The Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC) hosted the 40th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting (AJBM) on October 22 to 24, 2014. It was held at the Peninsula Manila, in Makati City. The AJBM “is a multilateral private-led forum between Japan and the ASEAN” which started in 1974 under the initiative of the Keizai Doyukai. The annual meeting promotes economic exchange among private sector business towards the stability and development of ASEAN and Japan.
The theme of the 40th Meeting was “OPPORTUNITIES ARISING FROM ASEAN INTEGRATION”.
The meeting kicked off with a Welcome dinner on October 22, 2014 hosted by PHILJEC at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Hotel. Over 100 guests attended the dinner reception.
The meeting proper was held on October 23, starting at 9:00 a.m. Opening remarks were delivered by PHILJEC Chairman Mr. Egmidio Cesar de Silva Jose and Keizai Doyukai Chairman, Mr. Yasuchika Hasegawa. Thereafter, messages from President Benigno S. Aquino III and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were read.
PEZA Director General Atty. Lilia de Lima delivered the Keynote Address, highlighting intra-ASEAN investment opportunities in the Philippines.
The First Plenary Session dealt with an Overview of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). It was moderated by Mr. Toshiyuki Shiga, Chairman of AJBM Japan. Guest speakers for this session were Mr. Juan Miranda – Managing Director, Asian Development Bank and Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige – Chairman, JETRO.
After lunch, the Second Plenary Session was held with three speakers providing perspectives on Key Sectors that Guide Close Business Cooperation between Japan and ASEAN. Moderated by Ambassador Theng Teng, Exec. Chairman of Save our Planet Investment Pte., Ltd. of Singapore, the speakers were: Dr. Thomas Aquino, former Senior Undersecretary of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, Dr. Yoshinori Fujiawa – Professor at Hitotsubashi University, and Ambassador Cesar B. Bautista, Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
This was followed by parallel roundtable discussions on:
(1) Service Industries, moderated by Mr. Hironobu Kitagawa of JETRO Japan, the speakers for this topic were: Mr. Mr. Kenichi Kitao, President, Kumon Asia & Oceania Pte. Ltd., Mr. Fumiaki Tanaka, President, Chiyoda Philippines, and Ms. Josephine J. Francisco, President, NYK-FIL Ship Management, Inc.;
(2) Manufacturing, moderated by Mr. Shazali Sulaiman, Partner, KPMG (Brunei), the speakers were Dr. Bunluasak Pussarungsri Ph.D., Vice-Chairman, Service and Investment Committee, Thai Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Kerry Mok, Managing Director, Accenture Pte., Ltd.;
(3) Infrastructure Development and Connectivity, moderated by Mr. Roberto Jose L. Castillo, co-Chairman of PHILJEC and President-CEO of EEI Corporation, the speakers were Mr. Tan Eng Soon, Chairman, Tan Chong International, Ltd. of Singapore, Mr. Takeo Kitamura, President and COO, Zero Co., Ltd. of Japan, and Mr. Cecil Leong, CEO, Mayer Brown Consulting (Singapore) Pte., Ltd.
A summary of the roundtable discussions was then moderated by Atty. Aniceto G. Saludo, PHILJEC co-Chairman and Managing Partner of the law firm of Saludo, Fernandez, Aquino & Daleon. Roundtable rapporteurs were: Mr. Toshikazu Saito, Chairman, Renaissance, Inc. on Service Industries; Mr. Shazali Sulaiman, Partner, KPMG on Manufacturing; and Mr. Roberto Jose L. Castillo, PHILJEC Co-Chairman and CEO, EEI Corporation on Infrastructure Development and Connectivity.
Mr. Toshiyuki Shiga, Chairman, AJBM Japan and Mr. Egmidio Cesar de Silva Jose, Chairman, PHILJEC each delivered their closing remarks, after which Mr. Cecil Leong, CEO, Mayer Brown Consulting (Singapore) Pte., Ltd. extended his invitation to the 41st AJBM which will be held in Singapore.
At the Closing Dinner jointly hosted by PHILJEC and JETRO, Messrs. Jose and Ishige expressed their mutual gratitude and appreciation to all the participants as Mr. Yasuchika Hasegawa, Chairman, Keizai Doyukai offered a toast for the continued success of AJBM.
The following day, JETRO held the 2nd International Symposium on the Service Industry. Also held at the Peninsula Manila, it was opened by Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman of JETRO. Keynote speakers were: Mr. Junichi Yamashita, Sr. Executive Officer of Family Mart Co., Ltd., Mr. Ysmael Baysa, CFO of Jollibee Foods Corporation, and Ms. Chantra Purnariksha, Group President of Saha Pathana Inter-Holding (Saha Group), Thailand. The symposium was moderated by Mr. Yoshinori Fujisawa, Associate Professor – Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University.