ANZCCJ in conjunction with the Japan Australia Business Cooperation Committee and the Australian Embassy welcomed Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo for a lunch and key note address to discuss trade and business opportunities between Australia and Japan on 2 July.
The Minister commented on how Japan had emerged as a frontline advocate for trade liberalisation and Japan and Australia had together led the successful conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, against all odds. The Minister also highlighted Japan as one of Australia’s most valued economic and security partners. Looking to the future, the Minister mentioned the ways in which Australia and Japan could cooperate in third countries mainly through developmental assistance and infrastructure projects. He also noted the non-traditional investment opportunities for Japanese investors such as health insurance, renewable energy, medical technology and retail.
Of particular note was that this was Minister Ciobo`s second year in a row to visit Japan on official duties and his second time to hold a luncheon with the Chamber. ANZCCJ Chair, Andrew Gauci also commented on how youthful Minister Ciobo`s delegation was which would be key for the future of Japan and Australia`s future commercial links. ANZCCJ`s own youth was well represented at the event which included JABCC-AJBCC Future Leader`s Co-Chairs, Kohei Tamura (Rio Tinto and Kanna Mihara (Macquarie) and ANZCCJ`s very own Youth Empowerment Co-Chair Eve Bentley. Ongoing participation and involvement in the new and emerging business leaders would be important for helping drive forward the commercial relationships between Australia and Japan.
The Minister was in Japan for 6 days and included a meeting with his counterparts from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the first meeting of the Ministerial Economic Dialogue with his counterpart Minister Seko. Minister’s Seko and Ciobo, discussed how Australia and Japan can strengthen Australia and Japan’s economic partnership including through influencing the Asia Pacific’s regional trade architecture, infrastructure within and between countries, and the digital economy.
Japan-Australia Business Cooperation Committee Chairman, Dr Akio Mimura also spoke about the warmth of Australian-Japanese trade relations, commenting that he saw room for the commercial links to grow. He also said there was a real need for absolute solidarity between these two countries as we were facing a time of uncertainty in the trade world and a `China First` and `US First` approach from the world`s two largest economies. The Australian Ambassador to Japan, HE Richard Court commented on the strength of the economic relationship between Australia and Japan and the importance of their commitment to work together towards economic transparency and the promotion of a rules-based order in the Asia Pacific.