ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh has hailed Japan for its significant contributions to the association’s Community building efforts and the strong economic cooperation between the two sides, which he described as a win-win partnership for prosperity.

Addressing the seventh dialogue between him and the Federation of Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA) on June 24 in Makati city, the Philippines , Minh highlighted the valuable partnership between ASEAN and Japan, noting that both sides have just celebrated the 40 th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations.

He urged greater efforts by the Japanese industry to integrate ASEAN companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), into the Japanese supply chain networks.

Since its inauguration in Bangkok in 2008, the FJCCIA annual dialogue has served as a forum for candid issues and recommendations for the effective establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community.

At this year’s event, the Japanese business community expressed interests in the on-going implementation of the ASEAN Single Window and the introduction of the ASEAN-wide Self Certification system.

They welcomed the abolition of free-on-board (FOB) pricing disclosure in certificates origin under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), Korea and Japan FTAs.

They also expressed interests in the consistent implementation of services liberalisation across sectors and improved procedures for the movement of natural persons including the request for an ASEAN Business Travel Card, among others.

FJCCIA data showed that in 2012, there were 5,647 Japanese companies operating in ASEAN member countries and this increased to 6,092 in June 2014, mostly in automotive and auto-parts, electronic and electrical appliances and chemicals to consumer products and financial services.

Japan is the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to ASEAN after the EU. In 2013, FDI inflows from Japan to ASEAN amounted to 22.9 billion USD.

Two-way trade between ASEAN and Japan remained high at 240.9 billion USD in 2013, with Japan ranked as the third largest trading partner to ASEAN.-VNA