5th ASEAN and Asia Forum
Date:6 August 2012
The 5th ASEAN & Asia Forum on "Connecting the Region: Overcoming Challenges, Seizing Opportunities" was held on August 2, 2012 in Singapore. It was hosted by Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) and ERIA was one of the partners for organizing this symposium.
Amid the continued uncertainty in Europe, attention is turning to Asian countries as engines of growth for the region and even the global economy. However, there are pressing questions that Asian countries need to answer as they pursue continued growth, both in their relations with each other and with countries beyond the region.The ten members of ASEAN have been putting greater focus on building connectivity as they move towards integration into an ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. From these viewpoints, the 5th ASEAN and Asia Forum brought together top officials, experts and business leaders to share insights and perspectives.
Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura, Executive Director of ERIA, attended as a respondent in panel 1 of ASEAN Connectivity. The session was chaired by Mr. Nicholas Fang, Director, SIIA, and Panelists are Mr. Jusuf Wanandi, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Mr. Pushpanathan Sundram, Managing Director, EAS Strategic Advice Pte Ltd.
ASEAN is aiming to build an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, establishing a common market and production base. In parallel with the AEC, ASEAN countries are also embarking on infrastructural connectivity projects such as the ASEAN Power Grid and the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline. This Panel took a closer look at the status of these initiatives and what still needs to be done. Prof. Nishimura stressed the importance of ASEAN Connectivity and explained on ASEAN's efforts towards ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.
ASEAN's role and progress on business issues and political controversies was discussed at the Forum. Participants identified opportunities and key responses for both policymakers and the private sector.