Japan – Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Ramon Lopez has praised the Asia-Japan Investing for the Future Initiative, which seeks to improve investment cooperation in Asia.
Lopez said the Japan-led project is likely to assist Southeast Asian countries’ post-pandemic recovery efforts, speaking at the 47th Asean-Japan business summit on Thursday.
The Asia-Japan Investing or Future Initiative, announced in January by Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, aims to boost regional investments in supply chains, connectivity, digital innovation, and human resources.
The program intends to increase the region’s appeal as a global supply chain center and to improve Asia’s sustainability by addressing social concerns via innovation.
“The Covid-19 pandemic (coronavirus disease 2019) has created enormous social and economic disruptions in the area, affecting people’s health, livelihoods, and economic activity.” In his keynote address, Lopez said, “There is a need to adopt a joint course of action to develop and improve economic cooperation to lessen the effect of the pandemic and usher in recovery efforts.”
The trade head also said that Japan has been Asean’s main trade and investment partner for 44 years, with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership likely to deepen economic ties (RCEP).
“The RCEP will aid in the restoration of business confidence and the expansion of economic activity, notably for MSMEs (micro, small, and medium businesses), investors, service providers, and professionals.” “This is an important step forward in deepening Asean-Japan cooperation, which is based on assuring economic development and progress for our peoples,” he said.
Lopez also expects RCEP to boost bilateral trade between the Philippines and Japan, as the DTI works to finish the regional free trade agreement’s ratification process. “The Philippine government continues to place a high emphasis on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as it is a vital instrument for sustaining economic development and attracting investments to the nation. Furthermore, trade agreements like the RCEP will be critical in reestablishing our supply lines and ensuring that even our smallest businesses participate in global value chains,” he stated