November 5, 2019
From November 1 (Fri.) to 4(Mon), 2019, Mr. MAKIHARA Hideki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited the Kingdom of Thailand to attend a Preparatory Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting and a signing ceremony for collaboration projects between Japanese and Thai companies. Taking this opportunity, he held bilateral meetings each with: H.E. Mr. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia; H.E. Mr. Damien O’Connor, Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, New Zealand; H.E. Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India; H.E. Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore; and H.E. Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister, Thailand.
1. Signing ceremony for collaboration projects between Japanese and Thai companies and bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Somkid
- At the signing ceremony, memorandums of cooperation were concluded for six projects in which large companies and startups in Japan and Thailand will collaborate to advance open innovations, which was witnessed by State Minister Makihara and Mr. Sadoshima Shiro, Ambassador of Japan to Thailand, as representatives of Japan, and Deputy Prime Minister Somkid, as a representative of Thailand.
- The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been advancing the Asia DX concept, a policy for encouraging Japanese companies to collaborate with companies in emerging countries in the Asian region and to jointly create new businesses that contribute to solutions to social challenges and thereby endeavoring to shift Japanese industrial structures. This “collaboration with companies in emerging countries in the Asian region” is also an initiative instructed by Prime Minister Abe at the Future Investment Council. METI positions the signing of memorandum of cooperation (MOCs) concerning these collaboration projects at the ceremony as the first effort for making the concept specific and will strive to make the MOCs become drivers propelling the Asia DX policy.
- At a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Somkid, which was held prior to the signing ceremony, the two sides shared recognition on cooperation between the governments of Japan and Thailand in conveying the importance of innovative collaboration among companies between the countries and other issues.
2. Bilateral meetings
Prior to the Preparatory RCEP Ministerial Meeting, State Minister Makihara held bilateral meetings each with: Minister Birmingham, Australia; Minister O’Connor, New Zealand; Minister Goyal, India; and Minister Chan, Singapore. At each meeting, the two sides exchanged frank views, mainly holding discussions on RCEP.
- Meeting with Minister Birmingham
- Meeting with Minister O’Connor
- Meeting with Minister Goyal
3. Preparatory RCEP Ministerial Meeting
State Minister Makihara attended the Preparatory RCEP Ministerial Meeting held on November 1, 2019. As a preparation for the third RCEP summit meeting to be held on November 4, 2019, participants confirmed the current situations of negotiations for RCEP, which has entered the final stage in negotiations toward conclusion by the end of 2019, and based on this, they held discussions on remaining points of policy contention as well as on specifics to be reported to respective leaders, matters to be released after the summit meeting and other issues. Minister Makihara then attended coordination meetings and other unofficial meetings regarding a draft joint statement and other issues discussed at the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting.
Divisions in Charge
- Information on the signing ceremony, bilateral meetings with Thailand and other countries:
Asia and Pacific Division, Trade Policy Bureau
- Information on the RCEP Ministerial Meeting:
Economic Partnership Division, Trade Policy Bureau
- Information on the meeting with India:
Southwest Asia Office, Trade Policy Bureau