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Advancing Connectivity toward ASEANs Epicentrum of Growth

8 November 2023

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Jakarta, 8 November 2023: Indonesia hosted the 14th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium in Jakarta, under the theme Promoting Connectivity toward ASEAN as an Epicentrum of Growth, in collaboration with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the ASEAN Secretariat. This year’s symposium brought together over 165 participants from ASEAN and its partners, and a broad range of stakeholders.    

The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, Airlangga Hartarto opened the Symposium with a keynote address where he outlined the connectivity-related issues tackled under Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship this year including in the areas of electric vehicles, digitalisation, green energy development, local currency transactions, food supply chain resilience and sustainability, and realising the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. He particularly underscored the need to focus on digital transformation, implementing local currency transactions, and developing an electric vehicle ecosystem in ASEAN as important areas to focus on now as well as in the post-2025 connectivity agenda.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, Satvinder Singh, highlighted the importance of seizing the opportunity presented by ASEAN’s growing digital economy through the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement that is currently being developed.

He further emphasised the need to maintain and protect ASEAN’s supply chains against disruptions by expanding on and accelerating key initiatives, and shared recent developments in improving transport connectivity in the region. He added that ASEAN would need to equip itself with sufficient tools, resources and skills to adapt and thrive in capturing opportunities in the post-2025 future.     

President of ERIA, Professor Tetsuya Watanabe, also addressed the Symposium where he underscored that the post-2025 objective should be to position ASEAN as a central hub, not only for growth but also for innovation and opportunity and that the post-2025 vision must step in to consolidate and further enhance regional connectivity through sound strategies and measures that translate the vision into reality.

The symposium facilitated discussions among distinguished panellists representing governments, industry players, and think tanks. Panellists shared perspectives across three sessions with topics covering digital innovation, the post-2025 vision for ASEAN connectivity, and supply chain resilience.

The symposium ended with closing remarks delivered by Director-General for ASEAN Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Sidharto R. Suryodipuro,  where he highlighted ASEAN’s shared goal to bring its member states to upper-middle-income status by 2045 and he shared his optimism on ASEAN’s journey to becoming more interconnected under the MPAC 2025 framework and beyond, in collaboration with ASEAN’s neighbours in the Indo-Pacific.

The ASEAN Connectivity Symposium is an annual flagship event inaugurated in 2010, and it continues to serve as a platform to engage stakeholders to identify potential areas of cooperation to enhance the implementation of MPAC 2025 and the wider ASEAN Connectivity agenda.

The original post can be found on the ASEAN Secretariat's website: https://asean.org/advancing-connectivity-toward-aseans-epicentrum-of-growth/

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