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【METI Mobile】Japan, ASEAN Collaborate for Innovation Network

Graph of Steel Production in China
(ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) - METI consultation Meeting)

On August 6, 2016, Japan’s newly-appointed Minister for Trade, Economy and Industry (METI), Hiroshige Seko, attended a consultation meeting with ASEAN Economic Ministers in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

What is the fourth industrial revolution?

In light of dramatic growth in ASEAN economies due to innovations in new IoT-based industries, the region stands on the cusp of the “fourth industrial revolution”—a new global framework utilizing the innovations of IoT, big data, and artificial intelligence to offer optimized products and services that spur the creation of virtuous cycles.

Until recently, the economic relationship between Japan and ASEAN countries has often seen ASEAN-based companies in supporting roles as large Japanese companies take the lead on assembly, processing and other links in the supply chain. This is called a “flying-geese pattern” development model, but in an increasingly digital world this structure is no longer the only path toward growth.

Meeting overseas regulations

In such a rapidly-evolving market environment, clarifying legal requirements to operate across different ASEAN countries is key to creating new opportunities for Japanese companies and technologies.

Business models such as embedding sensors in roads and bridges to increase infrastructure maintenance efficiency, or offering personalized health information via smartphone both need to operate in industries with varying degrees of regulation. As Japanese companies prepare to develop business overseas, each company must thoroughly review regulations on related goods and services in their target markets.

Towards an equal partnership

During the ministers’ meeting in Laos, Japan proposed the establishment of the “ASEAN-JAPAN Innovation Network,” a new framework under which companies in Japan and ASEAN countries will collaborate to advance business development. Participating countries welcomed the idea with keen interest. Japan will strive to explore every opportunity that an equal partnership with ASEAN provides for further mutual growth and innovation.

The Mekong
(The Mekong, a river flowing in Vientiane, the capital city of Lao PDR)

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Last updated: 2016-08-30
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