13th Meeting of the AMEICC Working Group on Automobile Industry (WG-AI), Cebu City, the Philippines, 9 &10 February 2012

1. Introduction

The AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) was established in 1998 with the aim of improving ASEAN competitiveness through enhancement of industrial cooperation and development cooperation assistance within ASEAN and Japan. There were a total of 8 working groups (WG). The 13th Meeting of the AMEICC Working Group on Automobile Industry was held in Cebu City in the Philippines on 9 & 10 February 2012.

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Toyota CSR – the Philippines Peñablanca Sustainable Reforestation Project

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13th Meeting of the AMEICC Working Group on Automobile Industry (WG-AI), Cebu City, the Philippines, 9 &10 February 2012



The meeting was co-chaired by Mrs. Lucita P. Reyes, Executive Director for Industry Development Group, Board of Investments (BOI), the Philippines, and Mr. Takeo Natsume, Director for Automotive International Trade Policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan. Over 100 participants from Japan, as well as individuals from government sectors and industry representatives from member states attended the meeting.

2. Speech by the Honorable Guest

Prior to the meeting, the honorable guest, Mr. Geronimo D.Sta.Ana, Governor of BOI, the Philippines, gave a speech to the participants. In his speech, he commented that the automotive industry is an important sector that contributed around 70,000 employment opportunities in the Philippines. Taking into consideration the supporting and allied industries, however, the total employment generated could be as high as 400,000. Meanwhile, the rapid growth of the ASEAN auto markets has also resulted in the region becoming a significant player in the global automotive industry.

In order to enhance the competitiveness of the ASEAN automotive industry, he also stressed the urgency of exchanging views on mutual recognition of auto parts and technical services in ASEAN, as well as strengthening market integration through utilization of foreign trade agreements (FTAs). He also highlighted the importance of learning from experiences with natural disasters, to come up with plans of action against it.

After his speech, each member state gave details on its annual report on sales and production, automotive policies, strategies and future development. This was followed by insights from the chair of the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF), who reported the forecast on the ASEAN automotive industry. The summary is as follows:

3. ASEAN Market Overview: Sales Statistics

4. ASEAN Market Overview: Production Statistics

5. Forecast of ASEAN Automotive Industry

6. Technical harmonization – mutual recognition of auto parts / technical services

The ASEAN Secretariat updated the latest progress of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) draft discussion for automobile systems and parts. According to the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality’s Automotive Product Working Group (ACCSQ-APWG) is still considering the product scope regarding “automotives manufactured and marketed in ASEAN” or “automotives marketed in ASEAN”.

JAMA argued that not all necessary parts for vehicle assemblies in ASEAN can be found within its region. Along with the lack of parts experienced during the recent calamities in Japan and Thailand, he recommended that the ASEAN MRA’s product coverage should be defined in ways that would not delimit the sources of automotive parts.

7. Market Integration – Pilot Project on Self-certification of Rule of Origin (ROO) and ROO on ASEAN FTAs

The ASEAN Secretariat also reported the latest status of the Self-certification Pilot Project. With the added participation of Thailand, there are currently a total of four member states, which include Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. A total of 134 certified exporters have registered to participate in this project. The ASEAN Secretariat also encouraged other member states to join the project before the implementation of ASEAN-wide self-certification. Meanwhile, various FTAs with Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, China and India are also under discussion with the purpose of furthering the extension of the free flow goods in the market. The ASEAN Secretariat also brought out various concerns raised by member states, including the improvement of ROO, amendments to Product Specific Rules (PSRs), review of Operational Certification Procedures (OCP), among many others.

JAMA emphasized the necessity to develop a more flexible and user-friendly certification system and ROO. Exporters will be given the choice between approved exporter self-certification and third-party certification. In regards to ROO, allowing greater flexibility in the use of co-equal rules, such as Change in Tariff Classification (CTC) or Value Added (VA) criterion will enable smoother trade for auto parts and the automotive industry. JAMA also expects harmonization of rules among the different EPAs/FTAs. The ASEAN Secretariat expressed its willingness to further studies on these matters.

8. Natural Disasters in Thailand and Japan

Lastly, the Thai Automotive Industry Association (TAIA) highlighted the impact of the recent flood on automotive and related industries. This was followed by a report from the Japan Auto Parts Industries Association (JAPIA), who informed the Meeting of the overall impact of the Great East Japan earthquake is having on its automotive industry and the outlook for recovery. The two natural disasters have disrupted the supply chain for automotive parts, not only in this region, but also globally. Thailand further briefed the Meeting about its flood prevention plans, both in the short and long term, aimed at rebuilding investors’ confidence. JAPIA also proposed to develop a more resilient structure for the supply chain, partly through the utilization of off-shore production schemes to mitigate potential risks in the future.

The 14th Meeting of AMEICC WG-AI was proposed to be held in Myanmar next year.




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