In pursuing the mandate of accelerating investment flows between the ASEAN Member States and Japan, the ASEAN-Japan Centre plans to conduct various investment promotion activities with a view to contributing to sustainable development and result oriented outcomes.
1.Investment policy analysis for institutional capacities
(1) Bilateral policy discussion between high-ranking ASEAN officials and Japanese investors
The bilateral policy discussion provides the platform for Japanese investors to acquire information and insights on the current investment policies and opportunities of the ASEAN Member States. Moreover, the two-way interface of the activity enables Japanese investors to interact with high-ranking officials of the ASEAN Member States.
In FY2016, nine bilateral policy dialogues for seven ASEAN Member States, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, were organized. At these dialogues, there were several strategic policy proposals or requests received from Japanese stakeholders such as reviewing specific investment-related policies and easing and shortening the timeframe of the M&A procedure process. Based on these requests, the ASEAN Member States have considered and examined thoroughly the proposals and requests submitted and have taken the necessary actions respectively and individually, e.g. amending and improving the M&A procedure process. More than 2,400 participants comprised of Japanese business community figures in total attended the dialogues participated in by high-ranking officials, as high as the head of state and senior ministers.
(2) Ministerial-level policy discussion program for CLMV
With a focus on narrowing the development gap, the Centre organizes additional policy discussions for CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam) only. On top of providing up-to-date information on investment policies and opportunities, the activity aims to enhance the investment environment of CLMV.
In FY2016, six bilateral policy dialogues were held for CLMV in local cities of Japan and ASEAN cities. At these policy dialogues with each CLMV country, numerous policy recommendations were identified such as improving connectivity and commercial tax exemption. To date, the respective CLMV countries are in the midst of studying, deliberating the policy recommendations proposed, and in some cases, reviewing the present investment related policies.
(3) Research and policy analysis on FDI trends in ASEAN
Under this project, the Centre conducts research and studies on FDI trends in the ASEAN Member States. In FY2016, the Centre translated the ASEAN Secretariat’s publication entitled ASEAN Investment Report 2016 into the Japanese language for the Japanese business community.
2.Knowledge-building for company strategy-making process
(1) ASEAN regional programs
The Centre provides up-to-date information on the ASEAN Economic Community and sub-regions in which Japanese companies are greatly interested. In addition, the Centre conducts lecture series on wide-ranging topics, such as logistics, taxation, market, human resources, agro-industries, environment, ICT, halal products and sustainable development, as well as a comprehensive program encompassing many elements. The main venue for these activities is the ASEAN-Japan Hall.
In FY2016, the Centre organized four symposiums as pre-events to commemorate the 50thanniversary of establishment of ASEAN in Tokyo and a forum on the ASEAN Economic Community in Osaka participated in by the Secretary General of ASEAN. At the ASEAN-Japan Hall, 28 topical investment lecture series were held.
(2) Networking with Japanese investors in local cities
Through the program, opportunities are provided for ASEAN officials to further enlarge their network linkages with relevant organizations and investors in local cities of Japan. The program enhances sharing of information on both sides.
In FY2016, six bilateral networking activities were conducted in Hamamatsu, Sapporo, Obihiro, Tsu, Fukuoka and Nagoya.
3. Dissemination and outreaching
The Centre expands its outreach activities through continuously updating the information on its website and publications in an effort to further boost awareness and promotion of the investment opportunities and business environment of the ASEAN Member States.
4. ASEAN human resources program
The Centre developed a new program in FY2017 in recognition of the importance of nurturing the capabilities of ASEAN students and trainees to support the business expansion venture of Japanese companies. It will organize activities for Japanese companies to acquire fundamental knowledge and strategies to expand their business in the ASEAN Member States.