Regional Workshop to Promote ASEAN Minerals Cooperation

The ASEAN region is rich in mineral resources and has vast potential for new discoveries. In 2018, minerals trade registered an annual growth of 9%, valued at USD 249.8 billion, and accounted for 8.9% of ASEAN’s total trade. The demand for minerals in ASEAN is expected to increase at the back of continuing economic growth and market expansion within the ASEAN Member States (AMS). The AMS sees genuine need to promote cooperation in minerals in the region, which will enable AMS and other ASEAN partners to work together in ensuring effective and sustainable approaches in minerals development while promoting investment and trade within ASEAN and beyond. This need is clearly reflected in the ASEAN Minerals Cooperation Action Plan (AMCAP) 2016-2025. The ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II (AADCP II) supports the implementation of the AMCAP through the “Strengthening ASEAN Cooperation in Minerals”  project. The project helps ASEAN undertake a study to stock-take existing ASEAN minerals development and cooperation in the context of global markets and minerals industry developments and propose corresponding regional strategies and measures. It also includes a scoping study for the development of an effective ASEAN minerals database (AMDIS), which is considered crucial to facilitate much needed investment into minerals exploration and development in the region. On 23-24 February 2021, representatives from the ASEAN Member States (AMS) convened for the Regional Workshop on the Development Prospects for the ASEAN Minerals Cooperation (DPAMC) and Scoping Study of the ASEAN Minerals Database and Information System (AMDIS). Held virtually, the workshop discussed the initial findings and recommendations from the drafts of the DPAMC Study and the AMDIS Scoping Report. Inputs from...

Mid-Term Review of the MPAC 2025

We recently concluded our support for the Mid Term Review of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025. The Mid-Term Review (MTR), which started in 2020, took stock of the implementation progress, highlighted successes and identified challenges in the implementation of MPAC 2025. Furthermore, it established linkages to other ASEAN and external initiatives, and provide recommendations for necessary adjustments to boost implementation at both regional and national levels in line with a review of the continued relevance of MPAC 2025. The MTR noted MPAC 2025’s relevance against emerging trends in the region, particularly the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has major implications for connectivity. The MTR found that MPAC 2025 initiatives could transform socio-economic outcomes in ASEAN and emerging trends such as covid-19 will make connectivity increasingly relevant. Enhanced digital financial services, for example, which is an objective under the Digital Innovation strategic area, could lead to USD295 billion in new credit, USD368 billion in new deposits and a leakage reduction of USD10 billion per annum for governments. Sustainable urbanisation actions, under the Sustainable Infrastructure strategic area, could result in savings for 13 major ASEAN cities of up to USD50 billion in total. There is little doubt that timely progress of MPAC 2025 implementation would greatly benefit the region, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Significant progress on MPAC 2025 implementation has been achieved to date, but there are variations by initiative. The MTR suggested a set of recommendations for boosting implementation, which includes enhancing sectoral-level alignment, strengthening engagement with ASEAN partners, and promoting private sector participation. Click here to download the Executive Summary and infographics on the MTR. Also...

Development of ASEAN Work Plan to Facilitate the Implementation of ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce

Status: Ongoing The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of all forms of e-commerce in ASEAN. This has increased demand for governments to put in place better policies and infrastructure for e-commerce not only to boost trade and increase consumer’s confidence but also to ensure participation of those most impacted by the coronavirus. The ratification of the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce would give ASEAN a fresh momentum to support e-commerce businesses in the region. The effective implementation of the agreement would demonstrate ASEAN’s collective efforts in establishing a common fundamental foundation to accelerate intra-regional economic integration towards a regional digital economy. To promote implementation of the agreement, this project will prepare a Work Plan on the Implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce 2021 – 2025. The Work Plan will focus on identifying priority areas, both technical and policy strengthening, for promoting implementation of the Agreement and ensuring development of e-commerce in the...

Capability Development for the Management of Science, Technology and Innovation in ASEAN

Status: Ongoing Past-oriented approaches based on historical models and trends are simply inadequate to respond to the complexity and volatility of today’s development. ASEAN leaders, particularly those in charge of managing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), need to have the capacity to use a futures approach for strategic planning and risk assessment, to help inform and support decision-making in the management of STI, making sure that STI policies are applicable in times of uncertainties and unforeseen disruptions. This project will use the current experience of the COVID-19 pandemic to illustrate the usefulness of futures thinking and tools in handling unforeseen disruptions from the angle of STI. It will support a series of online workshops and the drafting of a report on megatrends, scenarios and possible collaborative actions to build STI resilience in the future across the ASEAN region. It will also produce draft research papers based on the exercise. This project is implemented through collaboration between ASEAN and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of...

Development of a Set of Methodologies in Conducting Ex-Ante Regulatory Review on the Draft Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) Before They Are Imposed by ASEAN Member States (AMS).

Status: Ongoing. With all tariff lines virtually eliminated, ASEAN has refocused its efforts on trade facilitation, including reducing trade transaction costs and addressing NTMs. ASEAN Member States (AMS) have differing national approaches for assessing the barrier effects of draft NTMs as there is no common regional methodology considered as best practice which AMS could refer to. This project seeks to fill this gap by facilitating trade and efficiency for the movement of goods in ASEAN through developing methodologies to conduct the quantitative analysis to identify the trade distortive barrier effects, then assess and quantify the impact of the draft NTMs of three specific product groups. It will also socialise the methodologies and the application outcomes with relevant stakeholders through a series of regional and national capacity building and training...