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METI Minister Seko Visits the Republic of Singapore

November 19, 2018

From November 11 (Sun.) to 14 (Wed.), 2018, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Republic of Singapore.

He attended a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting on November 12 and participated in an RCEP Summit Meeting on November 14, which Prime Minister Abe attended as a representative of Japan. Taking this opportunity, Minister Seko held bilateral meetings each with: H.E. Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore; H.E. Mr. Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India; H.E. Mr. Damien O’Connor, Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister for Biosecurity, New Zealand; H.E. Mr. Enggartiasto Lukita, Minister of Trade, Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia; and H.E. Ms. Chutima Bunyapraphasara, Deputy Minister of Commerce, Thailand. In each case, the two sides enriched discussions on RCEP, bilateral economic ties and other issues. Moreover, Minister Seko held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Maksim Stanislavovich Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development, Russia, and the two sides held discussions on further enrichment of Japan-Russia economic ties.

1. RCEP Ministerial Meeting and Summit (This was previously released on November 14, 2018)

At the ministerial meeting on November 12, participating ministers from the RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) held focused discussions on remaining political issues related to the current progress of the negotiations, and discussed the details and methods of reporting the outcomes of the ministerial meeting to their leaders.

Following this, the Second RCEP Summit was held on November 14, and the heads of RPCs released a Joint Leader’s Statement as an outcome of the Summit. The statement states that the leaders welcomed the substantial progress of the RCEP negotiations in 2018, and are determined to conclude a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutual beneficial RCEP in 2019.
 

2. Bilateral meetings

Minister Seko held bilateral meetings with: Minister Chan, Singapore; Minister Prabhu, India; Minister O’Connor, New Zealand; Minister Enggartiasto, Indonesia; Minister Birmingham, Australia; and Deputy Minister Chutima, Thailand, respectively. Minister Seko candidly exchanged views with each minister on RCEP negotiations and discussed bilateral economic ties, WTO reforms and other issues.

Moreover, Minister Seko held a meeting with Minister Oreshkin, Russia. Both sides confirmed the progress in efforts for materialization of the eight-point cooperation plan in preparation for a Japan-Russia summit meeting held on the following date and agreed that Japan and Russia will continue to hold discussions to enrich bilateral economic ties.

3. Delivering a speech at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS)

Minister Seko delivered a speech at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS). He stressed that Japan and the ASEAN economies need to shift their economic relationships from “cooperation” to “co-creation”, and from this viewpoint, he stated Japan’s intentions for future efforts as below:

  1. Japan will encourage the ASEAN economies to improve productivity and overcome other challenges, by expanding Japan’s efforts under the Connected Industries policy across the ASEAN economies;
  2. Aiming to establish rules which will serve as a basis for promoting innovation, Japan will cooperate with the ASEAN economies in early conclusion of the quality RCEP and expansion of the TPP11.
  3. Japan will strive to improve the quality of ASEAN growth in certain fields (e.g., infrastructure development and energy), in collaboration with the United States, China, India and other countries.

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