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ASEAN and Italy – Many Opportunities for Economic Relations


ASEAN and Italy – Many Opportunities for Economic Relations

2 July 2020, Rome/Kuala Lumpur: ERIA, represented by Prof Akiko Yamanaka, Special Advisor to the President of ERIA was invited to speak at the 4th High Level Dialogue on ASEAN Italy Economic Relations, organised by the European House – Ambrosetti, a leading Italian think tank and the Associazione Italia ASEAN. Dr Giulia Ajmone Marsan, Director Strategy and Partnership of ERIA was an invited participant in the event.

The online event was chaired by Mr Valerio De Molli, Managing Partner and CEO of The European House – Ambrosetti, who gave welcoming remarks together with Ambassador of Italy to Malaysia, Cristiano Maggipinto and Ambassador of Malaysia to Italy Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino. Enrico Letta, former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the Associazione Italia-ASEAN welcomed all participants and opened the event. President Letta’s remarks were followed by the opening speeches of Secretary-General of ASEAN, Lim Jock Hoi, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, Manlio Di Stefano and Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi highlighted the importance of strengthening Italy-ASEAN relations and collaborations in the coming years in a number of areas including trade and investments, cultural heritage, technology and innovation, smart cities and sustainable development. He reminded participants how ASEAN, during the on-going crisis, remains strongly committed to multi-lateral approaches and international collaborations as fundamental aspects of the post-pandemic recovery in ASEAN.

Prof Akiko Yamanaka spoke during the panel discussion on the Role of the ASEAN Region in the Post-Pandemic Macroeconomic Scenario, along with Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General for Southeast Asia, Asia Development Bank and Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, Chairman, ASEAN Business Advisory Council Malaysia. Prof Yamanaka spoke of the consequences of the pandemic globally and on ASEAN and East Asia. She highlighted the need for AMS and dialogue partners to strengthen economic integration by (i) sustaining their seamless connectivity, (ii) further opening up the trade and investment regime, (iii) addressing energy and climate change issues, and (iv) using more Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) technology. In particular, the transition to digital technologies has rapidly accelerated in ASEAN as a result of the on-going pandemic. Prof Yamanaka also highlighted the importance of a well-functioning multilateral trading systems to facilitate a rapid global recovery that limits protectionism and moves towards an age of balance in the global economic system.

Additional speakers included Azman Mahmud, CEO of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority; Kasemsit Pathomsak, Deputy Secretary-General, Thai Chamber of Commerce; Bui Nhat Quang, President of the VietNam Academy of Social Science, Douglas Foo, President of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Vice Chairwoman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – KADIN Indonesia, Soh Thian Lai, President of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, Barbara Beltrame, Vice President of Internationalisation, Confindustria.

Photo: Malaysian Investment Development Authority

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02 July 2020



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