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Ramon M Lopez Assigned to ERIA's Governing Board

26 July 2023
ERIAGoverning Board

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Jakarta, 26 July 2023: The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has nominated Ramon M Lopez, a former DTI Secretary, to be Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Governor for the Philippines, succeeding Dr Cielito F Habito who made valuable contributions as Chair to ERIA research and activities.

Lopez served his full term as DTI Secretary from 2016 to 2022, and during this time chaired DTI institutions such as the Board of Investments, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, the National Development Company (NDC), the Export Development Council, the Anti-Red Tape Authority Advisory Council, the Philippine International Trading Corp, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), and the Halal Board. He also supervised attached agencies such as the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Cooperative Development Authority, among others.

He led the Philippines’ negotiating team in the finalization and signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a mega trade deal among the 10 ASEAN countries and five ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Partners (Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand). He led the Philippines’ negotiating team for the conclusion of the Philippines-South Korea FTA.

He has also enjoyed a long career in the business sector with over 22 years of experience as a top executive of RFM Corporation. He was Executive Director of the entrepreneurship development advocacy group Go Negosyo (Business) for 11 years, and from 2013 to 2016 he co-hosted the weekly Go Negosyo radio program on DZRH. He has also given lectures to and mentored tens of thousands of entrepreneurs through Go Negosyo seminars, workshops, summits, books and social media.

Lopez is currently an Independent Director of SM Investments Corporation (SMIC). He is also an Independent Director of AIC Group of Companies Holding Corporation (in the logistics sector), and a Trustee and Vice-Chairman of Valenzuela City Polytechnic College.

He has received many awards, including the 2016 Nation Builders Award for Government Service and the Philippine Innovation Man of the Year Award in 2017. In 2018, then President Rodrigo Duterte bestowed on him the Presidential Award, Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu, one of the highest honours one can receive in the Philippines. He was also named by People Asia as one of 2020's People of the Year, for the re-opening of the economy during the pandemic. In June 2022, he was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit for his vital role in the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. He also received The Asia CEO Awards 2022 Lifetime Contributor of the Year Award.

He completed the graduate program in Development Economics in 1988 at Williams College, Massachusetts, US, and graduated in 1981 with an AB Degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines School of Economics.

His extensive experience in government and the private sector will significantly contribute to ERIA’s work in advancing deeper economic integration in the region, especially as we navigate through the post-pandemic recovery, and ERIA looks forward to receiving his guidance in our future activities.

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