Japan Decide on an Eight Fold Initiative for a Global Partnership
of External Affairs
Government of India
April 30, 2005
Junichiro Koizumi, the Prime Minister of Japan, paid an official
visit to India from April 28 to 30, 2005. Mr. Koizumi and Dr. Manmohan
Singh, the Prime Minister of India, held in-depth discussions during
which they covered the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well
as regional and international issues of mutual interest. The discussions
focused in particular on adding greater substance to bilateral relations
and on measures to further deepen the India-Japan Global Partnership,
taking into account the steady development in bilateral relations
and the far-reaching changes in the international situation, in
particular the new surge of change taking place in Asia.
the need for concerted efforts among Asian countries to translate
the positive developments into an ‘Arc of Advantage and Prosperity’
involving growth, prosperity, stability and closer integration in
Asia the two leaders acknowledged the responsibility that the two
countries have in this new emerging Asian era and thus committed
to closely working towards that end.
Agreeing that a global partnership between India and Japan would
reflect a broad convergence of their long-term political, economic
and strategic interests, aspirations, objectives and concerns the
two countries accepted each other as partners that have responsibility
for, and are capable of, responding to global and regional challenges
in keeping with their global partnership. Both the leaders agreed
that a strong, prosperous and dynamic India is in the interest of
Japan and vice versa. In the above context and in view of the current
international situation, the two leaders decided to reinforce the
strategic focus of the global partnership between India and Japan.
partners in the new Asian era and with this new strategic orientation
of their partnership and two responsible and major players in Asia
both the countries will expand their traditional bilateral cooperation
to cooperation in Asia and beyond. The renewed partnership between
India and Japan will feature the following three layers of cooperation:
the two countries will further strengthen their cooperation and
pursue an all round and comprehensive development of bilateral relations
with a particular and urgent focus on strengthening economic ties
through full utilisation of the existing and potential complementarities
in their economies;
- Regionally, the two countries will strive to develop closer dialogue
and collaboration to secure peace, stability, and prosperity in
Asia, promote democracy and development, and explore a new architecture
for closer regional cooperation in Asia; and
- Globally, the two countries will strengthen cooperation in diverse
areas such as environment, energy, disarmament, non-proliferation
and security, taking advantage of, and further building on, their
order to realise the full potential of their global partnership,
the two leaders decided on an Eight-fold Initiative and decided
to make their utmost effort to implement this Initiative, which
comprises of measures for cooperation in eight key areas of interaction,
namely: (i) enhanced and upgraded dialogue architecture, including
strengthening of the momentum of high-level exchanges, launching
of a High Level Strategic Dialogue and full utilization of the existing
dialogue mechanisms; (ii) comprehensive economic engagement, through
expansion of trade in goods and services, investment flows and other
areas of economic cooperation, and exploration of an India-Japan
economic partnership agreement; (iii) enhanced security dialogue
and cooperation; (iv) Science and Technology Initiative; (v) cultural
and academic initiatives and strengthening of people-to-people contacts
to raise the visibility and profile of one country in the other;
(vi) cooperation in ushering a new Asian era; (vii) cooperation
in the United Nations and other international organizations, including
cooperation for the early realization of U.N. reforms, particularly
Security Council reform; and (viii) cooperation in responding to
global challenges and opportunities.
Economic Focus Shifts to Asia
April 28, 2005
World Economic Forum opened its second Asia Roundtable today in
Singapore. Over 250 participants from 34 countries are gathering
together to identify the critical issues and generate insights necessary
to develop the right strategic response. The theme of the Roundtable
is “Tilting the Global Balance: The Strategic Implications
of Asia’s Growth”. The Roundtable is being held from
28 to 29 April in cooperation with the Singapore Economic Development
of the key issues discussed during the opening plenary session was
the rise of China and India as the new economic juggernauts that
would outstrip the US and Europe to drive global growth, and the
social and economic consequences of such a breakneck speed of growth.
rise of China and the opening up of India is probably the biggest
story this century. China and India are the fastest growing economies
in the world,” said Raymond Lim Siang Keat, Minister in the
Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore. “Already, China
is overtaking the US as the major trading partner of Japan; some
analysts reckon that in 50 years’ time, China will overtake
the United States as the world’s largest economy and India
will not be far behind.”
R. Béglé, Chief Executive Officer, GeoPost International
Management & Development Holding, Germany, agreed that Asia
would indeed play a vital role on the world economic stage. “Before
you had basically one tonne of cargo from Europe towards Asia and
vice versa; three years ago it was a ratio of one to Asia and two
from Asia; this year, it’s already one from Europe, three
from Asia.” He also highlighted the importance of Japan and
India. “Definitely the centre of gravity of the world is moving
towards Asia. The big question is the relative weight of China and
India versus the traditional giant which is Japan and I think the
shift is good for the world and for Europe.”
also said that this has created an imbalance that has brought about
the recognition within ASEAN countries that integration is crucial.
“ASEAN countries recognize that integration is not a matter
of choice but really a matter of necessity. That an ASEAN of half
a billion people spread over ten fragmented markets is quite a different
proposition from an ASEAN of ten integrated markets and economies.”
He added this has given rise to a common resolve to reduce tariffs,
unify standards and develop a habit of consultation with neighbour
countries. Indeed, during the SARs crisis, Lim pointed out that
we saw an instinctive reaction to coalesce and deal with issues
together. But Lim stressed that this regionalism is one that is
open and inclusive, not insular.
discussed was the issue of bilateral tensions between China and
Japan and the necessity for putting the past aside and recognizing
Japan’s important constructive role in the region and beyond.
Ichiro Aisawa, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,
highlighted the economic importance of China to Japan and the world.
He said that Japan’s trade with China now exceeded the volume
of its trade with the US. “The smooth progress and good bilateral
relationship between Japan and China will be extremely vital to
the continued growth of the global economy and that incidents that
might arise between the two nations I’m sure can be dealt
with successfully “ He added that his vision is for both countries
to lead global growth.
stressed the need to leave the past behind while remaining sensitive
to the situation. Jiang Jianqing, Chairman and President, Industrial
and Commercial Bank of China, People’s Republic of China and
Co-Chair of the Asia Roundtable 2005, echoed his sentiments, saying
it was important for both countries to look ahead and resolve their
differences amicably. “As two major countries, if we want
to maintain a stable economy for Asia, the two countries should
work and survive in a very harmonious manner.”
also stressed the need for regional governments to balance the factors
to make this pace of growth sustainable as Asia makes the transition
to becoming the economic centre of the world, a point that was taken
up by Mohamed A. Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, United Arab
Emirates and Co-Chair of the Asia Roundtable 2005. “I have
no doubt in my mind that the shift has taken place, the growth potential
in the region is unbelievable but the risk is really the speed of
growth. I’m always worried about energy and natural resources
to supply this unbelievable rate of growth.”
Economic Development in Asia Brings Opportunities, Challenges
April 29, 2005
World Economic Forum's Asia Roundtable 2005 ended Friday after two-day
discussions on various aspects of the rapid development of Asia,
its strategic implications, opportunities, challenges and risks,
and keys to success.
was the consensus in the two-day roundtable that the world gravity
is moving toward Asia, as the region has become the engineof the
the story of the last century was the rise of the United States
as a global power, the main story of the present century will be
the rise of Asia," said Peter Mandelson, trade commissioner
of the European Commissioner.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong saw the changing of the economic
landscape in Asia. "In the past, our economies wouldprosper
by attracting investments from the United States, Europe or Japan,
and then manufacture and export goods back to these markets
here to read further: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-04/29/content_2896974.htm
Releases First Annual Report on Economic Integration in Asia
April 22, 2005
Boao Forum for Asia (BFA)released its first "Annual Report
2005 on Economic Integration in Asia" here Friday to provide
the latest information on economic integration in Asia and advance
the latest suggestions for the process.
to the BFA's annual report, deeper economic and political cooperation
will be conducive to the further enhancing of bilateral and multi-lateral
trade among Asian nations.
report says that it is necessary for the governments of Asian nations
to improve their macro-economic measures so as to attract more direct
foreign investment, or FDI, and that FDI will promote the development
deepening of the international division of industries demand more
efficient policy coordination between different governments in Asia
in order to avoid unnecessary trade friction.
here to read further:
Leaders From 34 Countries to Convene at The World Economic Forum's
Asia Roundtable in Singapore
21 April 2005
World Economic Forum released more details today on its Asia Roundtable,
which starts in Singapore in just one week’s time. More than
250 leaders from business, government, civil society and the media
from 34 countries will convene in Singapore on 28 and 29 April to
identify critical issues and generate insights necessary to develop
the right strategic response to the region’s growing global
economic and political influence.
the working theme, “Tilting the global balance: the strategic
implications of Asia's growth”, the Asia Roundtable will be
conducted in a highly interactive manner aimed at promoting a candid
exchange of views and knowledge among participants. The Roundtable
is hosted in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development
programme of the Asia Roundtable will be focused around the following
· The business impact of the geopolitics of Asia
· The impact of China and India on Asian competitiveness
and future growth
· The future supply of key natural resources and its impact
on regional relations
· The growing trade and investment ties between the Middle
East and Asia
· Prospects for Asia’s financial integration and strategies
to address the possible revaluation of the Chinese yuan
the full support of the government of Singapore, Prime Minister
and Minister for Finance Lee Hsien-Loong will host a welcome reception
at the Istana on the first evening. A special “conversation
with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan-Yew” will take place at the
closing plenary. Minister Raymond Lim Siang Keat, Second Minister
for Finance and for Foreign Affairs, as well as Minister Lim Hng-Kiang,
Minister for Trade and Industry, will also be speaking at the Roundtable.
prominent public figures who have confirmed their participation
so far are:
· His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Hussein of the Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan, who will lead the senior delegation of prominent
political and business leaders from the Middle East joining the
Roundtable to discuss the burgeoning trade and investment ties between
the two regions.
· Prime Minister Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj of Mongolia, whose
country today is experiencing a mining boom, will once again take
part actively in the Roundtable.
· Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson of the European Commission
will address “Asia’s New Trade Growth” session.
· From Japan, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Ichiro
Aisawa will address the session on “The Strategic Impact of
Asia’s Economic Growth”.
· From the Republic of Korea, Minister of Trade Kim Hyun-Chong
will address the session on “The Keys to Asia’s Success”.
Taik Him, Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development
Board (EDB), said, “The World Economic Forum is a long-time
partner of Singapore, having held several of its East Asia Economic
Summits here for over a decade. This year marks the first time that
Singapore is hosting the Forum's Asia Roundtable, welcoming key
leaders in business, government and society from all over the world.
This year’s theme is particularly relevant as the changes
in Asia are likely to affect developments in the entire world.”
year’s Asia Roundtable in Singapore is clearly timely. The
excellent participation from both the private and public sectors
reflects the need for leaders from all sectors to begin addressing
the key strategic issues that are directly linked to Asia’s
future growth and integration. The goal of the Roundtable is a frank
exchange on both the challenges and opportunities that will be the
focus of the coming months,” said Lee Howell, Director, Asia,
World Economic Forum.
Round of Japan-ASEAN FTA Talks Underway
April 17, 2005
first round of talks on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Japan
and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the
past three days focused on how to ensure fairness for companies
from Japan and ASEAN member countries while trading in the market
of any of these countries.
the first day of the negotiations, the Japanese side held separate
meetings with representatives from each of the five ASEAN member
countries it has not yet conducted FTA negotiations, i.e, Brunei,
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam, to explain its perspective
on economic co-operation agreements, including FTAs.
here to read further: http://www.vnagency.com.vn/NewsA.asp?LANGUAGE_ID=2&CATEGORY_ID=33&NEWS_ID=147287
to be an Integral Part of the East Asia Summit
will participate in the First East Asia Summit to be held in Malaysia
at the end of this year, The Asian Wall Street Journal reported
on April 13, 2005. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers facilitated the entry
of India along with Australia and New Zealand through setting up
a three-point criterion for countries outside the region joining
the summit, the paper detailed.
to the three-point criterion, for attending the summit, the non-ASEAN
countries must have substantive relations with ASEAN, have full
dialogue partnership with ASEAN and be signatories to ASEAN’s
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.
India qualifies at all the three criterions, it will definitely
be included in the first Summit, while the other two contending
countries Australia and New Zealand will have to sign the TAC for
their inclusion, observed the Singapore Foreign Minister George
inclusion was strongly championed by Singapore. The Economic Times
(April 13, 2005) reported that there were some objections to India’s
inclusion, notably by Malaysia. “ But India’s friends
were led by Singapore which played the lead role in bringing the
other ASEAN members around”, the paper highlighted.
decision was made at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat in Cebu
Philippines. The formal announcement though will be made at the
ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in July to be held in Laos, Cambodia,
The Economic Times reported.
India will need to do a lot pf preparation, suggested an editorial
from The Hindustan Times (Look East, Be Tough, April 15, 2005).
Since the summit will discuss an Asian trade bloc, said the paper,
India will have to be prepared for a stronger role, which is what
the East Asians also want of India to counter any dominance by China
as an economic big boy.
Bets Heavy on Regional Trade Agreement with India
April 13, 2005
and China had constituted a joint study group to look at the possibility
of a free/regional trade agreement. The report was submitted to
the PMs of the two countries on Monday. The Financial Express brings
you excerpts from it.
here to read further: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=87802
premier on relations with South Asia, Russia, Japan
April 12, 2005
holds a positive view on promoting cooperation in South Asia and
strengthening the role of the South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC), Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Tuesday.
meeting representatives of the Indian news media, Wen said China
hopes to cooperate with South Asia in promoting peace and stability
in South Asia.
welcomes cooperation between India and international organizations
such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, he said.
also values India's aspiration to build up relations with the "ten
plus three" (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus
China, Japan and South Korea), he said.
here to read further: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-04/12/content_2820779.htm
Ministerial Calls for Pan Asian Free Trade Area And Asian Community
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and other Heads of Delegations from
26 member countries of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) gathered
in Islamabad, Pakistan for the 4th ACD Ministerial Meeting on April
for the establishment of an Asian Community the ministers agreed
that the most effective response to globalization is through greater
regional economic and commercial cooperation.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in his inaugural address also
called upon Asian leaders to create a Pan Asian free trade area.
“We should move ahead with regional free trade arrangement
step by step, properly address trade fictions and work to bring
about a new cooperation pattern,” he explained. He also pledged
China’s full support to such a move and also sought to dispel
fears about China’s rise.
Pakistani Prime Minister Mr Shaukat Aziz, whose country chairs the
forum, also voiced support Mr Jiabao’s remark saying to the
same forum that “our ultimate goal should be an Asian free
Jiabao also urged the to move forward beneficial cooperation across
the board. Therefore, for enhancement of mutual trust and understanding
and the promotion of regional economic cooperation and integration,
the ACD Ministers pledged their commitment for the following:
i) Render firm political support to the Asian Bond Market Development
Initiative undertaken by the relevant fora in terms of market demand,
supply and infrastructure development essential for the realization
of fully developed Asian Bond Markets, which would ultimately lead
to the creation of an effective, stable and dependable financial
architecture for Asia.
ii) Reduce the high incidence of poverty in the Asian region by
reinforcing active ACD Cooperation through sharing of best practices
and exchange of information among Asian countries on working children
and their rehabilitation by promoting multilateral cooperation on
developing and implementing a realistic educational and vocational
training programme and by seeking partnership of NGOs, private sector
and civil society
iii) Fully implement the joint initiative of ACD Agricultural Ministers
on priority areas and modalities for agricultural cooperation for
the common agricultural development in Asia
iv) Strengthen cooperation in Energy Security as described in the
"Qingdao Initiative" and to intensify dialogue on the
need for establishing a forum on energy
v) Identify steps designed to bridge the digital divide among the
vi) Resolve to ensure the provision of easily accessible and expanded
educational opportunities for the peoples of Asia with the proposal
for the establishment of an Asia e-University which will be an instrument
for greater Asia-wide cooperation in closing the digital divide
and spearheading e-Education efforts to meet future challenges,
for the benefit of the region
ii) Reinforce the role of SMEs in economic development through increased
exchanges and information sharing amongst SME's in the ACD countries
viii) Increase efforts for the harmonization of standards amongst
the ACD countries with a view to establishing an Asian Institute
of Standards, which would make the development, manufacturing and
supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner
and would help making trade between ACD countries easier and fairer.
The proposed Asian Institute of Standards (AIS) will act as an organization
in which a consensus can be reached on solutions that meet both
the requirements of regional governments' local standards, businesses
and the broader needs of society including consumers.
ix) Identify focal points in biotechnology to operationalize the
proposed Bio-technology Consortium.
x) To facilitate transport linkages among ACD member countries and
to that end develop a concept paper for consideration.
xi) Promote the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Education
for Sustainable Development through the ACD work on environmental
education and to contribute to strengthening the cooperation among
the ACD countries.
xii) Promote cooperation in the field of science and technology
and to that end hold a Science Congress focussed on Life Science
Technology in 2006.
Saudi Arabia was added to the ACD as a full member country. Thailand
offered to hold the first ACD Summit in the near future.
Predicts Continuing Strong Growth For Developing Asia in 2005
ADB News Release
April 6, 2004
high oil prices and the devastating tsunami, developing countries
in Asia will experience robust growth in 2005 and continue a healthy
expansion in 2006-2007, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says in
a major report released today.
flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook
(ADO), was launched at a press conference in Hong Kong, China, today.
In it, the Manila-based multilateral development bank projects the
region will achieve an overall economic expansion of 6.5% to 6.9%
in 2005-2007 on the back of buoyant domestic demand and further
strengthening of intraregional trade.
upbeat outlook draws on the strong growth momentum gained through
spectacular economic performance in 2004, when the economies of
developing Asia and Pacific registered gross domestic product (GDP)
growth of 7.3% in 2004.
Asia has seen its strongest economic growth since the financial
crisis of 1997-98," says ADB Chief Economist Ifzal Ali. "Nearly
all of the economies in the region grew by more than 5% in 2004.
That is remarkable for an area that is home to about 4 billion people."
ADO, which includes analysis and forecasts of economic trends for
42 economies in Asia and the Pacific, noted that rapid growth in
the region was underpinned by strong domestic and external demand.
Developing Asian economies benefited from robust growth in major
industrial countries and surging intraregional trade driven by PRC's
prospects for growth in major industrial countries and for world
trade remain positive, although some moderation is expected. Together
with this relatively benign external environment, a broadening of
the recovery in the region provides a firm foothold for continued
expansion. Domestic demand, which has strengthened in most economies
over the past 2 years, and increasing regional economic integration
heighten the region's resilience against any deterioration in the
major feature of economic developments in 2004 was a marked revival
of business investment, particularly in East Asia and Southeast
Asia, where it had been lagging since the Asian crisis," Mr.
Ali said. The revival of business investment, combined with continuing
or strengthening consumption demand in most countries, will continue
to translate into robust rates of growth, as well as providing a
basis for sustainable long-term growth.
economic integration continues to move forward. Intraregional exports
increased by 27.9% in the year to September. Intraregional trade
is expected to continue expanding at a brisk pace as the rest of
developing Asia integrates further with the PRC and increasingly
with India, offering greater opportunities for the region.
the confident baseline outlook for developing Asia, there is a risk
that global imbalances could unravel during the forecast period.
"A much more robust growth projection for the US economy, while
Japan and the euro zone go through a relatively rough patch, implies
that the problem of external imbalances in the US could become worse,
triggering a sharp depreciation of the dollar, a spike in inflation,
and more sudden increases in interest rates, thus ultimately restraining
world growth and trade," the ADO warns.
role remains crucial in the resolution of global economic imbalances.
The region has produced large current account surpluses - with its
foreign exchange reserve accumulation amounting to $1.6 trillion
in 2004, up from $1.3 trillion in 2003 - and it finances a significant
share of the US deficit, mainly through large purchases of securities.
An orderly adjustment of such global imbalances through strengthening
regional demand as well as proactive and coordinated regional exchange
rate policies would benefit both regional and global economies.
potential risks to the region's bright economic outlook include
epidemics, the threat of terrorism, that the growing volatility
of intraregional cross-currency exchange rates might hamper regional
economic integration, and sustained high oil prices.
evidenced by the recent resurgence of avian flu in Viet Nam and
Cambodia, the risk of broader and more life-threatening epidemics
remains a very serious concern to the region," the ADO states.
"In addition, the disastrous tsunami that struck the countries
bordering the Indian ocean and its impacts-including the huge loss
of human life and a sharp increase in poverty in the affected areas-underscore
the need to reinforce regional cooperation in Asia."
the external environment runs the risk of becoming less bright over
the forecast period, initiatives by developing Asian governments
to enhance competitiveness and promote stronger regional integration
will become more important," the ADO states. A special theme
chapter of ADO 2005, titled Promoting Competition for Long-Term
Development, elaborates that the region's high economic growth rates
can only be maintained if economic competition is fostered through
effective competition policies.
combination of competition, cooperation, and coordination will be
critical as Asia-Pacific continues to strengthen its interdependence
with industrial countries, deepen integration within the region,
and broaden inclusiveness. Working together, the region can transform
its robust medium term outlook into a strengthening Asian re-emergence
for decades to come.
Establishes Office for Regional Economic Integration
April 1, 2005
the vital role of regional cooperation and integration in Asia's
future, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda today
announced the establishment of an office mandated with this task.
new office will play an active role as catalyst, coordinator, and
knowledge leader in the area of regional economic integration,"
said Mr. Kuroda.
new office - to be called the Office of Regional Economic Integration
- will be headed by University of Tokyo economics professor Masahiro
Kawai, who will serve as Economic Advisor to Mr. Kuroda starting
today and will take over the office on 1 October 2005.
Kawai served as chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific in
the World Bank from 1998 to 2001, and as Deputy Vice Minister of
Finance for International Affairs of Japan's Ministry of Finance
from 2001 to 2003.
Kawai brings the right blend of experience to this important new
office at ADB," says Mr. Kuroda. "He is highly respected
in his diverse fields of expertise and he will be a valuable addition
to the bank."
Kuroda has also appointed Mr. Rajat M. Nag, the Director General
of ADB's Mekong Department, to concurrently hold the position of
Special Advisor to the President in charge of regional economic
cooperation and integration effective today.
creation of the office, and the appointment of a new Special Advisor
on the issue, underscores Mr. Kuroda's commitment to making regional
economic integration a priority for ADB. The office will act as
ADB's focal point for regional bodies, forums and initiatives on
the issue, including: the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers process (which
includes the Economic Review and Policy Dialogue Process, the Chiang
Mai Initiative, and the Asian Bond Markets Initiative); the ASEAN
Surveillance Process; the APEC Finance Ministers Process; and the
Asia-Europe Finance Ministers Process.
new office will replace ADB's Regional Economic Monitoring Unit
and will also handle publication of the Asia Economic Monitor and
Asia Bond Monitor, as well as the management of the Asia Regional
Information Center and AsianBondOnline web sites.
promotes regional economic integration efforts by supporting and
facilitating the above regional initiatives and several regional
and subregional cooperation activities in Asia-Pacific such as the
Greater Mekong Subregion program.