Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) were the last four to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) between 1995 to 1999. By this time, it had been around 30 years since the regional grouping was established. Addressing the concern of a possible “two-tier ASEAN,” the ASEAN Leaders, adopted the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and the Ha Noi Declaration on Narrowing the Development Gap for Closer ASEAN Integration, in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

Japan has been a consistent supporter of ASEAN integration efforts since the adoption of the IAI Work Plan I in 2002. Mainly focusing on capacity building in CLMV countries, Japan supports initiatives, which help contribute to the vision of “assisting the CLMV countries to meet ASEAN-wide targets and commitments towards realising the goals of the ASEAN Community.”

Source: Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III

Areas of Support and Key Contributions

Since its establishment in March 2006, the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) has been the main tool for the Government of Japan to support ASEAN integration efforts. Among a number of JAIF projects contributing to the IAI Work Plan, a flagship project for the Government of Japan is the Attachment of Officers from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV) to the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) or simply the “Attachment Programme,” which has produced a number of senior officials who have become ambassador, deputy minister, and director-general. Aside from the Attachment Programme, with the adoption of the current IAI Work Plan III in 2016, JAIF has been supporting the identified strategic areas on Food and Agriculture and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

The following are the key contributions of completed/implemented projects to-date.

Areas of Support for IAI Work Plans II and III [1] APSC AEC ASCC
Food & Agriculture Investment & Finance MSME Trade Facilitation
Assessment and development of best practices to improve coordination and organization of water-user groups in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam
58 graduates from 15 batches[2] of the Attachment Programme for Junior Diplomats or ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Involvement as of 31 December 2018
15 graduates from 4 batches of the Attachment Programme for ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Involvement as of 31 December 2018
15 graduates from 4 batches of the Attachment Programme for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Involvement as of 31 December 2018
Training on business registration, FDI data compilation, and database among 31 representatives from CLMV
Training on SME development among 25 representatives from CLMV
Training on project management among 24 engineers from CLMV
Conduct of 4 outbound missions in CLMV and participated by at least 340 participants from CLMV and Japan governments and the private sector
Training on quality assurance among 15 academic staff from CLMV
A series of training on disability and development to at least 240 CLMV government officials
Survey for the CLMV Countries' Tourism Promotion
Study on the Impact of Accelerating the AEC from 2020 to 2015 on CLMV
1The areas of support indicated in the table only cover those supported by JAIF. For more details on the specific sectors, please refer to the IAI Work Plan II (2009-2015) and IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020).
2Batches 1-8 were supported by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN General Exchange Fund (JAGEF).
List of JAIF IAI-Accredited Projects
As of 31 August 2019