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International Symposium on "Emerging Middle Income Class and a Social Safety Network"

15 March 2010

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ERIA held an International Symposium entitled "Emerging Middle Income Class and a Social Safety Network" at Dusit Thani Bangkok Hotel on March 15th, 2010.

To sustain our society and maintain stable economic growth, ASEAN member countries need to establish their Social Safety Network which includes public medical insurance and public pension system. In ASEAN and East Asia aging society with fewer children is promoting rapidly in increasing the number of middle income class. Now it is essential that ASEAN and East Asia should nurture and expand the Middle Income Class in the region. "Middle Class" can make society and economy more stable and provide a basis for a Social Safety Network.

Based on the understanding of the needs mentioned above, the symposium was held with around 120 audiences.

It was opened by H.E. Mr. Kyoji Komachi, Ambassador, Embassy of Japan, and Secretary General of ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, delivered the opening speech. Prime Minister of Thailand, H.E. Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, delivered the keynote speech through videotape recording.

Government officials, members of the academia and think tanks were also present as panelists. The symposium provided an opportunity for audiences to share the vial role of Social Safety Network.

Mr. Hidetoshi Nishimura, Executive Director of ERIA, said "ASEAN's economic growth is dependent on the widening and deepening of middle class in the region. The demand for a professionally-managed, well-regulated, and adequately financed Social Safety Network system in the region is an inevitable part of this growth" in his closing remark. He ended his address by encouraging the participants to increase awareness on setting the roadmap towards development of social protection plans and policies and building a better Asia.

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