China and Japan Further Exploring Cooperation
— As the Sino-japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty Welcomes Its 40th Anniversary
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.”