13 Aug 2021
Joint Press Statement
The Fifth Meeting of the Japan – Thailand High Level Joint Commission (HLJC),
on 11 August 2021 via teleconference
The Fifth Meeting of the Japan - Thailand High Level Joint Commission (HLJC) was held on 11 August 2021 via teleconference. The Meeting was co-chaired by His Excellency Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and His Excellency Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan (hereinafter referred to individually as a “side” and collectively as “both sides”.). Both sides discussed wide-ranging economic cooperation issues with a view to strengthening the strategic economic partnership between Thailand and Japan in the post-COVID-19 period as follows:
1. Collaboration between Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model and Japan’s Green Growth Strategy
Both sides expressed intention to enhance cooperation in bio, circular and green development for economic growth by synergizing Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model and Japan’s Green Growth Strategy, in the areas of the bio, circular and green technologies and innovations, particularly on bio-technology, agriculture and food, electronics, materials, nanotechnology, low-carbon technology, energy for circular economy, and automobiles, to achieve the target of Carbon Neutrality. Both sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Technology Research and Development Cooperation between the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand, and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan as a positive step towards enhanced cooperation in this area. Recognizing the importance of efforts by exploring the widest variety of options according to national contexts in order to achieve realistic energy transitions while ensuring a stable energy supply, both sides also welcomed the bilateral cooperation for the realisation of carbon neutrality in Thailand which is also in line with the Asia Energy Transition Initiative (AETI), and expressed intention to lead the efforts of ASEAN for achieving carbon neutrality.
2. Cooperation in Trade, Investment, Industrial Development and Enhancement of Business Environment
The Thai side reiterated its interest in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and informed that an in-depth study was undertaken to assess Thailand’s readiness for accession negotiations. The results and recommendations of the study were recently reported to the Cabinet for further consideration. The Japanese side reaffirmed its full support for the preparation process in joining the said Agreement. On the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, the Thai side welcomed Japan’s recent deposit of its instrument of acceptance, and the Japanese side welcomed the progress of domestic procedures in Thailand. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of an early entry into force as well as full implementation of the RCEP Agreement, which would be beneficial to economic development and business activities in the region.
Both sides expressed intention to strengthen cooperation in (1) quality investment with resilient business environment in Thailand and Japan and investment in targeted industries such as digital and smart electronics, health and well-being, next-generation automotive, research and development and green and circular economy as well as smart city and the key quality infrastructure, particularly in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC); (2) industrial and SMEs promotion through various projects such as Lean IoT Plant management and Execution (LIPE); (3) Start-ups through Japan’s initiatives including Asia Digital Transformation; (4) human resource development through “KOSEN” institutes in Thailand; and (5) local-to-local cooperation.
Both sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation on Postal Cooperation between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, and a Memorandum of Cooperation on Lean IoT Plant management and Execution (LIPE) between the Department of Industrial Promotion, Ministry of Industry of Thailand, Digital Economy Promotion Agency (“depa”), Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand, and the Trade Policy Bureau and Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan as concrete steps towards deepening cooperation in these areas.
3. Cooperation for Connectivity Enhancement, Development of the Mekong Sub-region, and Healthcare Field
Both sides reaffirmed the determination to continue collaboration in the development of the quality infrastructure, including transport system in Thailand through key railways development projects, such as the Red Line Mass Transit System and the Bangkok-Chiang Mai High Speed Rail as well as the Second Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in Bangkok Metropolitan Region (M-MAP2), the Bang Sue Smart City and the road traffic cooperation.
The Thai side welcomed and supported Japan’s constructive role in the Mekong sub-region through the Mekong-Japan Cooperation and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), of which Japan is a First Batch Development Partner, as well as the Japan-Thailand Partnership Programme (Phase 3). The Japanese side reaffirmed the intention to assist in narrowing the development gap in the sub-region, generate trade and investment among Thailand and the sub-region through enhanced connectivity along the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC), support human resource development, and promote sustainable development and cooperation in areas related to public health.
Both sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Public Health of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Ministry of Industry of the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Office of Healthcare Policy, the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan in the field of Healthcare and expressed their intention to strengthen cooperation to promote the synergy between health policy of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative of Japan. The Thai side expressed its gratitude to the support extended by the Japanese side to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic, including the provision of AstraZeneca vaccines as well as oxygen concentrators and support for the cold chain system pledged by the Japanese side to secure access to vaccines by everyone.