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ERIA Presents Key Insights to 10th ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

25 August 2023

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Jakarta, 25 August 2023: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) briefed the 10th ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (AFMGM) 2023 in Jakarta, on the regional economic outlook and its challenges, together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO).

ERIA President Professor Tetsuya Watanabe presented ERIA’s analysis Strengthening Supply Chain Resilience to Address Economic Fragmentation: An ASEAN Perspective, to shed light on the crucial issue of supply chain resilience within ASEAN and offer practical suggestions.

Prof Watanabe said geopolitical risk and rising geo-economic fragmentation provide an opportunity for ASEAN countries to re-think their global value chain (GVC) strategies by accelerating existing digitalization, as digitalized supply chains are easier to monitor and  increase the ability to respond to future shocks.

Drawing attention to ASEAN’s digitalisation initiatives such as the ASEAN Single Window and the Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA), Prof Watanabe emphasised their importance and urged continued support.

He also said there is no return to 'business as usual’ practices, so ASEAN must step up efforts to not only build stronger and smarter supply networks, but also balance resilience, sustainability, and efficiency in production.

Prof Watanabe concluded by recommending steps to ensure ASEAN’s economic resilience, including enhancing trade facilitation, cultivating an investment-friendly environment, promoting regulatory openness, and strengthening financial systems.

The reception to ERIA's presentation was warm, with several ASEAN finance ministers and central bank governors expressing agreement. Brunei Darussalam's Minister of Finance Amin Liew bin Abdullah supported the notion of accelerating free trade agreements through measures such as standards harmonization, non-tariff measures, and to fully implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The session's chair, Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo, concluded by saying the region should look beyond short-term goals and start thinking about the long-term goal of economic development.

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