The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)
ASEM Seminar on Sustainable Connectivity and Quality Infrastructure
September 25, 2018
- On Wednesday, September 12, the Government of Japan and the EU co-hosted the "ASEM Seminar on Sustainable Connectivity and Quality Infrastructure" at Mita Conference Hall in Tokyo. Approximately 120 people, including diplomatic corps, international organizations, private sector and think tanks, in addition to speakers and moderators, participated in this seminar.
- At the beginning of the seminar, Mr. Jun SAITO, Japanese Ambassador for ASEM, delivered a message on behalf of Mr. Taro KONO, Minister for Foreign Affairs. The message clearly stated, Japan's underlining the importance of quality infrastructure which contributes to the attainment of a sustainable economic growth and inclusive society. H.E. Ms. Patricia FLOR, Ambassador Designate of the European Union to Japan, also made opening remarks.
- The seminar was proceeded with three sessions in a panel discussion format. In the 1st session, under the theme "Why does the world need connectivity and quality infrastructure?", Mr.Masaru HONMA, Former Director,Chief Representative of Representative office in Tokyo, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), served as a moderator, and Professor Naoyuki YOSHINO, Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Mr. Plamen TONCHEV, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Asia Unit, Institute of International Economic Relations in Greece, Mr. Suharso MONOARFA, Member of the Presidential Advisory Council and Former Minister of Public Housing in Indonesia, participated as panelists, and discussed the necessity and challenges of quality infrastructure.
In the second session, Ms.Nobuko KAYASHIMA, Director of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute, served as a moderator under the theme of "The importance of institutions and standards for soft connectivity", and Dr.Serhat ÜNALDI, Senior Manager for Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand of BDI (Federation of German Industries), Dr.Benjamin E. DIOKNO, Secretary of Budget and Management in the Philippines, Dr.Hae-Won JUN, Associate Professor, Department of European and African Studies, Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), Korea National Diplomatic Academy(KNDA) participated as panelists to discuss the importance and issues of connectivity on institutional aspects in trade, investment, transportation, and digital economy.
In the third session, under the theme " Challenges of Promoting Quality Infrastructure and Sustainable Connectivity in and between Asia and Europe from a viewpoint of each ASEM-Sub region", Mr.K.E. Seetha RAM, Visiting Professor at the Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo (Senior Consulting Specialist for Capacity Building and Training Projects, Asian Development Bank Institute) played a role of moderator and Mr.Ville VARJOA, Senior Advisor on Economic Affairs at the EEAS Department of Asia and the Pacific, Mr.T.V. RAMACHANDRAN, President of Broadband India forum, Mr. Chze Cheen LIM, Head of the ASEAN Connectivity Division, ASEAN Secretariat, Dr.Feng LI, Associate Professor, China Foreign Affairs University, participated as panelists, and discussed actions and challenges regarding promotion of connectivity and quality infrastructure promotion in each ASEM-Sub region.
- Through discussions in this seminar, participants could aware the importance of strengthening connectivity and the concept of quality infrastructure in ASEM. The outcome of discussion of this seminar will be reported at ASEM-related meetings, including the ASEM12 Summit to be held in Belgium from 18th to 19th October this year.