The 14th Joint Consultation between the ASEAN SME Working Group and Japan

26 June 2014

    The 14th Joint Consultation between the ASEAN Small and Medium Enterprises Agencies Working Group and Japan took place on 12 June in Manila, the Philippines. Participants from the Japanese side were Mr. Hiroyuki Kondo, Director, International Affairs Office of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency as a co-chair and others from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the SME Agency and the Mission of Japan to ASEAN. Participants from the ASEAN side included Mr. Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore as a co-chair and representatives from ministries/agencies in charge of SME policy in respective ASEAN Member States (AMSs). Mr. Masatsugu Yoshioka, Representative of the Secretariat of the ASEAN-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) and its staff as well as representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat participated as the secretariat of the Joint Consultation.

    In the meeting, the information on current status of cooperation projects implemented by AMSs or Japan, some of which were financially supported by Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), were shared among participants. In addition, Japan’s new financial contribution called “JAIF 2.0”, which was announced by Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe at the occasion of ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting for 40 Years of Cooperation and Friendship last December was explained by the Japanese side. Japan also introduced its SME finance schemes as well as discussion among policy makers of ASEAN and Japan on promotion of FTA utilization by SMEs. ASEAN shared their discussion on developing ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development, and requested Japan to assist the development of the Action Plan, which the Japanese side accepted. Furthermore, special session on SME accounting was held. Policy makers on the issue of accounting from each AMS explained their SME accounting system, while experts from Japan shared its “General Accounting Standard for SMEs” and related measures.

    Japan will contribute to equitable growth in ASEAN, which is one of the four pillars of ASEAN Economic Community, by utilizing knowledge and experience on SME policy that Japan has accumulated for a long time.