ERIA Elects New Chair of the Governing Board
Jakarta, 6 February 2024: At the 3rd ERIA Extraordinary Governing Board Meeting on 6 February, Ramon M Lopez, former Philippines Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, was elected as its new chair.
In his acceptance speech, Lopez said it was an honour for him to assume the position and pledged to expand the scope of activities and engagement between ERIA and other stakeholders, especially the private sector.
Lopez served a full term as the DTI secretary. During his tenure, he represented his country’s negotiating team in the finalising and signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). He was also a prominent executive in the Philippines.
As the new chair, Lopez guided the meeting through exchanges of views about the new direction of ERIA among the members of the Governing Board. They expressed appreciation for ERIA’s ongoing efforts to advance the region’s economic growth and sustainable development, as well as its contribution to the global agenda.
The new chair also reiterated that ERIA continues to play an important role in advancing ASEAN cooperation with dialogue partners and highlighted the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan diplomatic relations last year.
Various board members also shared their views on possible new directions and issues that ERIA might face, noting the importance of wide dissemination and full utilisation of ERIA’s research output. Furthermore, they emphasised the relevance of on-demand research topics related to the region.
With these objectives in mind, ERIA is working hard to bridge the gap between ASEAN Member States so that no one will be left behind. Last year ERIA set up the Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (E-DISC), committed to building a strong and responsible digital transformation in ASEAN and East Asia.
E-DISC will facilitate collaboration, knowledge sharing, and transformative initiatives aimed at harnessing the power of digital technologies for sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental stewardship.
Looking forward, new trajectories were proposed by the members of the governing board. They suggested more interlinkages between economics and geopolitics in future studies and research. In addition, ERIA can assist countries in focusing on digital transformation and sustainable development, as well as helping them better understand and interpret today’s pressing challenges, ranging from climate change to supply chains.