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  5. ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Forum Held on the Sidelines of the ASEAN-Japan 50th Year Commemorative Summit

ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Forum Held on the Sidelines of the ASEAN-Japan 50th Year Commemorative Summit

December 17, 2023

On Saturday, December 16, 2023, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), together with related organizations, held the ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Forum at Academy Hills (Roppongi Hills Mori Tower). At the forum, a variety of events were held to facilitate co-creation between ASEAN and Japan, including discussions by business leaders and other stakeholders in the public and private sectors and signing ceremonies for MOUs.

1. Opening session

Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio delivered his remarks in a video message, stating that the foundation of ASEAN-Japan friendship is the connections among industrial players in ASEAN and Japan and also that the ASEAN-Japan concept for the next 50 years is co-creation. Following this, Chairman KOBAYASHI Ken, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alternate Chair Bernardino Vega, ASEAN-BAC, President Oudet Souvannavong, Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), Governor Chea Serey, National Bank of Cambodia, and Chairman ISHIGURO Norihiko, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), delivered their remarks.

2. Session 1: ASEAN-Japan Cooperation Between Next Generations to Address Global Challenges

Focusing on human resources as a foundation to realize economic co-creation in which ASEAN and Japan jointly create the future, next-generation business leaders in ASEAN and Japan held lively discussions on the importance of collaboration among next-generation business leaders, the value of such collaboration, and the potential for solving socio-economic challenges through their connections.


3. Session 2: ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation for the Future

Participants recognized the importance of further consolidating ASEAN-Japan collaboration in the field of the economy facilitated by future leaders who are expected to represent the business world in both ASEAN and Japan, business owners who are playing active roles in creating innovation through new business, and other stakeholders, thereby realizing co-creation. To this end, from the perspective of the business world in both ASEAN and Japan, they held discussions on the roles that governments should play and expectations therefor and on innovation that may be incubated through the exchange between the leaders of ASEAN and Japan.


4. Session 3: Energy Transition in Asia through Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC)

Representatives of the industrial players in ASEAN and Japan, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and other organizations held lively discussions on the challenges of achieving decarbonization in Asia, the growth center of the global economy, while at the same time ensuring economic growth and energy security, and also on the expected role that the AZEC platform should play in the future.


5. Closing session

Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines, and Minister Malaithong Kommasith, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR, delivered speeches. As a representative of Japan, Minister SAITO Ken, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, stated that as efforts to enhance the economic ties between ASEAN and Japan and grow together to build friendship consolidated to a level never seen before, ASEAN and Japan will jointly create new industries, develop more AZEC projects, and launch and continue projects for strengthening collaboration in fostering human resources that will play a leading role in the next generation in ASEAN and Japan.


6. Signing ceremonies for MOUs

In line with the forum, about 70 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were newly released, including those in the field of economy, trade and investment (e.g., collaboration between ASEAN international organizations and universities, facilitation of trade procedures at related organizations in ASEAN and Japan, and promotion of blended finance-type support schemes) and in the field of energy transition (e.g., renewable energy, hydrogen and ammonia, CCUS, next-generation fuels, decarbonization of industries, and carbon management, which are efforts for the realization of the AZEC platform). (Note: METI took pictures of the signing of 30 of these MOUs.)


7. Calling for public attention to Japanese marine products

A reception party was held after the end of the forum and Minister SAITO delivered his remarks. Following this, together with Minister Malaithong, Lao PDR, and Ms. NAKAGAWA Haruka, a Japanese actress and model that based in Indonesia, Minister SAITO sampled Japanese marine products (scallops produced in Hokkaido) at a JETRO booth exhibited at the reception site, and he called for public attention to the good taste of the products.


8. Event hosted by ERIA

In the morning of the forum, ERIA hosted an event mainly highlighting two ERIA Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (E-DISC) pilot projects for ASEAN-Japan cooperation.

The event showcased a roadmap for the efforts to promote trade digitization between ASEAN and Japan. Following this, participants held discussions on digital transformation in trade for trade facilitation and supply chain resilience between ASEAN and Japan. Also, participants recognized that a transition from a linear to a circular economy would contribute to addressing resource constraints and risks, promoting carbon neutrality, and capturing opportunities for economic growth through the creation of a resource circulation market, and to this end, they held discussions on the realization of a circular economy ahead of other countries through cooperation between ASEAN and Japan.

Division in Charge

Asia and Pacific Division, Trade Policy Bureau