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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs         8  July 2011

Asean trade dialogue with Japan

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The fourth annual dialogue of the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FJCCIA) today will see the convergence of trade ministers from Asean and Japan looking to engage Japanese companies and find ways to enhance Japanese investments in the region.

A ministerial dialogue session between the Asean Economic Ministers (AEM), Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Asean Secretary-General and FJCCIA marks the maiden attempt by the trade ministers to connect with the chamber which represents 4,441-member enterprises.

Discussions will focus on the implementation of the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), free trade agreements and also address trade barriers in order to spur better economic cooperation between Japanese investors and Asean.

The dialogue presents an opportunity to discuss the concerns of Japanese investors in the region and update the Japanese business community on developments in Asean.

Japan has always been the top source of foreign direct investments in Asean, registering US$5.2 billion in 2009, and it remains an important source of investment with a share of 13.4 per cent of total inward investments in 2009.

The ministerial dialogue would be co-chaired by Indonesia's Minister of Trade Dr Mari Elka Pangestu, who is the current AEM Chairman, and Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda.

About 80 FJCCIA delegates will attend the annual dialogue to be held back-to-back with a symposium themed "Enhancing Asean-Japan Relations on Specific Sectors (Automotive, Electrical and Electronics, SMEs and Agro-Based Industry).

Some of the established companies that will participate in the dialogue include Marubeni Corporation, UMW Toyota, Sumitomo Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mizuho Corporation Bank.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed will host a networking dinner for the ministers as well as 150 prominent businessmen from Japan, Asean and Malaysia.

Other Asean ministers involved in the dialogue are Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pehin Datuk Lim Jock Seng (Brunei), Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh (Cambodia), Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Nam Viyaketh (Laos), Deputy Minister of National Planning and Economy Development Dr KanZaw (Myanmar), Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory L. Domingo (the Philippines), Minister of Trade and Industry Hng Kiang (Singapore), Deputy Minister of Commerce Alongkorn Ponlaboot (Thailand) and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu (Vietnam).


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