ERIA Holds the 15th ERIA Governing Board Meeting
Jakarta, 2 June 2022: The 15th ERIA Governing Board meeting was held on 2 June 2022. Due to the remaining difficulties caused by travel restrictions, the meeting was held virtually for the third time.
The Governing Board is the decision-making body of ERIA consisting of the Secretary-General of ASEAN and representatives from each of ERIA’s 16 member countries. The Board is responsible for overseeing the management of ERIA and approving its operations. It was the first meeting for two new Governors: Brunei Darussalam – Ms Hajah Latifah Haji Mahmud, Acting Director-General of Department of Economic Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Finance and Economy of Brunei Darussalam; and Indonesia – Dr Teguh Dartanto, Dean of Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Indonesia.
In his Opening Remarks, Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA, brought attention to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has caused a surge in resource and energy prices resulting in the rise of global commodity prices. To address these challenges ASEAN needs to develop a comprehensive vision. ERIA has been developing the Comprehensive Asia Development Plan, CADP 3.0, as a key deliverable for the ASEAN and East Asia Summit this year. It will have significant policy implications for the further development of ASEAN and East Asia. Prof Nishimura also noted that ERIA is supporting the Cambodian ASEAN Chairmanship and Indonesia’s G20 Presidency this year.
During his Welcoming Remarks, H E Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN, highlighted the issue that despite entering the endemic stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of the implementation of RCEP, optimism in the region has been dampened by the current pressing challenges such as inflationary pressure and food and energy insecurity, compounded by a climate crisis and a changing geostrategic political landscape. Therefore, it is important that ASEAN, supported by its partners including ERIA, lead efforts in responding to the challenges.
Mr Koji Hachiyama, ERIA’s Chief Operating Officer, reported ERIA’s activities followed by a presentation of the FY2021 Financial Statement and FY2022 Budget Proposal. These reports were unanimously approved by all the Governing Board members. This was followed by the presentations by Prof Fukunari Kimura, Chief Economist of ERIA and Prof Jun Arima, ERIA’s Senior Policy Fellow for Energy and Environment providing further background, context, and insights on ERIA’s research activities including the energy field.
Prof Kimura highlighted three key points: (1) the rules-based trading regime will be challenged; (2) technologies will expand the scope of globalization at the same time; and (3) ASEAN and East Asia should still believe in globalization for rapid, innovative, inclusive, and sustainable economic development. Prof Arima added that the ASEAN countries are making vigorous efforts for an energy transition toward carbon neutrality and need to explore a variety of options and utilize all fuels and all technologies in pursuing their respective carbon neutrality goals.
Each Governing Board Member presented their views on the impacts of recent global developments on the ASEAN/East Asia region. H.E. Mr Ros Seilava, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Cambodia and Member of the Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC) specifically thanked ERIA for supporting Cambodia’s ASEAN chairmanship, as well as expanding the scope of research and technical assistance that contributed to the formulation and implementation of ASEAN economic priority. His Excellency added that accelerating regional economic integration is one of the top priorities in supporting recovery and sustainable economic development and encouraged ERIA to continue providing support in terms of policy options and capacity building, focusing on effectively implementing the commitments in the free trade agreements, particularly RCEP.
Dr Teguh Dartanto, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Indonesia, appreciated ERIA for supporting Indonesia in the G20 Presidency and expected that ERIA would continue to support Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023. The three key strategic issues of the ASEAN chairmanship are economic recovery, digital economy, and sustainability, which are in line with ERIA’s work. Dr Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the Victoria Business School, also congratulated ERIA for the excellent work programs that it was able to sustain during the very turbulent year, particularly noting the excellent use of the webinars and social media which really move the results of the research to a wide community.
Dr Cielito F Habito, the Chairperson of the Governing Board who moderated this meeting, in his Closing Remarks mentioned that not even a world-paralyzing pandemic can stop ERIA from providing essential knowledge to our region and to our individual governments and national stakeholders, as we all work together for Asia and the Pacific.