Four newer members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), and Japan would step up their industrial cooperation, Japanese vice minister of economy, trade and industry said Thursday Vientiane.
During the 1st consultation between CLMV economic ministers and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the delegates focused their discussions on future directions of industrial cooperation between the two sides, including enhanced linkage among regional industries and distribution systems, promotion of promising industries, improvement of international business skills, acceleration of foreign investment in the four countries, and enhancement of business environment via capacity building, Hachiro Okonogi, the Japanese vice minister, said after the meeting.
The delegates explored the possibility of establishing distribution networks linking industrial clusters and promoting investment in special economic zones in CLMV, he said, noting that priority sectors in the zones include labor-intensive industries, garment, and agricultural and food processing.
The two-way trade between ASEAN and Japan rose by 19.9 percent to 135.9 billion US dollars in 2004. Meanwhile, Japanese foreign direct investment increased by 9.5 percent to 254 billion dollars.