ERIA Holds 13th Governing Board Meeting
Jakarta, 16 October 2020: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) hosted the 13th Governing Board Meeting virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was led by Atty Adrian Cristobal Jr, Chairman of the Governing Board. During the Meeting, the Governors discussed how ERIA can play an active role in responding to the pandemic and the related crises as well as covering general Board matters.
Mr Cristobal opened the meeting and introduced Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, the President of ERIA, and the Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, the Secretary General of ASEAN, who both gave opening remarks.
In his Opening Remarks, Prof Nishimura stated that ERIA would make the utmost effort to promote regional economic integration and sustainable economic development in the East Asia region, particularly by conducting multi-faceted research on economy, energy, environment, healthcare, and agriculture issues that he was very honoured to discuss the aftermath of COVID-19 and its impact on this region with Governing Board Members.
During his Welcoming Remarks, Dato Lim conveyed his appreciation to ERIA for being active despite the ongoing pandemic. Under these difficult circumstances, collective actions and solidarity are most crucial to address and to recover from this global crisis. In that light, ASEAN has been busy in galvanizing regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ASEAN is also working in conjunction with like-minded partners, including ERIA, on several initiatives to deal with the ongoing crisis.
Mr Koji Hachiyama, ERIA COO, delivered remarks emphasizing ERIA’s role in providing support for the governments in the region with evidence-based research and policy recommendation which can help them identify steps towards recovery and resilience. Mr Hachiyama then expressed his gratitude for the continuous engagement and support of the GB members to ERIA’s activities.
ERIA’s research and policy proposals regarding COVID-19 were presented during an Exchange of Opinions titled ‘Aftermath of COVID-19, its impact on the global economy and the region’ lead by Prof Fukunari Kimura, ERIA’s Chief Economist and Prof Jun Arima, Senior Policy Fellow on Energy and Environment (ERIA). Each Governing Board Member shared their response to the presentations.
Prof Kimura highlighted a series of policy briefs published by ERIA in 2020 (which can be found here). ERIA published eight policy briefs that covered various topics, including economic integration, energy, exit strategies, fiscal sustainability, waste management, innovation, digital connectivity, and international regulatory cooperation. He then presented two on-going projects (1) ERIA Research on ‘COVID-19 and Regional Economic Integration’ and (2) a regional survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the businesses and supply chains.
Prof Arima explained that COVID-19 has pushed the global economy into the worst recession since the Second World War which is, in turn, dampening energy demand and energy-related emissions. These circumstances have created both challenges and opportunities, particularly in the area of energy transition. There are multiple pathways for energy transition that are unique for each country and each region. As a think tank, ERIA will continuously deliver pragmatic energy policy messages which reflect the energy reality.
Each Governing Board Member then delivered their response to these comments which are captured in the Governing Board Statement.
In his Closing Remarks, Prof Nishimura thanked all Governing Board Members for actively discussing the future direction of ERIA, and for approving the ERIA's work plan and budget for the FY 2020. ERIA will keep in mind the valuable guidance in shaping its future activities and in contributing to the development of this region. ERIA is committed to strengthening the bridge between academic research and policymaking, and between researchers and the actual policymakers in EAS countries
The 13th Governing Board Meeting was the first Meeting for some of the new Governors: China - Prof Ye Hailin, Vice Dean of National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; India - Mr Rohan Shah, Practising Counsel in Supreme Court and Bombay High Court; Japan - Mr Sadayuki Sakakibara, Executive Advisor to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; Former Chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation); New Zealand - Dr Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the Victoria Business School, Former Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; Thailand - Dr Sansern Samalapa, Vice Minister for Commerce of Thailand; and Viet Nam - Dr Tran Thi Hong Minh, President, Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).
The Governing Board is the decision-making body of ERIA and consists of the Secretary General of ASEAN and representatives from each of the 16 member countries.