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ERIA Talks Economic Transition Through Digitalisation at ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting

16 July 2023

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Surabaya, 16 July 2023: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) was invited to participate in the 3rd ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting for the 54th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Economic Ministers (SEOM) and related meetings.

This included the 7th Meeting of Economic Officials; the 27th ASEAN Trade Facilitation Joint Consultative Meeting (ATF-JCC), the 25th  Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Singapore SEOM (CLMV-SEOM); the SEOM; and the SEOM – Dialogue Partners’ Consultations, in Surabaya, Indonesia, chaired by Dina Kurniasari, Director of ASEAN Negotiation, Indonesia's Ministry of Trade.

Koji Hachiyama, ERIA’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), presented Driving Circular Economy Transition Through Digitalisation: A Strategy for Collective Action in East Asia Summit (EAS) Countries during the 12th  SEOM-EAS Consultations. ERIA had earlier submitted the related discussion paper to SEOM leaders, which constitutes part of ERIA’s on-going research to support efforts to strengthen regional economic integration and achieve sustainable development, while also leveraging the circular economy and digital innovation to maximise growth in ASEAN and East Asia.

In his presentation, Hachiyama highlighted the imperatives of the circular economy and how digitalisation could accelerate and facilitate the circular transition in the ASEAN and East Asia region. He also proposed four strategies for collective action in the region to contribute to ensuring circular transition and digitalisation work.

He also said that harnessing the potential of big data is a powerful mechanism for identifying and addressing key challenges within the framework of the circular economy. This includes mapping the dynamics of raw materials' utilisation and the effective transformation of waste into valuable resources. Such an approach not only exemplifies the tremendous potential of the circular economy, but also underscores the significance of digital innovation in unlocking the vast economic prospects in the region. Through these synergies, ASEAN and East Asian countries can strive toward the twin objectives of fostering economic growth and environmental preservation.

Hachiyama also took the opportunity to introduce ERIA’s newly appointed President, Professor Tetsuya Watanabe, who succeeded Professor Hidetoshi Nishimura on 1 July 2023 after the approval of ERIA’s Governing Board. The launch of ERIA’s Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre was also announced during the presentation to SEOM leaders.

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