On Wednesday, 9 March, 2011 MI Management team led by Dr. Suchat Katima made an official visit to ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. The objectives of the visit were to explore collaboration framework between MI and relevant departments of ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) in enhancing capacity of Mekong member countries for ASEAN integration.
The MI team first met with ASEC officials from Initiative for ASEAN Integration and Narrowing Development Gap Division (IAI), Mr. Rony Soerakoesoemah, and Ms. Rizky Amelia. The meeting concluded that MI would be working in partnership with IAI to develop capacity development framework to address the third pillar of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): Equitable economic development, especially in the four new ASEAN member countries, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV).
The team continued their meeting at ASEAN with Management Team of Japan- ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), Ms.Shizuka Konno, Programme Coordinator, Mr. Zin Aung Swe, Senior Programme Officer, Ms.Khaing Khaing Shwe, Programme Coordinator and Ms. Fifi Anggraini Arif, External Relations Division 2. The JAIF Management Team provided orientation to the MI team on JAIF reporting requirements and procedure.
In the afternoon, a meeting with Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) was held. The delegates met with Mr. Daiki Kasugahara, General Manager and Mr. Shinya Kawamura, Deputy General Manager to learn more about ERIA research topics, ERIA research capacity and research network, and research facilities.
The MI team then proceeded to the Permanent Mission of Thailand to ASEAN and met with Lieutenant Chombhala Chareonying, Minister Counsellor and Ms. Bantita Pichyakorn Virabutr, First Secretary. The meeting focused on emerging issues related to AEC and areas which MI can work in partnership with ASEC to promote equitable economic development in ASEAN, especially the new ASEAN member countries.