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07 April 2017

ASEAN-Japan Innovation Network (AJIN)

ASEAN Business Club, ASEAN Business Advisory Council and nine Japanese business associations in Tokyo form ASEAN-Japan Innovation Network (AJIN)

[Tokyo, Japan] – ASEAN Business Club (ABC), together with ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) have entered into a cooperation with nine Japanese business associations to form the ASEAN-Japan Innovation Network (AJIN). AJIN is a business network between ASEAN and Japan to nurture new industries, facilitate business collaboration through networking, research and policy proposals to policy makers. A signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) was held in Tokyo this morning,  on the sidelines of the ASEAN Economic Ministers roadshow in Tokyo which is scheduled for on 6 – 8 April.

Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, President of ASEAN Business Club, and Mr. Jose Maria Salvador A. Concepcion III, Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), signed the MOC with representatives from nine Japanese partners, namely, the Japan Section of the ASEAN-Japan Business Council, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation), KEIZAI DOYUKAI (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), Japan Foreign Trade Council Inc., Japan Association of New Economy, Japan External Trade Organization, the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN and Japan-ASEAN Innovation Support Network.

AJIN was spearheaded by ASEAN-Japan Business Council supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) in response to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for stronger economic ties between Japan and ASEAN, at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting held in Laos in September 2016. Abe suggested that stronger economic ties between Japan and ASEAN could be achieved through the strengthening of supply chains and the connectivity of hard and soft infrastructure, and supporting the creation of new industries by utilising Japanese technology through the “ASEAN-Japan Innovation Network”.  The MOC is meant to strengthen such ties through economic cooperation.

“AJIN is a network of over 1.2 million members and businesses from Japan and ASEAN. The network’s collective strengths and resources will help spearhead innovation in ASEAN, providing an effective platform for dialogues, and eventually, opportunities for joint projects. Most importantly, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of ASEAN may benefit from the best practices of Japanese companies in this network, whose collective expertise could be leveraged on to leapfrog their growth,” said Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid after the signing ceremony.

Under the MOC, all parties will promote exchanges between Japanese and ASEAN specialists in their respective fields, hold business dialogues and recommend relevant policies to the governments of each ASEAN country. Additionally, they will also be able to host and participate in trade fairs and exhibitions, where ASEAN-Japan businesses can explore opportunities for business collaboration, and work with government-related institutions to train and educate members on technical knowledge and know-how.

In 2015, 14 percent of all foreign direct investment into ASEAN came from Japan, making it the second largest source of FDI for the region, while total trade between ASEAN and Japan reached approximately US$238 billion. Both trade and investment between ASEAN and Japan continue to grow, signaling bright prospects for AJIN. 

ASEAN Business Club (ABC), together with ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) inked a Memorandum of Cooperation with nine Japanese business associations to form the ASEAN-Japan Innovation Network (AJIN) in Tokyo on 7 April 2017.  In a group photo at the event were Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, President of ABC (front row, fourth from right), Mr. Kazuo Ohmori, Chairman of Sumimoto Corporation and Vice Chairman of ASEAN-Japan Business Council (front row, fifth from right), and Mr Jose Maria Salvador A. Concepcion III, Chairman of ASEAN-BAC (front row, sixth from right). Also present were Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry (back row, second from left), heads of Japanese business associations that are members of AJIN, as well as visiting ASEAN Economic Ministers.