions until March 6th. We welcome your input and feedback.
In addition, we would like to provide an update on recent developments in Japan's relations with Southeast Asian countries.
First, regarding cooperation on energy transition, ASEAN and Japan recognize that this is one of the most significant challenges facing both regions. In efforts to mobilize funding for energy transition, the "Asia Zero-Emission Community Vision" has been established, and discussions on the challenges and efforts of various countries towards carbon neutrality will take place in March 2023.
Secondly, regarding the strengthening of economic relations at the ministerial level, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr. Nishimura, participated in the APEC Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 17, 2022. During this visit, Minister Nishimura took the opportunity to confirm cooperation towards the success of the meeting with representatives of various economies and to exchange views on bilateral economic relations.
In September 2022, Minister Nishimura also visited Cambodia and participated in the 28th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting, 10th East Asia Summit Economic Ministers' Meeting, and the first RCEP Ministers' Meeting after its launch.
Third, we would like to announce the results of Japan's support projects for advancing the industrial structure of ASEAN-Japan. In August 2022, as part of the ASEAN-Japan Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Projects, 28 projects from 7 countries were adopted in the 3rd public call for proposals which closed in June 2022. The ASEAN-Japan Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Projects is a program that subsidizes a portion of the costs for demonstration projects in which Japanese companies collaborate with ASEAN companies and organizations, utilizing digital technology, to address economic and social issues in ASEAN-Japan.
Additionally, in December 2022, in the overseas supply chain diversification support project, 6 projects were adopted in the 6th public call for proposals which ended in October 2022. This project aims to support the diversification of overseas production bases, mainly in Southeast Asia, in order to strengthen supply chains between Japan and ASEAN.
In addition, in December 2022, In the Support Program to Strengthen Overseas Supply Chains, 6 projects were adopted through the 6th public call by October 2022. The project aims to strengthen the supply chain of ASEAN-Japan, mainly in Southeast Asia, by supporting the diversification of overseas production bases.
As we mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation this year, DISG will continue to deepen economic cooperation between Japan and ASEAN, and support various projects towards solving various social issues and achieving sustainable economic growth. We look forward to engaging in many projects and invite you to stay tuned.
Chair of AMEICC DISG Task Force
Executive Director, JETRO Singapore
Special Advisor to Minister, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
Announcement of ASEAN Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision : Working Draft
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, JETRO, and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as other members of the economic community, are working to develop a " ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision" in preparation for the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendly Cooperation in 2023, to indicate the direction of economic co-creation for a new era in the ASEAN-Japan relationship. Based on the results of various hearings and discussions by study groups, an intermediate summary was compiled on January 6, 2023.
In the future, opinions from the economic communities in ASEAN will be further heard and reflected upon, and discussions will be deepened towards the final compilation of the 2023 vision. We would like to hear the opinions of all readers of this Newsletter as well, so please submit your opinions by March 6 to the following contact.
Access to the intermediate summary towards the development of the ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision can be found here.
Summary of intermediate consolidation
① Introduction: Reflecting on and redefining ASEAN-Japan economic relations in light of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendly cooperation
② Current understanding: Reflecting on changes in ASEAN-Japan relationships and understanding the current position
③ Direction of new economic relations between Japan and ASEAN (Vision)
④ Four pillars for achieving the vision
⑤ Conclusion: Specific next steps for achieving the ASEAN-Japan economic cooperation vision
“Realizing a safe, prosperous and free economic and social society through fair and mutually beneficial economic cooperation, utilizing the "trust" nurtured through 50 years of ASEAN-Japan friendly cooperation as the driving force”
・Four pillars for economic cooperation
① Realizing a sustainable economic society that balances diversity and inclusivity
② Promotion of cross-border open innovation
③ Strengthening cyber-physical connectivity
④ Building an ecosystem for co-creating dynamic human capital
・Submission of opinions
- Deadline for submitting opinions: March 6th, 2023
- Submission Address: Please submit to both following parties.
- DISG Secretariat (E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Secretariat of the Study Committee for the Formulation of the ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision (E-mail address: email@example.com)
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida's participation in the 25th ASEAN-Japan Summit Meeting (decision to hold a special summit meeting for the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation, announcement of the "Asia Zero Emission Community Vision")
(Photo: MOFA) https://www.mofa.go.jp/a_o/rp/page1e_000523.html
On November 12, 2022, Prime Minister Kishida, who participated in the 25th ASEAN-Japan Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, expressed his intention to hold a special summit in Tokyo in December, in addition to the regular ASEAN-Japan Summit, in order to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship cooperation in 2023 and received support from the leaders of participating countries. The summit has been agreed to take place.
Furthermore, during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) that was held prior to the ASEAN-Japan Summit, Prime Minister Kishida, in a video message, touched on the challenge of green transformation and announced the concept of "Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC)", aimed at attracting an estimated $40 trillion of transition finance to Asia.
Subsequently, at the Japan-Indonesia Summit held on November 14, 2022, H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, and Prime Minister Kishida issued a joint statement on the "Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC)" as an ASEAN Chairman's Statement.
(Photo: MOFA) https://www.mofa.go.jp/s_sa/sea2/id/page1e_000529.html
In March 4th 2023, Japan will host the AZEC Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo, bringing together partner country cabinet members to discuss the challenges of achieving carbon neutrality and the ongoing efforts in each country. Additionally, on March 3rd, a public-private investment forum will be held. The Ministerial Meeting will discuss the issues and actions being taken towards achieving carbon neutrality in Asia.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr.Nishimura's visit to Cambodia
(28th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting, 10th East Asia Summit Economic Ministers' Meeting, 1st RCEP Ministers' Meeting after its implementation)
■ 28th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting
On September 18, 2022, the ASEAN member states (AMS) and Japan held the 28th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting with Mr.Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Mr.Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan as co-chairpersons in Cambodia.
During the meeting, discussions were held on the progress and achievements of ASEAN-Japan economic cooperation in the past year and measures to be taken in preparation for the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship Cooperation in 2023. The proposal by Minister Nishimura for the formulation of a private-sector-led "ASEAN-Japan Economic Cooperation Vision" in 2023 was welcomed and agreement was reached on the formulation of the "Design and Action Plan for Innovative and Sustainable ASEAN-Japan Economic Partnership".
(Photo: METI) https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2022/0922_001.html
■ 10th East Asia Summit Economic Ministers' Meeting
On September 17, 2022, the ASEAN member states (AMS), Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russian Federation, and the United States participated in the 10th East Asia Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers' Meeting with Mr.Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce of Cambodia as the chairperson in Cambodia. Discussions were held on the regional situation and economic development in East Asia.
(Photo: METI) https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2022/0922_001.html
■ 1st RCEP Ministers' Meeting
Also on September 17, 2022,, the ASEAN member states, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand held the first RCEP Ministers' Meeting after the implementation of the agreement was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Jerry Sambuaga, Vice Minister of Trade of Indonesia, and H.E. the Hon Phil Twyford, Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth of New Zealand.
The meeting welcomed the implementation of the RCEP agreement on January 1, 2022, and reaffirmed the importance of the agreement in the region, discussed the implementation and cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, and economic and technical cooperation.
Minister Nishimura emphasized the importance of the full implementation of the agreement in order to achieve a free and fair economic order in the region, and reaffirmed the need to ensure that measures are not taken that are inconsistent with the content of the agreement among the ministers. He also announced that Japan will provide 200,000 dollars initially and will further strengthen support in the future to ensure the implementation of the RCEP agreement by the ASEAN countries.
(Photo: METI) https ://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2022/0922_001.html
Participation of Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry,
Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura in the APEC Ministerial Meeting
■ APEC Ministerial Meeting
On November 17, 2022, the APEC Ministerial Meeting was held in Bangkok under the chairmanship of Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Mr.Jurin Laksanawisit, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mr.Don Pramudwinai.
The meeting discussed the achievements of APEC in 2022 under the theme of "Open. Connect. Balance." and identified the guidelines for future work and the direction for APEC to move forward.
It was the first time that a joint statement was issued at the APEC Ministerial Meeting this year.
(Photo: METI) https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2022/1118_003.html
- OPEN TO ALL OPPORTUNITIES (Facilitation of trade and investment)
- CONNECT IN ALL DIMENSIONS (Recovery of connectivity, particularly in travel and tourism)
- BALANCE IN ALL ASPECTS (Promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth)
Main statements made by Minister Nishimura:
- He strongly criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has brought about a crisis in energy security, including an increase in energy prices, and emphasized that such actions must not be tolerated.
- He emphasized the importance of building a free and fair economic order in the Asia-Pacific region and addressing market-distorting measures and economic coercion.
- He shared the recognition of the need for World Trade Organization (WTO) reform towards MC13.
- He stressed the importance of strengthening the supply chain, which is a key industrial infrastructure for sustainable growth, the use of digital technology, and the concept of DFFT as the basis.
- He emphasized concerns regarding the rise in energy prices and the importance of ensuring stable energy supply while promoting a practical energy transition towards carbon neutrality in the APEC region.
■ Minister Nishimura's visit to Singapore and Thailand
・Minister Nishimura Visits Singapore (November 15th)
Prior to the APEC Ministerial Meeting, on November 15, 2022, Minister Nishimura, visited Singapore and had individual meetings with H.E. Mr. Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry; Mr. Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister and Chairman of the Monetary Authority (former Prime Minister); and Dr. Tan See Leng, Second Minister for Trade and Industry and Minister for Manpower. Discussions were held on trade policies and other matters.
He also attended the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, Japan-Southeast Asia Market Forum, where he participated in a lecture and panel discussion.
・Minister Nishimura Visits Thailand (November 16th)
During his visit to Thailand for the APEC Ministerial Meeting, Minister Nishimura met with representatives from each economy in individual meetings and discussed cooperation towards the success of the APEC Ministerial Meeting, as well as exchanged views on bilateral economic relations. In a meeting with H.E. Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, he discussed cooperation in the energy sector towards carbon neutrality and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) that includes joint investment and emergency cooperation in the LNG investment.
Additionally, Minister Nishimura and H.E. Mr. Suriya Jungrungreangkit, Minister of Industry, attended a Japan-Thailand government-co-hosted seminar "Japan-Thailand Collaboration on Enhancement of Industry DX" and exchanged documents on cooperation in human resources development for the realization of Industry 4.0.
Efforts to Strengthen Economic and Industrial Cooperation Relations in ASEAN-Japan
■ Announcement of Results of the 3rd Round of ASEAN-Japan Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Project in ASEAN-Japan
In the ASEAN region, as economic development brings about various social challenges, the rapid expansion of businesses utilizing digital technology to solve these challenges is being seen, particularly in response to the increased need for non-face-to-face and non-contact interactions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Advancing the implementation of DX in society, with a focus on businesses, and accelerating the digitalization of the economy and society, is a crucial policy issue for emerging Asian countries.
Under the ASEAN-Japan Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Project, large, small and medium-sized enterprises that receive cost assistance based on each country's aid ceiling will work with companies and institutions in the ASEAN10 countries to address social challenges through the use of digital technology. Previously, the first round of public offering resulted in the adoption of 23 projects in 9 countries, and the second round resulted in the adoption of 17 projects in 8 countries.
In the third round of public offering conducted by JETRO in June 2022, out of 57 applications, 28 projects from a wide range of fields including healthcare, nursing care, transportation and mobility, and agriculture and fisheries were selected. The adopted projects will be implemented within the period until January 31, 2024.
The adopted projects are required to meet the following criteria:
- Specific solutions to economic and social challenges faced by the target countries are set, and the projects contribute to solving these challenges.
- The projects utilize innovation such as digital technology.
- Collaborating ASEAN companies and other organizations have been determined.
- Early (generally within 2 years after the completion of the commissioned project) implementation or continuation of business in the implementation country or other ASEAN regions is expected.
■ Announcement of Results of the 6th Round of Support Program to Strengthen Overseas Supply Chains (Equipment Introduction Assistance Type)
On December 27, 2022, the results of the 6th round of the " Support Program to Strengthen Overseas Supply Chains" project, which is run by the General Incorporated Foundation Association for Overseas Industrial Human Resource Development (AOTS), were announced by JETRO. Six companies were selected for the project.
The aim of this project is to strengthen the supply chains of Japanese companies, particularly in the Asia region, by diversifying production in response to the vulnerability of supply chains due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to enhance economic and industrial cooperation with ASEAN.
The eligible projects include the introduction of equipment for diversifying overseas production bases, demonstration projects, and feasibility studies, primarily in Southeast Asia.
The main requirements for eligible projects are as follows:
- Contribute to the strengthening of the ASEAN-Japan supply chain.
- Business plans are implemented by overseas subsidiaries or second-tier subsidiaries.
- The equipment to be introduced is for the production of products or parts that are important and at risk of supply chain disruption.
- The equipment to be introduced should produce products or parts that are over 50% of overseas production and have a concentration of 15% or more in one country.
- Should not reduce domestic production in Japan.
The companies selected for the project will implement their projects until March 2026.
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