Phl calls for realization of Economic Co-Creation Vision between ASEAN-Japan partnership 


The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual stressed that a strengthened collaboration between ASEAN and Japan is a potential powerhouse given the already established foundation of trust over the past half-century. This he said during his remarks in the Opening Session of the ASEAN-Japan Business Week held today, 5 June 2023, in Tokyo Japan. 

As Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Japan Economic Relations, he emphasized that ASEAN and Japan’s strengths are complementary because ASEAN’s young workforce can power up Japan’s economy, and complement its exceptional technological capabilities that ASEAN countries also need. 

According to Secretary Pascual, in the previous years, ASEAN has seen rapid growth and is slowly becoming a dynamic hub of economic activity. The ASEAN region has great potentials due to its young and vibrant population, a growing middle class, and a unifying regional economic community. He pointed out, “We are at a pivotal moment in history, where ASEAN—an epicenter of global economic growth—, and Japan—a country renowned for its technological prowess, can join forces to redefine the future.” 

Since the entry into force of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) in December 2008, the ASEAN-Japan region has grown with a simple growth rate of 23.1% from 2008 to 2021. To date, Japan serves as ASEAN’s third largest trading partner. 

“In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected, we cannot afford to look at our economic systems in isolation. I call upon all stakeholders, the policymakers, business leaders, academia, and the youth of both ASEAN and Japan. Let us leverage this partnership for our mutual prosperity,” Sec. Pascual added. 

During the opening session, Secretary Pascual also witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the private sector to hold various activities and initiatives such as the following: (1) ASEAN-Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) for the Young Business Leader’s Summit; (2) Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and JETRO Jakarta for the Indonesia-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event and Carbon Neutral Cooperation; and (3) ASEAN-BAC and JETRO for another Carbon Neutral Cooperation. 

The interim report of the ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Vision was also released during the business week, which aims to strengthen and improve the relationship between Japan and ASEAN nations. It also sets a strategic goal that must be achieved by ASEAN and Japan to build a safe, prosperous, and free society. 

The opening session was also attended by H.E. Nishimura Yasutoshi; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, H.E. Kao Kim Hourn; Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, Minister of Industry of Indonesia, as well as representatives from the private sector, M. Arsjad Rasjid, Chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura, President Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and Mr. Kobayashi Ken Chairperson Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).


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