The Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), launched in 2000, was designed to provide a framework for regional cooperation through which the more developed ASEAN Member States (AMS) could assist newer members to meet their ASEAN targets and commitments. Through special assistance to Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV countries), the IAI aims to narrow the development gap within ASEAN and enhance its competitiveness as a region.
AADCP II has been a long-time supporter to the IAI and ASEAN’s effort to narrow the development gap. It supported the review and development of the IAI Work Plan III, and last year helped the preparation of the IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025) which was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 37th ASEAN Summit on 12 November 2020. The Work Plan maintains the five strategic areas of the IAI Work Plan III, namely (i) food and agriculture; (ii) trade facilitation; (iii) micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); (iv) education; and (v) health and well-being.
To promote timely implementation of the Work Plan IV, AADCP II has provided follow up support in developing 10 project proposals for selected actions under the Work Plan. It is also undertaking five in-depth assessments which provides additional input to the proposals being prepared. More information on AADCP II support to the preparation and implementation of the IAI Work Plan IV is here.
As part of the development process, a Stakeholder’s Forum was held virtually on 8 June 2021 in collaboration with the Initiative for ASEAN Integration and Narrowing the Development Gap (IAI & NDG) Division, following a series of national consultations with CLMV government officials in April 2021. The Forum aimed to engage ASEAN Partners and other stakeholder’s in the implementation of the Work Plan, to further refine the project proposals, as well as to gauge their interest to support the projects.
At the Forum, representatives from ASEAN Dialogue Partners shared their priorities and provided inputs to help refine the project proposals, which are expected to be finalised in July 2021. The Forum was also attended by members of IAI Task Force, IAI national coordinators and focal points, representatives of relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and relevant divisions of ASEAN Secretariat.