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Highlights of ERIA's Participation in the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meetings

7 August 2016

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The 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting and related meetings were held in Vientiane, Laos from the 3rd until the 7th of August, 2016. Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA, economists, and senior staff members of ERIA, took part in the four-day event.

Below are the highlights of ERIA's participation in the 48th AEM Meeting:

The 8th Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting

Prof Nishimura presented ERIA's research activities related to "Lao PDR at the Crossroads: Industrial Development Strategies 2016-2030" including the recommendation that Lao PDR can achieve further economic development with industrial policies that emphasize Lao PDR as "Land-Linked" rather than "Land-Locked." The Ministers expressed their appreciation of ERIA's work in the Mekong region.

The 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers Meeting

Prof Nishimura introduced Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca Sta Maria who briefed the Ministers on ERIA's plans going forward which involve a focus on regulatory coherence and NTMs, two factors that are key to implementing AEC 2025. She discussed how ASEAN and EAS can use ERIA's resources to further trade facilitation initiatives that will make a significant contribution to the business community. She noted the ERIA-OECD collaboration on regulatory management systems, the ERIA-UNCTAD collaboration on the NTM database as well as the creation of ERIA's new Policy Design Department.

ERIA Meets with H.E Kyaw Win, Union Minister of Planning and Finance, Myanmar

On 5 August 2016, Prof Nishimura held a special meeting with Kyaw Win, Myanmar Union Minister of Planning and Finance. In the meeting ERIA outlined its work in Myanmar including the capacity building program and ERIA's mission to promote economic development and to narrow the development gaps. Minister Kyaw Win asked ERIA for support and Prof Nishimura agreed to future cooperation.

ERIA mentioned in the following joint media statements:

Joint Media Statement of 4th EAS Economic Ministers Meeting

Updates on ERIA's Activities

8. The Ministers noted the importance of interaction between ERIA (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia) and the policy makers of EAS countries and, to this end, the Ministers welcomed the convening of the Roundtable Discussion between EAS Senior Economic Officials and ERIA Researchers, which was held on 1 July 2016. The Ministers were also pleased to note the updates on ERIA's on-going and future research activities, including studies on Non-Tariff Measures (NTM) and Good Regulatory Practices (GRP). The Ministers welcomed the report of 9th ERIA Governing Board Meeting held on 16 June 2016, and noted that the Governing Board had endorsed the renewed commitments of ERIA to the East Asia Region as described in its Medium-Term Work Plan, which includes establishing the Policy Design Department, setting up formal bridging mechanisms to enhance interaction with policy makers in the region, and various measures to further enhance ERIA's research and capacity building. The Ministers also encouraged ERIA to develop possible next steps drawing upon the outcomes of their research activities, and thanked ERIA for its continuous support and looked forward to its continued contribution to the region's integration efforts. To this end, the Ministers encouraged EAS participating countries to continue extending their support to ERIA.

Joint Media Statement of 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

46. Noting the progress, the Ministers encouraged the relevant agencies and parties involved to intensify their efforts towards delivering the SAPSMED 2025 strategic goals. In this connection, the Ministers welcomed the on-going collaboration and support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft f�r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund and the AEM-METI Economic Cooperation Committee (AMEICC), the Korea-ASEAN Industrial Technology Cooperation, the OECD Programme for ASEAN SMEs (OPAS) and the Government of Canada, and the USAID ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment project (US-ACTI).

Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building

54. 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, MSMEs, statistics, agriculture and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration. The Ministers expressed appreciation to the assistance provided under the AADCP II, EU-ARISE, the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI), the EU-ASEAN Capacity Building Programme for Monitoring Integration Progress and Statistics (EU-ASEAN COMPASS), the US ACTI, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) projects as implemented by the GIZ and the support provided by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ERIA.

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