The Thai Cabinet has approved a budget of 1.55 million baht (50,000 US dollars) to support the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), located in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The approval is aimed at encouraging Thai researchers and research institutes in Thailand to take part in doing research with ERIA, as well as, disseminating their research results, to be used by the country’s policy-makers in preparation for the ASEAN Community.
Following the results of the 18th informal ASEAN economic ministers meeting, each ASEAN member country agreed to allocate 50,000 US dollars within the next five years to support ERIA. This meeting took place in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, on 16 February 2012.
According to Mr. Hidetoshi Nishimura, ERIA Executive Director, ASEAN and East Asia are continuing to increase their roles as the engines of growth for the world economy. He cited Thailand as the center of production networks in Southeast Asia, where community building is the key to maximize the growth potentiality in the region. The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), established in 1984, is the location of ERIA’s research network in Thailand.
ERIA is part of the ASEAN Secretariat, functioning as an independent research institute and providing resources for narrowing development gaps and enhancing research capabilities in countries in need of improvement in public policy. This institute also means to facilitate the building of the ASEAN Economic Community, to support ASEAN’s role as the driver of wide economic integration, and to nurture a greater sense of community in East Asia.
Member countries of ERIA are all 10 ASEAN nations and its dialogue partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea.
The institute has been continuously doing research on economic integration in ASEAN; this research will benefit the soon-to-be ASEAN community. For 2011-2012, ERIA research topics include Comprehensive Midterm Review of the AEC Blueprint, Study on Enhancing the Implementation of ASEAN Agreement, ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan, and ASEAN Strategic Transport Plan.