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ASEAN, Japan to Partner on Innovation, Sustainability

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan have agreed on a new partnership on innovation and sustainability to mark 50 years of relations, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Kao Kim Hourn, said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

“Both sides have agreed to build a new partnership, which is ‘ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation Vision,’ that anchors on innovation and sustainability and is driven by the private sector,” Hourn informed at a press conference on the “15th Dialogue between the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA).”

He said that the partnership is intended to create a new era of ASEAN-Japan economic relations for the next 50 years.

According to Hourn, FJCCIA has provided recommendations based on the four main pillars of the “ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation Vision,” which are in accordance with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF).

The four pillars are broader economic integration, comprehensive digital transformation, progress toward a more sustainable and resilient future, and human capital development.

Hourn further said that ASEAN has started negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and make it not only useful and impactful, but also more relevant to the business sector.

“The upgrade of ATIGA will further simplify the rules of origin for goods, expand the adoption of digital technologies and paperless documents, and facilitate trade for MSMEs…and (help in) promoting digital trade within the region, including between ASEAN and Japan,” he said.

ATIGA aims to create a free flow of goods in the region, resulting in less trade barriers and closer economic ties among member countries.

In addition, the agreement also seeks to create lower business costs, increased trade, and larger markets and economies of scale for businesses.

Through ATIGA, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand have removed intra-ASEAN entry fees in 99.65 percent of their tariff lines, while Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam have reduced import duties to 0–5 percent in 98.86 percent of their tariff lines.

The “15th dialogue between the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the FJCCIA” was also attended by the Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN, Masahiko Kiya; chair of the FJCCIA, Hiroyuki Ueda; and executive vice president of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Mio Kawada.

ASEAN consists of 10 countries: Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. During the 2022 ASEAN Summit, Timor Leste was, in principle, accepted as the 11th member of ASEAN.

Source : Antara News