News from JAMA Asia


In 2012, the Volume 47 of News from JAMA reported the progress of the 13th Meeting of the AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) Working Group on Automobile Industry (WG-AI). During the meeting, ASEAN Member States (AMSs) reported the production and sales results of previous years and updated the newest regulations of the automotive industry in each country. Several topics on technical harmonization and market integration were also brought up.
(For details of the 13th Meeting of AMEICC WG-AI, please refer to http://www.jama-english.jp/asia/news/2012/vol47/article2.html)
 
/ INDEX

Article 1
Nissan's Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) – Saving lives on the road

Article 2
The 14th AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) Meeting on the Automobile Industry (WG-AI)

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To follow up on the latest development in the individual AMSs, this volume of NFJ reports the outcome of the 14th AMEICC Meeting that was held in Yangon, Myanmar, on 28th and 29th March 2013. The 14th AMEICC Meeting provided a forum for AMSs and Japan to exchange their views on the latest policy updates. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Aye Thaung, Managing Director of No.(1) Heavy Industries Enterprise, Ministry of Industry, Myanmar, and Mr Takeo Natsume, Director for International Policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan. The meeting was attended by representatives from governments and private sectors of AMSs and Japan (except for Brunei Darussalam and Singapore), as well as representatives from ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF).

2. Speech by the Honorable Guest
Prior to the meeting, the honorable guest, H.E. U Myoe Aung, Deputy Minister of Industry of Myanmar, presented a speech emphasizing on the importance of economic cooperation between ASEAN and Japan, China, India and South Korea. Due to rapid developments in the region, Asia is playing a significant role in the global automobile industry. AMSs have acknowledged the various assistance rendered by Japan as a result of economic cooperation. In the speech, Myoe Aung advocated the adoption of UN Regulations for automobile parts and components among AMSs. He also reminded that AMSs should take immediate response to environmental protection issues while developing their country’s automotive industry.

The recent move of Myanmar’s automobile market was also highlighted in his speech. The substitution of old vehicles with imported and newer used vehicles was implemented since the 4th quarter of 2011, under the trade policy rendered by the Ministry of Commerce. As a result, a total of 3.42 million vehicles were registered as of December 2012, according to Road Transport Administration Department (RTAD)’s data.

Other important developments include introduction of the New Foreign Investment Law, which has been approved at the beginning of 2013. According to the new law, 100% foreign equity ownership is allowed in the automotive sector, in order to attract more foreign investment. To complement the new law, three special economic zone projects – 1. Dawei Deep Sea Port Project 2. Thilawa Special Economic Zone Project and, 3. Kyakphyu Special Economic Zone Project – have also been introduced.
3. Exchanging views on ASEAN Automotive Policies and Annual Report
During the Yangon Meeting, all participating AMSs and the AAF also presented reports on each AMS and regional auto industry annual performance respectively. The section provided a forum for participating AMSs and Japan to exchange their views on sales and production results, automotive policies, strategies and future plans. To work towards a healthy development of the automotive industry in the region, all participants agreed that appropriate controls should be established when importing used cars. Mrs. Piengjai Keawsuwan, the new president of AAF, reported the sales and export results on ASEAN automotive industry. She also forecasted that ASEAN will become the 6th largest automotive industry market in the world by 2018. To do this, she called for ASEAN automotive industries to strengthen their international competitiveness by removing Non-Tariff Measures and Barriers (NTM and NTB), promoting ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) and self-certification scheme under ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). AMSs are also encouraged by the President to support the development of small medium size entreprises (SMEs).

The summary of the sales and production results are as follows:
 
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4. Market Integration / Utilization of FTAs
On behalf of ASEAN secretariat, AMEICC secretariat reported the current status of Pilot Projects for the implementation of a regional self-certification system under ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). The first self-certification pilot project was extended to 31 December 2015 to enable an ASEAN-wide implementation of the program. However, due to certain pre-requisites of the self-certification pilot project, a second pilot project has been developed and the MOU was signed in August 2012, which will commence in April 2013.

JAMA recommended that establishing an effective self-certification system under ATIGA should incorporate not only manufacturers but also corporate regional headquarters and trading companies. These companies shall be recognized as authorized exporters, and the third-country invoice issued by these companies shall also be recognized. Japan Auto Parts Industries Association (JAPIA) has reiterated the importance of including trading companies to ensure the operational efficiency and effectiveness while trading raw materials and components. In order to establish a business-friendly trading environment and pursue trade facilitation at regional and international levels, AAF also expressed that the conditions or regulations of self-certification systems should not be more restrictive than the current Form D certification process, and hope that the current Form D will be continued. AMSs took note of the accord and agreed to closely follow up on the implementation of these projects.

In terms of technical harmonization, the recent activities under Automotive Product Working Group of ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ-APWC) and other relevant forums were also reported. The importance of the adoption of ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) was once again underscored in the meeting.

Japan also reported the current status of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the negotiation in progress. The potential benefits of adopting RCEP, such as further tariff reduction, harmonized and flexible rules of origin (ROO), broader accumulation effects and business friendly rules and regulations were highlighted in the meeting.
 
5. The business opportunities in Myanmar
Lastly, Myanmar presented its current market conditions and future direction of the development of its automotive industry. Foreign investors highly welcomed the new investment law and Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) scheme. Participants were also invited to visit one of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone Projects on the last day of the meeting.

The participants agreed to hold the 15th Meeting of AMEICC WG-AI in Indonesia in 2014.
 
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