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Highlights of ERIA's Participation in the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting

27 August 2015

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The 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting and related meetings were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from August 22 to 25, 2015. Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA, economists, and senior staff members of ERIA, took part in the four-day event. Prof. Nishimura also attended the 21st AEM-METI meeting on 23 August.

Below are the highlights of ERIA's participation in the 47th AEM Meeting:

The 7th Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting

Prof Nishimura presented ERIA's research activities related to the Mekong Industrial Development Vision. ERIA's research shows that the Mekong subregion has made significant progress in infrastructure development, and that additional infrastructure development will accelerate economic growth through industrial agglomeration. However, Prof Nishimura pointed out that clustered industrial activities are vulnerable to natural disasters. To better understand the impact of disasters on supply chain development in Southeast Asia, ERIA is conducting studies on (i) developing business continuity plans, (ii) using space technologies and Trans-border Information Platform, and (iii) developing a policy index of natural disasters. Prof Nishimura expressed his hope that ERIA's studies will contribute to a better understanding of the Mekong Industrial Development Vision.

The 3rd East Asia Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers Meeting

Prof Nishimura briefed the Ministers in attendance on ERIA's activities on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 as well as on key research projects. One such flagship project is Comprehensive Asia Development Plan 2.0, which provides a framework for stages of industrialisation in East Asia that guides the prioritisation and selection of hard and soft infrastructure projects. Prof Nishimura also announced that ERIA will organise with the Government of Malaysia a 'Global Symposium on ASEAN Post 2015.'

ERIA Meets with Khemmani Pholsena, Lao PDR Minister of Industry and Commerce

Prof Nishimura held a special meeting with Khemmani Pholsena, Lao PDR Minister of Industry and Commerce. In the meeting ERIA outlined its industrial development strategy for Lao PDR. Prof Nishimura also discussed ERIA's support for Lao PDR as country chair of ASEAN in 2016.

ERIA mentioned in the following joint media statements:

Joint Media Statement of 3rd EAS Economic Ministers Meeting

Updates on ERIA's Activities

9. The Ministers welcomed the updates on the activities and research undertaken by ERIA, including the Comprehensive Asia Development Plan (CADP) 2.0: Infrastructure for Connectivity and Innovation, energy such as on clean coal technologies, the collaboration with UNCTAD to improve database on non-tariff measures (NTMs), the development of three communication tools for its research products, namely research institute network, policy briefs and capacity building programmes, particularly for CLMV countries. The Ministers underscored the importance of quality infrastructure and expected CADP 2.0 to contribute to better quality infrastructure in the region.

10. The Ministers noted the Study on Regulatory Management Systems (RMS) in ASEAN and EAS countries undertaken by ERIA and New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and looked forward to workshops related to RMS. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of interaction between ERIA and the policy makers of all EAS countries. The Ministers encouraged ERIA to identify from the range of its research recommendations addressing key economic challenges facing the region for consideration and discussion among Ministers in future meetings with the view to develop actionable points.

11. The Ministers welcomed the statement of the 8th ERIA Governing Board Meeting delivered on 5 June 2015, which underscored the importance of promoting regional development and integration efforts to the larger global community and also outlined the necessary actions that ERIA needs to focus on to contribute to ASEAN and East Asia community building.

12. The Ministers thanked ERIA for its continuous support and looked forward to its continued contributions to the region's integration efforts. The Ministers encouraged EAS participating countries to continue their support for ERIA.

Joint Media Statement of 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting

Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building

44. ASEAN's integration efforts have been strongly supported through technical assistance and capacity building rendered by dialogue and development partners. This cooperation covers key projects under the trade in goods, services and investment, competition, consumer protection, SMEs, statistics, agriculture and the initiative for ASEAN integration. Ministers expressed appreciation to the assistance provided under the AADCP II, the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (EU-ARISE), the EU-ASEAN Capacity Building Programme for Monitoring Integration Progress and Statistics (EU-ASEAN COMPASS), the US ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment (ACTI), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) projects as implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft f�r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the support provided by the Asia Development Bank, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

Joint Media Statement of 7th Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting

1. The 7th Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 24th August 2015. The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Pan Sorasak, Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia, and H.E. Yoichi Miyazawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan. It was attended by Economic Ministers and Representatives from Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, as well as the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Business representatives from Mekong countries and Japan, President of ERIA, and Chairman of JETRO.

3. Noting the steady growth of trade and investment between Mekong sub-region and Japan, the Ministers welcomed increased presence of Japanese companies in Mekong sub-region. Additionally, the Ministers noted that these accomplishments have been made by the cooperation of relevant organizations, including JBIC, JETRO, JICA, HIDA, NEDO, ADB , and ERIA, and appreciated the comprehensive support from Japan.

Joint Media Statement of 21st AEM-METI Consultations

3. The Ministers were pleased with the implementation of activities under the ASEAN-Japan 10-year Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap in various areas including intellectual property, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), content, and disaster risk reduction. The Ministers also welcomed the progress of AMEICC activities including programmes under Japan's supplementary budget such as: i) support for the development of the "ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016 - 2025"; ii) developing database on Non-Tariff Measures in cooperation with ERIA; iii) holding the special seminar on ASEAN Automobile industry development; and iv) starting the trial operation of ASEAN-Japan Chemical Safety Database aiming to start the full operation in April 2016. The Ministers noted that the ASEAN-Japan 10-year Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap will be reviewed in 2016 taking into account the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

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