The ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement, enforced in December 2008, covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and economic cooperation.
Under the AJCEP Agreement, tariff elimination for ‘Normal Track’ products should be completed within 10 years from the entry into force of the Agreement for Japan, ASEAN-6 (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) and Viet Nam. Flexibility is afforded to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar with a longer timeframe of 13 years.
Trade facilitating rules of origin (ROO) have been established under the AJCEP Agreement, which provides flexibility for corss-border traders in choosing the rule to apply to avail of the preferential tariff treatment.
As part of the built-in agenda of the AJCEP Agreement, the Sub-Committees on Services and Investment were established to undertake the negotiations. A comprehensive Chapter on Trade in Services, which would improve the commitments and obligations on services trade is being negotiated. Likewise, a Chapter on Investment is negotiated to promote, protect, facilitate and liberalise investment in the region.
Both ASEAN and Japan have also initiated several economic cooperation projects including capacity building and technical assistance in areas of mutual interest. These include, among others, traderelated procedures, the business environment, intellectual property rights, energy, information and communications technology, human resources development, small and medium enterprises, tourism and hospitality, transportation and logistics, standards and conformance.