Dialogues of FJCCIA with ASEAN Secretariat and with ASEAN/Japanese economic ministers and report at Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting

August 2015

Dialogues of FJCCIA with ASEAN Secretariat and with ASEAN/Japan economic ministers

JETRO Chairman Hiroyuki Ishige joined the representatives for each country of the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA) for two meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: the 8th Dialogue with the ASEAN Secretary-General on August 21, and the Dialogue with the ASEAN-Japan Economic Ministers on August 23.
* The FJCCIA is a federation consisting of ten Japanese chambers of commerce and industry in the nine ASEAN states outside of Brunei, which have 6,525 member companies as of June 2015.

On the brink of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of this year, the FJCCIA directly informed not only the ASEAN Secretary-General but also economic ministers of ASEAN states of managerial challenges Japanese-affiliated companies in these states are facing and submitted requests regarding economic integration in the region. To ASEAN, which aims at further liberalization and enhancement of the AEC focused on the next decade from 2016, the FJCCIA delivered the following proposals for after 2015 (AEC 2025).


Proposals from FJCCIA for after 2015 (AEC 2025)

  1. Promoting free flow of goods [facilitating customs clearance procedures, encouraging utilization of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), alleviating and eliminating non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade]
  2. Rationalizing and harmonizing standard and certification systems
  3. Promoting free flow of services (including liberalization of investment in the service sector)
  4. Promoting free flow of skilled labor force (liberalizing mobility of business persons and employment of foreign workers)
  5. Accelerating region-wide economic integration through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and ASEAN-plus-one free trade agreements
  6. Harmonizing taxation systems (concluding bilateral taxation treaties and easing restrictions on overseas remittance)
  7. Protecting intellectual property
  8. Developing infrastructure (promoting and enhancing public-private partnership, developing hard infrastructure)
  9. Supporting competition policy (establishing a free and fair competitive environment)
  10. Assisting small- and medium-sized enterprises (introducing a policy to develop local companies)
  11. Conserving energy and the environment (stable energy supply, energy conservation)

Reporting results of “business needs survey” at Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting

Following these two dialogues, Chairman Ishige also joined the 7th Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting held in the same city on August 24. He presented a report based on 400 challenges highlighted by interviews with approximately 120 local and Japanese-affiliated companies in the Greater Mekong Subregion as well as delivering the following proposals.

Key elements toward “high-quality growth” in Greater Mekong Subregion

  1. Implementing appropriate policy including easing of regulations to facilitate accumulation of supporting industries
  2. Increasing transparency and efficiency of customs clearance and enhancing governance
  3. Advancing service industries which support manufacturing, such as logistics services