ERIA Holds Ninth AAC Meeting in Jakarta

Updated:13 July 2017

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Studies conducted by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) to support ASEAN integration will become even more important in the coming years, as ASEAN plays an increasingly critical role in a changing world. This is one of the key messages coming from the Ninth ERIA Academic Advisory Council (AAC) meeting held in Jakarta on 10 July 2017.

Dr Hank Lim Giok-Hay, Chairperson of the AAC and the Senior Research Fellow of Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), welcomed AAC members and ERIA researchers to the meeting with short opening remarks.

Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA, delivered opening remarks which highlighted how ERIA has contributed to ASEAN integration though its activities during fiscal year 2016. He described the expansion of ERIA's research into health and agriculture, as well as the extension of ERIA's regional coverage into Europe with the Asia-Europe Connectivity Vision 2025: Challenges and Opportunities and into Africa with the Vision Document for the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor. Prof Nishimura also highlighted the growth of ERIA's media coverage with 'major newspapers of each ASEAN Member State publishing an article or opinion editorial of an ERIA researcher at least once a week.'

Prof Nishimura also provided an overview of current projects including ASEAN @ 50 anniversary activities which include a five volume commemorative publication that shares the perspectives of key people who have been involved in the making of ASEAN, a region-wide survey of ASEAN peoples, and the analytical insights, perspectives and reflections of eminent persons on the evolution and future of ASEAN.

ERIA Chief Operating Officer Izuru Kobayashi delivered a presentation on the direction of ERIA work plan for the 2017 fiscal year and beyond. He stated that ERIA has established the Policy Design Department headed by Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria (the former Secretary General of Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and the Department has been getting many requests from ERIA member countries. He echoed Prof Nishimura's statement that ERIA has been expanding its policy coverage in the hopes that the move would be beneficial for the region.

Afterwards, Chief Economist Prof Fukunari Kimura and Senior Energy Economist Dr Venkatachalam Anbumozhi presented the research projects that would be conducted in the coming year under ERIA's three pillars of research and energy-related research.

The AAC recognized the value and quality of ERIA research and highlighted the importance of its findings to be addressed to policy makers as the global landscape surrounding free trade and global integration is facing new challenges. The Council further discussed the recent updates on TPP 11, RCEP, the Belt and Road Initiatives, as well as ERIA's contributions to these processes. Council members also discussed the prospect of conducting research on emerging issues such as soft connectivity, e-commerce, renewable energy, and aging society.

In his closing remarks, Prof Nishimura thanked the AAC members for their insightful instructions and recommendations and emphasized that ERIA will continue to strengthen the bridge between academic research and policy making, as well as between researchers and policy makers of each East Asia Summit members. 'ERIA is a common asset for the region which will support the realization of a "global ASEAN", an ASEAN which plays a signification role in implementing regional economic integration and in setting a standard to other regions', he stated.

Dr Hank Lim closed the meeting by congratulating Professor Nishimura, the AAC Members, ERIA advisors, researchers, and staff for their great works and achievements. He emphasized that the AAC will continue to support ERIA in strengthening and expanding its network in order to ensure that the organization can continue to provide concrete contributions to the region.

The AAC is composed of internationally-renowned scholars and experts from members of the ERIA member states. The council, which meets annually, provides advice on ERIA's various research activities.

List of the Academic Advisory Council (AAC) Members

Click here for the list of Academic Advisory Council Members

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