Realizing the ASEAN Connectivity and Beyond
Phnom Penh, September 7, 2012 --To realize the ASEAN connectivity, additional resource mobilization is required from the public and private sectors.
ASEAN ministers and regional experts agreed that the infrastructure development in ASEAN in the next decade would need further funding and closer cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners.
In his key-note speech, H.E. Mr. Hor Namhong stressed that priority projects must be implemented first to support the grouping's single market and production base. He also highlighted Cambodia's effort to improve its land transport system as part of its effort to implement the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity.
Regarding additional funding resources, the minister said more is needed beyond the current US$500 million from promised by ASEAN dialogue partners. He also called on the private sector to become full partners as funders.
The two-day symposium under the title:"Realizing ASEAN Connectivity for ASEAN Community Building" begins today. It was organized jointly by Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), The Royal Government of Cambodia (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia) and ASEAN Secretariat. More than 150 participants from ASEAN, dialogue partners, private sectors, business associations and others.
The ASEAN Connectivity Symposium is a flagship annual event on ASEAN Connectivity that brings together representatives from ASEAN Member States, ASEAN sectoral bodies and national agencies, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, multilateral development banks, international organizations, private sector, academia and media, to identify the gaps in the implementation of the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) and recommend actions that ASEAN could pursue to address them.
The symposium focuses on fostering regional partnership in connectivity for an equitable development and for future shared prosperity within ASEAN. In the context, ERIA has worked on exploring different avenues to contribute to implementing of the agreed activities as stipulated in the Master Plan since its establishment in October 2010. And now embarking on its implementation.
On this occasion, Prof. Nishimura Hidetoshi, ERIA executive director, reiterated that the connectivity is one effective way to accelerate industrialization, narrow development gaps and enhance the region's economic weight. He expressed the hope that the symposium's outcomes can be used as recommendations and inputs for Royal Government of Cambodia in implementing the MPAC and as inputs during the ASEAN chairmanship this year.