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ERIA's Director of Communications, Lydia Ruddy hosts AmCham ASEAN Committee 2021 Kick-off Meeting

11 February 2021

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Jakarta, 11 February 2021: Hosted by Lydia Ruddy, ERIA’s Director of Communications, the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia (AmCham Indonesia) ASEAN Committee gathered online for the 2021 kick-off meeting to discuss topics of interest for future events.

Ms Ruddy showed a video of a survey created by AmCham and ERIA launched in November 2020, about the impact of COVID-19 on foreign companies in ASEAN and what plans they have moving forward. In total of 264 firms from 24 chambers and business organizations representing foreign companies responded to 26 questions about the impact of COVID-19 on their business operations for this survey. 

The group was privileged to hear insights from Ms Shaanti Shamdasani, President of ASEAN International Advocacy & Consultancy, about the key priorities of Brunei Darussalam's ASEAN Chairmanship. This year, under Brunei’s chair, ASEAN is expected to focus more on healthcare and economic recovery; moving forward the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); looking at more bilateral agreements including Indo-Pacific diplomacy, non-tariff barriers (NTB) and non-tariff measures (NTM). Recovery, digitalization and sustainability are three priorities set by Brunei. This means, ensuring the region recovers from the pandemic with a focus on clarifying rules on non-tariff measures, and the facilitation of investment by leveraging new technologies. Based on the Asian Development Bank Outlook in 2020 and ASEAN.org, ASEAN market penetration of goods and services has doubled in the last decade. After Ms Shamdasani’s presentation, Ms Ruddy briefly introduced the newly launched ERIA’s Non-Tariff Measure database and then opened the floor for attendees to introduce themselves.

This meeting concluded with a discussion moderated by Ms Ruddy with committee members sharing topics that are relevant to their works in 2021. Several interesting potential topics were mentioned: benefits to businesses of RCEP; How can ASEAN benefit companies; counterfeit products; best practices for procurement; energy; circular economy; climate change; US Policy towards Indo-pacific; supply chain; and trade facilitation among others.  

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