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ERIA President Discusses Digital Economy and Collaboration with Philippines Secretary of Trade

12 October 2023

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Manila, 12 October 2023: A delegation from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), led by President Tetsuya Watanabe, paid a courtesy visit to Alfredo E. Pascual, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines. Secretary Pascual was accompanied by Dr Rafaelita Aldaba, Undersecretary for the Competitiveness and Innovation Group, and Atty Allan B. Gepty, the Assistant Secretary of the Industry Development and Trade Policy Group.

During the courtesy visit, Prof Watanabe reiterated ERIA’s interest in providing strong knowledge support for the negotiations of the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) through research, capacity building, and outreach, as well as other initiatives of the ASEAN Economic Ministers, such as on digital trade and supply chains. Prof Watanabe also stated that ERIA is also interested in collaborating with the DTI on some of its activities on digital economy and entrepreneurship through the ERIA Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (E-DISC).

Secretary Pascual expressed his appreciation for ERIA’s support and emphasised the importance of digitalisation, including issues related to cybersecurity, data sovereignty, and the free flow of data. He also extended an invitation to Prof Watanabe and ERIA to participate in the upcoming Philippine Startup Week in November 2023. This event provides an excellent opportunity for ERIA to share information about the activities of E-DISC and engage with Philippine startups during the week-long international conference, which aims to highlight and showcase the Philippine startup ecosystem.

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