Report on ASEAN-Japan Business Week held from 24 – 28 May 2021

On 24 to 28 May 2021, the ASEAN-Japan Business Week held a series of virtual webinars. Hosted by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan Business Federation (JBF, Keidanren), Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC), ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), ASEAN-JAPAN Business Council (AJBC), Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) Secretariat, the ASEAN-Japan Business Week also showcased various supporting business organisations from ASEAN nations.  

Southeast Asia has always been at the heart of international business for many Japanese companies, and it has become even more important for the latter to respond flexibly and rapidly to the massive transformation such as “digitalization” and “green growth” in the region.

ASEAN-Japan Business Week was designed to give participants an opportunity to get a better understanding of the latest trends around ASEAN businesses and its future potential that spans across various sectors. The keywords of this event are “Innovation” and “Sustainability”, which are in alignment with “Dialogue for Innovative and Sustainable Growth (DISG)”, launched last year with endorsement by Economic Ministers from ASEAN and Japan.

During the Business Week, executives of leading companies had talked about their vision and initiatives with concrete examples, and a wide range of experts from various fields had discussed on how to accelerate and expand their initiatives.


The outline of the 5-day programme (in Jakarta Time (UTC+7) were as follows.

For more details on the programme and the participating speakers, please click on the following link:

Day 1: May 24, 2021 (Monday)

Time: 13:00 pm – 14:00 pm ~ Establishing New Partnership between Japan and Southeast Asia

Time 14:00 pm – 16:00 pm ~ Transforming Southeast Asia, Transforming Japanese Business

Day 2: May 25, 2021 (Tuesday)

Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am ~ SDGs and Business Contribution in Southeast Asia

Time: 12:00 pm – 14:00 pm ~ Growing Opportunity for SMEs in ASEAN region

Day 3: May 26, 2021 (Wednesday)

Time: 11:00 am – 15:00 am ~ Promoting Green Business for Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia

Day 4: May 27, 2021 (Thursday)

Time: 10:15 am – 11:45 am ~ International Politics and Economics Surrounding Southeast Asia: Perspectives on its relationship with the US and China

Time: 12:30 pm – 14:00 pm ~ From SEA: Business Opportunities and Challenges in ASEAN region in post-Covid-19

Day 5: May 28, 2021 (Friday)

Time: 11:00 am – 13:00 pm ~ Southeast Asia Start-ups in the three hottest fields – DX Platform Program

Time: 13:30 pm – 14:45pm ~ New Business Opportunities in BCG (Bio-Circular-Green) Sector in Thailand

Day 1 (24th May) highlighted the importance of “Innovation” and “Sustainability” for future win-win relationship between ASEAN and Japan. This was echoed in the speeches of the main speakers and also key figures from Japanese and businesses that expressed their expectations and hope such as increased sustainable investments and heightened digitalisation based on the theme of “Transforming Southeast Asia, Transforming Japanese Business”.

Day 2 (25th May) saw two sessions focused on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Co-organised by ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and RIETI, the first session entitled “SDGs and Business Contribution in Southeast Asia” was joined by experts from ISEAS and Japanese companies and gave their insightful thoughts. The second session led by JCCI included several speakers from Japanese MSMEs that shared their knowledge about business in SEA and gave suggestions for other Japanese MSMEs to find new business opportunities in the region.

On Day 3 (26th May), the session entitled “Promoting Green Business for Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia” had discussed the importance of Asia Transition Finance, new prospects and commitment to achieve carbon neutrality for the manufacturing industry as well as ASEAN-Japan cooperation in sustainable growth and green business. This was followed by two panel discussions whose themes were “The importance on Asia Transition Finance” and “Exploring New Business Opportunity in Southeast Asia and the Commitment to Achieve Carbon Neutrality for the Manufacturing Industry”.

Day 4 (27th May) saw discussions on international politics and economics surrounding Southeast Asia, especially from the perspectives on its relationship with the US and China. JETRO had organised another session where presidents of JETRO branches in the ASEAN region presented the latest business information of each country which was elaborated under the theme of “New Trends of Innovation and Sustainability in the Post-COVID-19 Era & Direction toward ASEAN-Japan further Collaboration”.

On Day 5 (28th May), JETRO had organized two special sessions. For the first one, ASEAN start-ups from various fields had delivered pitch presentations to introduce their innovations and ideas while aiming further collaboration with Japanese companies. In succession, at the end of ASEAN-Japan business week, a session entitled “New Business Opportunities in BCG (Bio-Circular-Green) Sector in Thailand” was held. The “BCG Economy” was introduced as Thailand’s new national policy followed by a panel discussion on how to expand BCG business in Thailand for Japanese businesses.

Archived video recordings of the various presentations can be found on the AMEICC website via the following link:

Gallery of photos of the ASEAN-JAPAN Business Week as snapped by the MAJECA Secretariat:

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