ASEAN and Japan first began informal dialogue relations in 1973, formalized later in March 1977 with the convening of the ASEAN-Japan Forum. Since then, considerable progress has been made in all areas of economic cooperation. The MEJEPA is a comprehensive agreement that also includes the liberalisation of trade in services. Japan will treat Malaysia the same as other partners in the free trade agreement. Areas of interest to Malaysia include business and professional services, education services, communication services, tourism and travel services, health and social services. As part of the goods trade, Malaysia has so far eliminated tariffs on 93.57% of normal-going goods. With regard to the products on the highly sensitive list, the sensitive list and the exclusion list, the modality varies and tariff reductions have been negotiated bilaterally between the ASEAN Member States and Japan, taking into account the sensitivities of the parties. Two-way trade between ASEAN and Japan reached $239 billion in 2015, or 10.5% of ASEAN`s total trade. Meanwhile, Japan`s foreign direct investment (FDI) to ASEAN amounted to $17.4 billion, or 14.5% of ASEAN`s total FDI flows. Japan is ASEAN`s second largest trading partner and the source of direct investment for ASEAN. For Malaysia, AJCEP offers additional benefits in terms of the immediate and accelerated removal of tariffs on products compared to the gradual liberalization under the bilateral agreement with Japan, i.e.
the Malaysia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (JEPA). Some of the products that were not proposed by Japan under the MJEPA and were liberalized under the AJCEP agreement. Japan`s strong commitment to supporting the development of the ASEAN community is reflected in its initiatives and support for many concrete and mutually beneficial activities. Strong ASEAN economic growth has also contributed to the strengthening of relations with Japan. The framework for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP) between ASEAN and Japan was signed by the heads of state and government of ASEAN and Japan on 8 October 2003 at the ASEAN-Japan Summit in Bali. As part of the framework agreement, all parties committed to establishing a CEP between ASEAN and Japan to strengthen economic ties, create a larger and more efficient market, with increased opportunities and economies of scale, and increase the attractiveness of capital and talent for mutual benefit. The ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) is a comprehensive agreement comprising trade in goods and trade in services, investment trade, rules of origin (ROO), the health and plant health system (SPS), technical trade barriers (OTC), the dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) and economic cooperation. . For preferred quality and origin certificates, please contact: . Although AJCEP is based on Japan`s respective bilateral economic partnership agreements with some ASEAN countries, including Malaysia, these EPAs add considerable value under AJCEP.
Following the signing of the framework agreement, negotiations on the ASEAN-Japan Agreement (AJCEP) began in April 2005 and largely ended after 11 rounds of negotiations in November 2007. . For more information, click here. Under the MJEPA, Malaysia and Japan will gradually reduce or eliminate tariffs on their respective industrial and agricultural products.