ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC) hosted a webinar on “Promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Textile and Garment Sectors in ASEAN and Japan through Free Trade Agreements” on July 15, 2022. The webinar provided an avenue for discussion on how ASEAN and Japan stakeholders in textile and garment industries could use free trade agreements to promote inclusive and sustainable trade.
About 100 participants from the business, academe, and government sectors of Japan and ASEAN participated in the webinar. Based on the online poll survey, 86% of respondents found that FTAs could promote inclusive and sustainable trade in the textile and garment sectors, and most of the participants found the webinar useful and informative.
Resource speakers for the webinar
1. Professor Kenta Goto, the Faculty of Economics at Kansai University, and Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Institute of Research, presented on “Strategies for Sustainable Textile and Garment Value Chains” which covered market access issues, sustainable textile, and garment value chain strategy as well as human right issue. He shared that the Japan Textile Federation is promoting responsible business practices in the Japanese textile industry.
2. Ms. Maritess Jocson-Agoncillo, the Executive Director of the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP), and Board Advisor of the Coalition of Philippine Manufacturers of Personal Protective Equipment (CPMP), gave a presentation on “Manufacturing and Sourcing Opportunities in the Philippines for Wearables” which shared on the Philippines’ preferential trade agreements that could provide for zero or low tariffs for Philippine apparel, footwear, and bag exports to Japan. The Philippine Textile and Garment Industry Roadmap envisions a sustainable, competitive, and integrated industry that generates inclusive economic growth by 2029.
3. Mr. Kaing Monika, Deputy Secretary General of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), presented on “Updated Situation of the Cambodian Garment Industry” and covered GMAC mission, global trend on textile and garment sectors, and Cambodia’s main export markets as well as textile suppliers. Cambodia’s Garment Sector’s Development Strategy 2022-2027 includes further strengthening of human resource and continuous improvement of working conditions and welfare of workers and employees. Cambodia also promotes sustainable energy practices through the SWITCH Garment Project.