ERIA and Dialogue Partners to Address Emerging Regional Challenges

7 June 2023
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Jakarta, 7 June 2023: Prof Tetsuya Watanabe, the newly elected ERIA President, has pledged enhanced cooperation with ASEAN and dialogue partners to address emerging challenges and benefit the people of ASEAN in the post-pandemic world.

During a dialogue with ASEAN and dialogue partner ambassadors in Jakarta, Prof Watanabe reiterated ERIA's readiness to collaborate with all stakeholders in addressing common challenges such as digital transformation, climate change, and energy transition. As an international think tank, ERIA aims to conduct research that promotes sustainable development in the region.

In the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, ERIA experts delivered four presentations to the ambassadors, highlighting progress and ongoing projects.

Mr Koji Hachiyama, Chief Operating Officer of ERIA, provided an overview of ERIA activities, including initiatives supporting the Indonesian chairmanship. These efforts involved co-hosting the ASEAN Conference on Strengthening Food, organizing the ASEAN Service Facilitation Network Security Integration, and launching the ASEAN Blue Economy Framework.

In a presentation on Global Value Chains (GVCs), Dr Dionisius Narjoko, Senior Economist, discussed the impact of GVCs on international trade in ASEAN and East Asia. He cited the example of machinery trade, which has seen frequent exchanges among regional traders.

Dr Lili Yan Ing, Lead Advisor of ERIA, outlined the new economic era expected to emerge from the use of robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI). She highlighted the potential for increased productivity, greater variety, higher quality, and more services in trade and consumer welfare through AI application. She also acknowledged the potential negative impact on labour and wages, emphasizing the importance of reskilling workers to fit the new labour market.

The final presentation by Prof Jun Arima, Senior Policy Fellow on Energy and Environment, focused on energy, climate change, and East Asia. Prof Arima emphasized the region's role in global decarbonization efforts, highlighting the use of efficient gas-fired plants in the short to medium term to curb CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power generation. However, in the longer term, he emphasized the importance of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), ammonia, and hydrogen technologies.

Following the presentations, there were discussions and a question-and-answer session between the ambassadors and experts. Dialogue partner ambassadors also contributed to the discussion regarding ERIA's future research trajectory and plans under the new leadership.

In conclusion, H.E. Kiya Masahiko, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, welcomed the newly elected ERIA President and commended Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, the outgoing president, for his 15 years of dedicated work in transforming ERIA into a world-class think tank.

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