Minister Altmaie with Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

Minister Altmaie with Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

© BMWi/Susanne Eriksson

Minister Altmaier set off yesterday for Japan and Indonesia, accompanied by members of the Bundestag and a high-level business delegation. His schedule includes opening the Asia-Pacific Conference of German Industry in Jakarta as co-chair.

Before that, the focus of his talks in Japan, which include meetings with Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Masatoshi Ishida, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, will be on bilateral economic relations, global trade issues, ongoing digitisation of the economy, and demographic challenges to society and industry.

Further to this, a high-level business roundtable will be held with companies from both countries. It will join with Minister Altmaier to discuss the intensification of possibilities for cooperation in the field of cutting-edge technology.

In order to underscore this commitment, Ministers Altmaier, Seko and Ishida will sign a declaration of political intent in Tokyo to intensify the partnership and cooperation on key economic issues.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: “The German and Japanese economies face similar challenges. Demographic change and digitisation will result in a fundamental transformation of the world of business and work. At the same time, we need to make our economies fit for the technological challenges of the future, and to do this in an increasingly tough environment. I can therefore see good opportunities for a joint approach by Japan and Germany in many areas. I therefore believe it is vital to intensify the cooperation and partnership between Japan and Germany and to extend it to key industries of the future. At the same time, Japan is a strategic partner with shared values in eastern Asia, and is also a great advocate of free trade and the multilateral trading system. That is particularly important at this time in view of rising protectionism and state capitalism around the world. For this reason, the EU-Japan free trade agreement sends out an outstanding global signal for free and fair trade. We must now aim to have the agreement enter quickly into force. The agreement will give an important boost to the ongoing expansion of economic relations between the EU and Japan and between our two countries.”

Minister Seko welcomes the visit of Minister Altmaier and the ongoing bilateral cooperation, which is leading to many positive results in various areas, including digitisation. He hopes that Minister Altmaier’s visit will mark a key milestone in the further strengthening of the bilateral economic cooperation

Following the visit to Tokyo, Minister Altmaier will travel on to Jakarta, where he will hold bilateral talks with the Indonesian government and co-chair the 16th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Industry with around a thousand high-level participants from Germany and the Asia-Pacific.