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Exchange of MOU with UNDP regarding SDGs
Promoting achievement of SDGs in Asia-Pacific

July 2018

On July 8, JETRO concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UNDP alongside the World Cities Summit in Singapore. The aim of this MOU is to overcome challenges the cities in the region have been facing and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs), by connecting the cities in the region with Japanese companies, start-ups and local governments. This is the first MOU between the two organizations. As the first step of cooperation, JETRO and UNDP will jointly support the establishment of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCNExternal site: a new window will open ) geared toward 26 pilot ASCN cities in 10 ASEAN countries. There are numerous problems to be solved in cities of Southeast Asia, including those related to energy and the environment. The ASCN was announced in the ASEAN summit this April to solve these issues by taking advantage of the latest technologies.

Japan has faced, and succeeded in solving problems related to urban congestion and the environment in the process of its own economic growth. As ASEAN cities are dealing with those same problems now, it is expected that the knowhow and experience possessed by local governments and companies in Japan will be of great assistance.

Through activities such as the "Project for Nurturing New Industries in ASEAN and Japan” and "J-Challenge,” which helps foreign countries form rules to solve social problems, JETRO is now playing a contributing role in achieving SDGs within the Asia-Pacific. JETRO has immense access to the “seeds” of innovation, that is, its network of Japanese private companies and local governments, while UNDP has a broad and wide understanding of the “needs” of local administrations in the ASEAN region. With this MOU, JETRO and UNDP will provide venues such as seminars for these “needs” and “seeds” to be matched.

After the signing ceremony, JETRO Executive Vice President Yuri Sato expressed her hope that the MOU would be a catalyst for JETRO and UNDP to enhance collaboration between the private sector in Japan and ASEAN central and local governments in the ASCN, and for the further success of SDGs.

Making use of the innovation capability cultivated by Japanese companies and knowhow Japan has obtained by experiencing development-related problems. JETRO will publicize Japan’s stance as a country dedicated to solving the social problems faced by others. The organization also believes that it is necessary to promote the rebranding of Japan, cooperation with overseas companies and promotion of intercity exchange. This MOU will boost in realizing these objectives.

Signing ceremony of MOU