The 26th Consultation between ASEAN Economic Ministers and the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry took place on August 28 within the framework of the 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM-52).
|Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh
The event was co-chaired by Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Japanese Minister Kajiyama Hiroshi.
The participating ministers noted that total trade between ASEAN and Japan reached US$225.9 billion in 2019, accounting for 8% of the bloc’s total. Japan’s investment totalled US$20.4 billion, or 12.7%.
These figures made Japan ASEAN’s fourth-largest trade partner and second-largest investor last year.
Delegates expressed concern over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s lives and regional and international economies.
They reaffirmed a commitment to joining hands to mitigate any negative impacts of the pandemic and to exerting every effort to ensure macro-economic and financial sustainability through market re-opening for trade and investment, as well as the sustainability of supply chains, in particular those for necessities such as medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and food.
The ministers stressed the importance of joint efforts in fostering economic development and social stability in the region, including the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year.
They also acknowledged the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Economic Resilience Action Plan they adopted at their virtual meeting on July 29. The plan includes specific measures to sustain the close economic ties developed by ASEAN and Japan, mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on economies, and strengthen economic resilience in response to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministers also welcomed the first protocol to amend the ASEAN-Japan Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP), which took effect on August 1.