China and Ja­pan Fur­ther Ex­plor­ing Co­op­er­a­tion

— As the Sino-ja­pa­nese Peace and Friend­ship Treaty Wel­comes Its 40th An­niver­sary

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Regional Trade & Investment - By Liu Xin­wei

On April 10, the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional TRADE(CCPIT) and the Ja­pan As­so­ci­a­tion for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade ( JAPIT) jointly or­ga­nized the Si­noJa­panese Eco­nomic and Trade Ex­change Co­op­er­a­tion Sem­i­nar to Com­mem­o­rate the 40th An­niver­sary of the Si­noJa­panese Peace and Friend­ship Treaty (here­inafter re­ferred to as the sem­i­nar) in Bei­jing. The sem­i­nar is fo­cused on the themes of the 40th an­niver­sary of the China-ja­pan Peace and Friend­ship Treaty, the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, and the eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Ja­pan.

“In the past 40 years, with joint ef­forts of both par­ties, the bi­lat­eral eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion has achieved fruit­ful re­sults.” Zhang Jian, the Deputy Sec­re­tary- Gen­eral of the China Cham­ber of In­ter­na­tional Com­merce, said, at the sem­i­nar, that go­ing for­wards, the two sides should fur­ther de­velop their re­spec­tive com­par­a­tive ad­van­tages, par­tic­i­pate in the con­struc­tion of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, and ex­plore co­op­er­a­tion in de­vel­op­ing third-party mar­kets.

Ex­plor­ing and de­vel­op­ing third­party mar­kets has be­come the fo­cus of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two par­ties

Shigemitsu Miki, Vice Pres­i­dent of JAPIT, said, at the sem­i­nar, that be­fore the re­sump­tion of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Ja­pan and China, JAPIT had co­op­er­ated with CAPIT to pro­mote ex­changes be­tween the two coun­tries’ eco­nomic cir­cles, and that

JAPIT will con­tinue to work to ad­vance such co­op­er­a­tion.

“In re­cent years, Ja­pa­nese and Chi­nese com­pa­nies have con­tin­ued to co­op­er­ate in third coun­try mar­kets. In par­tic­u­lar, since China launched the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, many ac­tiv­i­ties or­ga­nized by the two coun­tries’ trade as­so­ci­a­tions have blos­somed.” Miki ex­plained that since 2006, JAPIT has pro­posed that China and Ja­pan should jointly pur­sue de­vel­op­ments in third coun­try mar­kets.

Es­pe­cially in re­cent years, some such ac­tiv­i­ties have been car­ried out un­der the lead­er­ship of JAPIT’S lo­gis­tics mem­ber com­pa­nies. Miki listed some ex­am­ples, in­clud­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion of com­pa­nies to in­ves­ti­gate the lo­gis­tics con­di­tions in China’s bor­der ar­eas, and dis­cussing the fea­si­bil­ity of con­duct­ing in­ter­na­tional cargo trans­porta­tion within China, which helped them to ac­cu­mu­late a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence.

Zhai Dong­sheng, Deputy Direc­tor of the West­ern Re­gion De­vel­op­ment De­part­ment of the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion of China, em­pha­sized that de­vel­op­ing third-party mar­kets to­gether will ben­e­fit both Chi­nese and Ja­pa­nese en­ter­prises.

“Many Ja­pa­nese com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing sole pro­pri­etor­ships and joint ven­tures in China, have co­op­er­ated with Chi­nese com­pa­nies for many years to col­lec­tively de­vel­oped third coun­try mar­kets. They have al­ready made re­mark­able achieve­ments which ben­e­fit both sides gr eat ly.”Zhai Dong­sheng gave sev­eral ex­am­ples: Mit­sui & Co., Ltd. and Tokyo Elec­tric Power Co., Ltd. are col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Power Con­struc­tion Cor­po­ra­tion of China to build com­bined- cy­cle coal-fired power plants in Oman and In­done­sia; Marubeni has co­op­er­ated with the Sinopec Group to build a mod­ern oil re­fin­ery in Kaza­khstan; and con­struc­tion ma­chin­ery pro­duced by KOMATSU and Hi­tachi Con­struc­tion Ma­chin­ery Co., Ltd. can be seen ev­ery­where on con­struc­tion sites in Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive coun­tries.

ZhangYi ex­plained that col­lec­tively build­ing up the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive is a way to seek com­ple­men­tary co­op­er­a­tion based on mu­tual ben­e­fits. It is aimed at pro­mot­ing the eff icient f low of eco­nomic fac­tors and deep­en­ing mar­ket in­te­gra­tion, so as to achieve balanced and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, and then ad­vance re­gional growth, pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity.

“At this new his­tor­i­cal start­ing point, the two sides must f irmly grasp the gen­eral di­rec­tion of peace and friend­ship, give play to their re­spec­tive com­par­a­tive ad­van­tages, and jointly par­tic­i­pate in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. We should also ex­plore co­op­er­a­tion in de­vel­op­ing third-party mar­kets, ex­pand­ing our co­op­er­a­tion, mu­tual ben­e­fits, and com­mon in­ter­ests,” added Zhang Yi.

The two coun­tries’ trade as­so­ci­a­tions join hands to pro­mote eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion

On the evening of the same day, a din­ner was held in Bei­jing to com­mem­o­rate the 40th an­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the Sino-ja­pa­nese Peace and Friend­ship Treaty and the 44th visit of the Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Trade Pro­mo­tion As­so­ci­a­tion.

In his speech, Yo­hei Kono re­viewed the his­tory of the Sino-ja­pa­nese Peace and Friend­ship Treaty and stressed that the great ef­forts made by the two coun­tries’ pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions of lead­ers to con­clude the treaty must not be for­got­ten. He said that in the past 40 years, co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries has not only pro­moted their re­spec­tive eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, but has also en­abled the two to form a very close eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship.

“The over­all peace and sta­bil­ity in Asia pro­vide an en­vi­ron­men­tal guar­an­tee for the de­vel­op­ment of the two coun­tries.” Yo­hei Kono hopes that the two sides con­tinue to learn from each other and work to­gether to push the theire­co­nomic re­la­tions to a new level,in or­der to make greater eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tions to Asia and the world.

Lu Pengqi, Vice Chair­man of CCPIT, first in­tro­duced the re­sults achieved by the del­e­ga­tion in the past few days. In par­tic­u­lar, he men­tioned their visit to Bei­jing Mo­bike Tech­nol­ogy Co., Ltd., which was met with great in­ter­est and al­lowed the del­e­gates to ex­pe­ri­ence the con­ve­nience of shar­ing bi­cy­cles.

When dis­cussing the sta­tus quo of China-ja­pan eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion, Lu pointed out that in 2017, trade be­tween the two coun­tries showed a marked gain in mo­men­tum, and that their bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume reached a fur­ther USD 300 bil­lion, with a year-on-year in­crease of 10%. Ja­pan’s in­vest­ment in China also took an up­ward swing.

“These achieve­ments are hard­won, so both par­ties should cher­ish it.” Lu stated that the CCPIT will con­tinue to work to­gether with JAPIT to build more ef­fec­tive plat­forms, and will pro­mote fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two sides’ en­ter­prises, so as to con­stantly write new chap­ters in the eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion in this new pe­riod.

In his speech, Yokoi Yu­taka ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the two trade pro­mo­tion coun­cils for their con­tri­bu­tions to the eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

“It is hoped that the del­e­ga­tion’s fruits can fur­ther im­prove Ja­pan-china re­la­tions. I also look for­ward to us­ing this visit as an op­por­tu­nity to move for­ward the two coun­tries’ eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship by strength­en­ing di­a­logues and ex­changes in var­i­ous fields, so as to build a win- win re­la­tion­ship

The CCPIT will con­tinue to work to­gether with the JAPIT to build more ef­fec­tive plat­forms, pro­mote more co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two sides’ en­ter­prises

in the new era.” Yokoi Yu­taka also stated that the Ja­pa­nese Em­bassy will make an ac­tive ef­fort to achieve high­level mu­tual vis­its be­tween the two coun­tries.

En­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, in­no­va­tion and ser­vice are key to co­op­er­a­tion

At present, both the Chi­nese and Ja­pa­nese gov­ern­ments are mak­ing ef­forts to im­prove the in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment. This will pro­vide a rare his­tor­i­cal op­por­tu­nity for the two coun­tries’ busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties to strengthen ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion. Zhang Yi said that the two sides should seize this chance to make the most of their re­spec­tive ad­van­tages, in­no­vate co­op­er­a­tion mod­els, en­rich co­op­er­a­tion con­tent, and fo­cus on ex­pand­ing mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, in­no­va­tion, and mod­ern ser­vice in­dus­tries.

Dur­ing the “Thir­teenth Five-year Plan” pe­riod, China will ac­cel­er­ate in­no­va­tion- driven de­vel­op­ment andim­ple­ment “Made in China 2025”. This will pro­mote the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try be­com­ing more based on au­to­ma­tion, in­tel­li­gence, and ser­vice, and will trans­form the in­dus­try from an ex­ten­sive model to an in­ten­sive one. China’s in­dus­tries will move to­ward the mid- to high- end level. The man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try wi l l ex­per ience up­grades and trans­for­ma­tions, and will have to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease its tech­no­log­i­cal l e v e l a nd en s u r e t h a t ene r g y con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion re­quire­ments are met.

“Chi­nese com­pa­nies are en­ter­ing a new pe­riod of up­grad­ing pro­duc­tion equip­ment and crafts.” Lv Ke­jian, Vice Pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Ja­pan Eco­nomic As­so­ci­a­tion, said that Ja­pan has ad­van­tages in pre­ci­sion ma­chine tools, in­stru­men­ta­tion, smart man­u­fac­tur­ing, clean­ing equip­ment, a nd b i o t e chno l o g y. Bu s i ne s s co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two par­ties will cre­ate enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties in these fields in terms of tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion ex­changes and train­ing of per­son­nel.

Lv be­lieves that the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween en­ter­prises in both coun­tries re­gard­ing en­erg y conser va­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, new en­ergy, and cir­cu­lar economies will be con­ducive to both sides open­ing up new mar­kets and achiev­ing bet­ter mu­tual ben­e­fits.

“In the fields of en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, green re­cy­cling economies and high tech­nol­ogy, Ja­pan is not only the world-leader in en­ergy con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion tech­nolo­gies, but also has ex­ten­sive pro­duc­tion and tech­ni­cal out­put ex­pe­ri­ence. For en­ter­prises in China and Ja­pan, lever­ag­ing their re­spec­tive ad­van­tages and achiev­ing or­ganic in­te­gra­tion of green tech­nolo­gies and mar­ket re­sources is the fun­da­men­tal di­rec­tion for broad­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion in this field,” said Lv.

The data show that in 2020, be­tween 400 and 500 mil­lion peo­ple are ex­pected to join the mid­dlein­come group. At the same time, China will also be­gin to tackle an aging so­ci­ety. The style of res­i­dents’ con­sump­tion is chang­ing from sur­vival­based con­sump­tion to an im­proved, in­di­vid­u­al­ized, and high-qual­ity style. Di­ver­si­fied ser­vice con­sump­tion, such as in fis­cal fi­nance, health, ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, cul­ture and en­ter­tain­ment, tourism, lo­gis­tics, and pen­sions, has be­come the new hot com­mod­ity. Lv be­lieves that both sides should seize this op­por­tu­nity to im­prove peo­ple’s liveli­hoods and use high-qual­ity con­sump­tion to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in the ser­vice trade.

“To­day, the aging of the pop­u­la­tion is a com­mon chal­lenge faced by China and Ja­pan.” Lv pointed out that China is in a pe­riod of rapid pop­u­la­tion aging, and that it is the only coun­try in the world whose aged pop­u­la­tion num­bers over 100 mil­lion. Hence, there is huge po­ten­tial for mar­ket de­mand and co­op­er­a­tion. In par­al­lel to this, Ja­pan leads the world in terms of el­derly care ser­vices, as well as in the field of health­care tech­nol­ogy and equip­ment. In this way, the two par­ties are wit­ness­ing thriv­ing co­op­er­a­tion in the pen­sions in­dus­try.

Lv sug­gested that the two coun­tries should strengthen their co­op­er­a­tion in the ser­vice trade, in­clud­ing in cloud com­put­ing, In­ter­net of Things, dig­i­tal de­sign, process con­trol, and mar­ket­ing. “This is how we can fur­ther en­rich Sino-ja­pa­nese eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion and en­hance the level of mu­tu­ally-ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion.”

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