Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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METI Minister Miyazawa Visited the Republic of the Philippines

From May 23 to 24, 2015, Mr. Yoichi Miyazawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Boracay in the Republic of the Philippines to attend the 2015 Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT). In addition, seizing this opportunity, he had bilateral meetings with H.E. Mr. Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative, Mr. Yoon Sang–jick, Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, and Y.B. Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysian Minister of International Trade & Industry.

1. 2015 MRT meeting

In 2015, under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry from the Republic of the Philippines, participants discussed a variety of issues including support for the multilateral trade system, improvement of regional economic integration, and small and medium enterprise participation in regional and global markets.

Concerning support for the multilateral trade system, the ministers confirmed that the post-Bali work plan should be formulated by the end of July in order to quickly conclude the Doha Round. Regarding the ITA (Information Technology Agreement) expansion negotiations, Minister Miyazawa proposed settling the negotiations as soon as possible, and the APEC economies agreed on the necessity of an early settlement. Regarding WTO negotiations concerning trade in environmental goods, many economies including Japan mentioned the importance of promoting this agenda. In addition, the commitment to deterring protectionism was expressed by many.

As for regional economic integration, Japan introduced the Partnership for Quality Infrastructure, an initiative of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which received strong support from many countries. Concerning APEC, from the standpoint of quality of infrastructure, Japan proposed to conduct peer reviews of institutions on infrastructure development of individual economies and to support capacity building, which was warmly received by many meeting participants.

Concerning the liberalization and facilitation of manufacturing-related and environmental services, Japan expressed its intention to take the lead in the discussions surrounding the formulation of the action plans by the end of 2015. Furthermore, based on the APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chain Development and Cooperation compiled in 2014, Japan proposed establishing a guidebook in order to improve the resilience of global value chains designed to reduce the negative impact of natural disasters with respect to the investment environment in developing economies and the business continuity of regional enterprises, which was welcomed by participant economies.

In addition, the ministers welcomed the establishment of a task force team that will conduct a collective strategic study on issues related to the realization of the FTAAP (Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific) and approved a working plan for the study. The officials were directed to report progress by November 2015.

Mr. Yasuharu Fushimi, Chairman and President of Tsuneishi Holdings and Mr. Yoshiaki Kato of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation also participated in the special session for Trade Ministers and CEOs, and they exchanged opinions.

Furthermore, the “Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises)”, proposed by the Republic of the Philippines, was discussed during the session designed to promote the participation of MSMEs in regional and global markets. Japan welcomed the proposal. The facilitation of trade, finance and electronic commerce, the importance of which Japan pointed out, were incorporated into the action agenda as prioritized areas for cooperation.

2. Bilateral meetings

  1. Minister Miyazawa and Ambassador Michael Froman
    At a meeting with Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative, Minister Miyazawa exchanged opinions about cooperation on the ITA expansion negotiations. Concerning the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), they confirmed that Japan and the U.S. would cooperate in order to reach an agreement between the 12 countries as soon as possible. In addition, Ambassador Forman stated that the U.S. would continue to make efforts for the House of Representatives to promptly pass the TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) bill.

  2. Minister Miyazawa and Minister Yoon Sang-Jick
    At a meeting with Mr. Yoon Sang-Jick, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the ROK, the two ministers conducted an exchange of opinions on a broad range of Japan-Korea relations and agreed to increase efforts to reach an agreement on items regarding ITA expansion as soon as possible, the importance of the Japan-China-Korea FTA and the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), and cooperation to realize the FTA and RCEP. Concerning Korea’s import restrictions on Japanese fishery products, Minister Yoon expressed his opinions regarding the issues for which Japan requested consultation based on WTO agreements. In response, Minister Miyazawa explained the safety of Japanese fishery products along with the progress of policy measures regarding decommissioned nuclear reactors and contaminated water.

  3. Minister Miyazawa and Minister Mustapa Mohamed
    At a meeting with Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, which serves as chair of ASEAN this year, the two ministers agreed that they would further cooperation to deepen the Japan-Malaysia relationship with respect to trade and investment, including RCEP and a new Look East Policy.

Release date

May 25, 2015

Division in Charge

APEC Office, Trade Policy Bureau

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Regional Affairs / Philippines

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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