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ASEAN Economic Ministers Roadshow Held

From April 6 (Thur.) to 9 (Sun.), 2017, the ASEAN Economic Ministers Roadshow (AEM Roadshow) was held in Japan, bringing together economic ministers and other officials invited from ASEAN economies. During the AEM Roadshow, participants held Informal AEM-METI Consultations, delivered speeches at a business event, toured Japanese companies, and attended other events.

1. ASEAN Economic Ministers Roadshow

From April 6 (Thur.) to 9 (Sun.), 2017, as an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN, the AEM Roadshow was held in Japan, and ASEAN economic ministers and other officials visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Wakayama (for the participants from the ASEAN side, see Appendix 1). These ASEAN ministers mainly followed the schedule as below.

  • On April 6 (Thur.), the ministers paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Abe. Following this, they attended a welcome dinner hosted by Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, at Meiji Kinenkan.
  • On the morning of April 7 (Fri.), in Tokyo, the ministers toured a facility related to Hitachi, Ltd. Following this, they attended a business event organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and delivered speeches. At this event, they attended a signing ceremony in which major business associations in Japan and ASEAN economies concluded a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) for enhancing collaboration under the framework of the ASEAN-JAPAN Innovation Network, and also attended business matching and other events between Japanese companies and ASEAN startups and other entities. Following this, the ministers participated in a luncheon party at Tokyo Station Hotel with the ASEAN-Japan Business Council (AJBC; secretariat in Japan: Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and other business associations. Then they traveled to Kyoto by Shinkansen and, in the afternoon of the same date, toured a facility of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, with Minister Seko, receiving explanations from Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, the Director of CiRA. After this tour, they moved to Kyoto State Guest House and participated in a dinner party with JETRO and political and business representatives in Kyoto.
  • On April 8 (Sat.) in Osaka, the ministers held the Informal AEM-METI Consultations, under the co-chairmanship of Minister Seko and H.E. Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines, and participants held discussions concerning the enhancement of Japan-ASEAN economic cooperation, future directions for Japan-ASEAN collaboration aiming at the realization of quality Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and other issues. In addition, participants held a joint press conference and released a joint media statement as a result of the AEM Roadshow. Following this, accompanied by Minister Seko, the ministers participated in a luncheon party with the Committee for Attracting the 2025 International Exposition to Japan, and then they toured Panasonic Konosuke Matsushita Museum and also Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd.

Paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Abe

Signing ceremony for concluding an MOC on enhancing collaboration under the framework of the ASEAN-JAPAN Innovation Network

Touring CiRA, Kyoto University

Japan-ASEAN Special Economic Ministerial Meeting

2. Informal AEM-METI Consultations

At the Informal AEM-METI Consultations, first, participants held discussions on the enhancement of Japan-ASEAN economic cooperation.

They shared the understanding that, through the AEM Roadshow, Japan and ASEAN economies have deepened cooperation in promoting innovation and startups as well as fostering new industries, and that both sides have great potential to resolve common issues across East Asia, including mobility, energy and health care, taking advantage of the latest technologies. Moreover, participants showed their interest in cooperation in future innovation through inter-company collaboration under the framework of the ASEAN-JAPAN Innovation Network, about which the MOC was concluded at the AEM Roadshow.

Second, participants held discussions concerning RCEP, in particular on the following two issues.

First, they focused on a Japan-ASEAN effort to start a new movement to promote free trade and share it with the rest of the world, and presented a view that the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) should lead efforts for developing RCEP to be a “two-I’s” initiative, namely, an “inclusive” and “innovation-oriented” initiative as a new model of regional economic partnership. The ministers also shared the understanding that Japan and ASEAN economies should advance RCEP efforts under this view.

Second, they focused on the compatibility of the ASEAN economies’ focus on early conclusion of RCEP and the quality conclusion of RCEP sought by Japan. To achieve this goal, Japan proposed the planning of a Japan-ASEAN Cooperation Package for RCEP Establishment in which ASEAN economies should take the lead in supporting any efforts in establishing RCEP, and the participants agreed on the proposal. Moreover, the participants confirmed that after going through the country-based consultation, they will specify the package, which will cover support measures for: SMEs in Japan and ASEAN economies that intend to develop business overseas; creating new industries; establishing systems; human resource development; and other efforts.

3. Bilateral meetings with ASEAN economic ministers

Minister Seko held bilateral meetings with: H.E. Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam; H.E. Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore; H.E. Enggartiasto Lukita, Minister of Trade, Indonesia; Secretary Lopez, the Philippines and; the Hon. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Hon. Pehin Dato (Dr.) Mohammad Yasmin Umar, Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office, Brunei Darussalam.

Minister Seko held discussions with each of the ministers concerning future ideal approaches to trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region, bilateral matters, and other issues. Minister Seko frankly exchanged views concerning RCEP with respective ministers, and they agreed that both goals of creating a quality RCEP including establishing rules for electronic commerce and intellectual property and an early conclusion of the RCEP were compatible and achievable. Taking these opportunities, Minister Seko also held discussions with these ministers concerning pending bilateral matters and fields of cooperation. At the meeting with Secretary Lopez, the Philippines, they discussed an industrial vision for the Philippines, including the field of innovation.

Meeting with Minister Lukita, Indonesia

Meeting with Secretary Lopez, the Philippines

Meeting with Minister Lim Jock Seng and Minister Yasmin, Brunei Darussalam


Release date

April 11, 2017

Division in Charge

Asia and Pacific Division, Trade Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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