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ASEAN Vision 2040 Launched in Jakarta

30 August 2019

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Jakarta, 30 August 2019: ASEAN Vision 2040, ERIA’s project with the Government of Thailand, the ASEAN Chair in 2019, was launched in Jakarta on 30 August 2019 with the theme ‘Integration, Transformation and ASEAN Centrality’. 

The four-volume compilation consists of thoughtfully written chapters by 60 ASEAN experts.  Each chapter is a fascinating exploration of crucial issues confronting the region now and in the near future.  The product is the result of all these people working since 2018 to produce a cohesive vision made up of disparate parts. 

Prof Nishimura, President of ERIA, opened the event by recognising the leadership of the late Dr Ponciano Sabado Intal Jr, ERIA Senior Economist and Senior Policy Fellow. This was followed by a moment of silence for private reflection on Dr Intal. 

Prof Nishimura then introduced the project: ‘ASEAN Vision 2040 is a vision of an ASEAN that steps boldly forward towards the year 2040 to transform the ASEAN Community and secure its position in the region and globally. The original ASEAN Vision 2020 was launched during the Asia Financial Crisis in 1997 to express the Leaders’ determination to move boldly forward to deepen economic integration and strengthen community building. Now we are approaching the year 2020, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and ERIA have jointly worked to develop the Vision for the next two decades to address the great uncertainty in the regional and global geo-political, geo-economic and technological landscapes in the coming 20 years.’

Ms Lydia Ruddy, ERIA Director of Communications, spoke next. ‘This important body of work lays out key priorities and strategies for consideration by ASEAN Leaders, policy-makers, academics, civil society and the private sector,’ she said. 

The panel discussion was opened by Prof Fukunari Kimura, ERIA’s Chief Economist and professor at Keio University, on the topic of ‘How to Take Advantage of New Technologies for the Development of ASEAN’. Using the international division of labor and international trade and the concept of the ‘third unbundling’ as an analytic framework, Prof Kimura looked at how to capture value added with dynamic impact on global value chains, noting that there is still ample room for further widening production networks in the manufacturing sector in ASEAN.  He also noted that the outsourcing of cross-border services may become an increasingly large channel in the international division of labor. 

Prof Mari Pangestu, Professor, University of Indonesia and ERIA Governing Board Member, spoke next on ‘Trade and Development Amidst Disruptions:  Implications for ASEAN.’  Focusing on the ‘New Normal,’ Prof Pangestu discussed trade tensions; geopolitical hotspots; technological disruptions and competition; and sustainable development and climate change.  She proposed a three-pronged solution that involves:

  • Unilateral reforms predicated on regional and multilateral commitments
  • Strengthening and building on Regional Economic Integration: ASEAN Centrality and its role in other fora APEC)
  • ASEAN centrality in upholding the Multilateral Trading System under the WTO: maintain the current rules-based regime and proactive in renewing the WTO rule book.

Next, Prof Peter Drysdale, Emeritus Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and Member of ERIA’s Academic Advisory Council, who underlined the importance of ASEAN in the current global situation.

‘ASEAN is in the front row of taking up this challenge now, because ASEAN is the fulcrum of the Asian economies’ economic policy strategy towards the world. And in many ways, because of its nature, as Mari has described so carefully, it alone can make the difference in taking up this challenge,’ said Prof Drysdale.

‘Of course, it falls to all of us in this room, official and non-official, particularly for ERIA and the way in which it relates its partnerships with policymakers and institutions around the region, to fulfilling the task of making ASEAN Vision not just a vision but a reality. This will be, if we succeed in it, a living testament to Pons Intal and all who put their effort behind this report, and did so much to get us so far but now can inspire us to take the task forward to its conclusion,’ said Prof Drysdale as he concluded his remarks.

Dr Kasan Muhri, Head of Trade Analysis and Development Agency, Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia spoke next on a range of subjects related to development in the region, particularly in Indonesia, such as the need for skilled labour and the trade balance of ASEAN countries.

The final panelist was Dr Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, Senior Energy Economist at ERIA.  Presenting on ‘Expanding the Opportunities through Industry 4.0 for Integration, Transformation and Sustainability’ Dr Anbumozhi explored how new technologies can promote inclusive and sustainable growth.  Success will require involvement by people, governments, and businesses, as well as strong policy support.

The diversity of the panelists’ presentations reflects the even greater diversity contained in the four volumes of ASEAN Vision 2040.  Please download the volumes for free here.

Mr Koji Hachiyama, Chief Operating Officer, ERIA, closed the event by thanking the participants and inviting them to attend a Tribute event for Dr Intal which followed immediately afterwards.

Download ASEAN Vision 2040

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