21 October 2020

Improved trade deal between Japan and ASEAN

According to data from the Japanese Finance Ministry, ASEAN as a whole was Japan’s third-largest trade partner after China and the United States in 2019, with exports to the bloc totalling 11.58 trillion yen and imports worth 11.76 trillion yen.  We expect to see even more cross-border trade and investments between Japan and ASEAN Member States as a result of the coming into force of the First Protocol to amend the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (“AJCEPA”) on 1 August 2020. 

The amended AJCEPA currently applies among the countries that have completed the necessary internal procedures and have notified the other signatories that its internal legal procedures are complete, being Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Brunei.  The remaining four ASEAN member states, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, are expected to complete procedures and join by the end of 2020.

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