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ERIA and Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jointly Launch ASEAN Vision 2040

3 May 2019

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Bangkok, 29 April 2019: ERIA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand jointly launched the report titled 'ASEAN Vision 2040: Towards a Bolder and Stronger ASEAN', which examines future challenges facing ASEAN in the next two decades.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Thani Thongpakdee, welcomed the four-volume report in his opening speech on behalf of Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Don Pramudwinai. 

Thani said that he was pleased that many of Thailand’s priority deliverables for the 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship coincide with the recommendations of ASEAN Vision 2040, particularly the aspirations to advance towards a Sustainable ASEAN, a Digital and Green ASEAN as well as a Seamless ASEAN.

The study was commissioned by Thailand to examine the challenges ASEAN will face in the next two decades. ERIA invited 60 regional experts and specialists to work on this important report. Thailand, as the current chairmanship of ASEAN, has adopted the theme, 'Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.'

Izuru Kobayashi, Chief Operating Officer of ERIA, stated that it was a great honour to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in developing a base document for ASEAN to produce its Vision 2040, the vision for the next two decades that will address the uncertainties of geopolitical, geo-economic and technological landscapes in the coming twenty years.

According to the report, by 2040, ASEAN will be among the top four economies in the world together with the US, China, and India. However, at the same time, ASEAN will face intense competition in terms of technological capability, skilled manpower, and scientific and engineering talent especially compared to China and India.

Kobayashi added that the next two decades will see the acceleration of digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In order to meet these challenges, ASEAN needs proactive and clear strategies to step boldly forward.

He also highlighted seven recommendations in the report. First, ensuring ASEAN Centrality, for a common diplomatic stance and as the driver of the principle of collective leadership; Second, digital ASEAN, promoting an adaptive and innovative ASEAN that is able to successfully adjust to the digital transformation and Fourth Industrial Revolution; Third, sustainable ASEAN, embracing the new technologies and best policy practices to achieve resiliency and energy-security; Fourth, seamless ASEAN, integrated and connected ASEAN underpinned by good regulatory practice and governance; Fifth, inclusive ASEAN focused on people empowerment and inclusion; Sixth, ASEAN identity, engaging people inspired by a deep sense of belonging enhanced by new technologies and networks; Seventh, a strong, coordinated, and effective ASEAN institutional ecosystem that extends beyond the ASEAN bodies, supported by a strengthened ASEAN Secretariat.

Over 130 participants the from Bangkok-based diplomatic community and interested public attended the report launch. The launch was followed by a panel discussion and question and answer session. 

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