CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 31st ASEAN SUMMIT
PHILIPPINES, Chairman, 2017
23 November 2017, Manila, Philippines
72. We were pleased to note the steady progress towards secure, accessible, affordable, and sustainable energy in ASEAN, including measures to achieve the regional targets on energy efficiency and renewable energy, noting the achievement of 18.3% energy intensity reduction and 13.6% renewable energy share in the ASEAN energy mix, based on 2005 levels. We were also pleased with the pace of recent developments in implementing the long-term goal of open access systems in gas markets in the region, with the three ASEAN Member States having obtained regulatory approval for open access. We welcomed the signing of the Energy Purchase and Wheeling Agreement (EPWA) among Lao PDR, Thailand and Malaysia (LTM), which will bring about the very first multilateral electricity transaction in ASEAN by January 2018 –a milestone achievement towards implementing multilateral power trade in the region. We looked forward to the completion of work pursuing minimum energy performance standards and mutual recognition arrangements in ASEAN for energy efficiency for lighting and appliances, as forerunner to wider applications in other energy-intensive appliances and sectors.
73. Recognizing that sustainable practices in the development of the ASEAN minerals sector is crucial to improving the environment for investment and trade in minerals as well as managing impacts to the environment and local communities, we were pleased to note the work towards establishing an ASEAN reporting mechanism to monitor the adoption of sustainability assessment frameworks and guidelines in support of sustainable mining development in ASEAN. We looked forward to the launch of the 1st ASEAN Minerals Awards to recognize best practices in sustainable minerals development at the forthcoming ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals in end-November 2017.
Science and Technology
74. Recognizing the benefits to invest in science and technology to build a robust innovative ASEAN community ecosystem for economic integration and societal benefits, we welcomed the joining of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore with the Philippines and Thailand in pledging USD 1 million each to the ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Partnership Contributions. We commended the establishment of the ASEAN Large Nuclear and Synchrotron Network and the ASEAN Network for Nuclear Power Safety Research, for furthering regional cooperation involving scientific infrastructures of large investments. We also welcomed the progress in establishing the ASEAN Hydroinformatics and Climate Data Center, and look forward to the center’s contribution to the preparedness of the region to climate changes. We are pleased to note the conduct of the 10th ASEAN STI Week for furthering STI awareness.
External Economics Relations
75. We welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations for the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China (HKC) Free Trade Agreement and ASEAN–HKC Investment Agreement, and the signing of the two Agreements on 12 November 2017. We looked forward to the timely implementation of these Agreements to strengthen the economic integration building upon on the complementarities between ASEAN and HKC. We also welcomed the finalisation of Stage One General Review of ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), which would be the basis for Stage Two of the AANZFTA General Review aimed at proposing recommendations to further unlock the potential of the AANZFTA.
76. We reiterated the immense potential of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to serve as a growth driver and platform for an ASEAN-led deeper regional economic integration. We reaffirmed ASEAN-centrality in the RCEP negotiations and we urged RCEP Participating Countries to further intensify efforts in 2018 to bring the RCEP negotiations to conclusion. We welcomed the holding of the RCEP Summit on
14 November 2017, reflecting the political commitment of all RCEP Participating Countries to significantly advance the negotiations.
77. We noted that the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11) will be held from 11 to 14 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We looked forward to the successful outcomes of the MC11. As all ASEAN Member States are also WTO Members, we reaffirmed our support to the multilateral trading system and emphasized its complementarity with our regional integration efforts.
Palm Oil Industry
78. We recognized the deep concern of some ASEAN member states on issues relating to restricting market access for palm oil in the European market. These restrictions do not reflect the commitment by the global community towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and entail adverse implications for the palm oil industry, a critical economic element in producer countries within ASEAN.
Regional Growth Area
79. We acknowledged the significant role of sub-regional cooperation as building blocks for regional integration. We noted the adoption of the post-2016 Visions of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (MIT-GT) and Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) that aim to achieve inclusive, sustainable and competitive economic areas. We encouraged greater cooperation and synergy between sub-regional groupings and ASEAN sectoral bodies in achieving our shared goals and spreading the benefits of the ASEAN Economic Community to the farthest corners of the region.
Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
80. We expressed our deep appreciation to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) for their invaluable contribution and support not only to the Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN but also to the commemoration of ASEAN@50. We noted the high-level forum on ASEAN@50, held on 19 October 2017 in Manila, that also launched the publication of ASEAN@50: Retrospectives and Perspectives on the Making, Substance, Significance, and Future of ASEAN. We also acknowledged ERIA’s contribution in the delivery of the ASEAN Trade Facilitation Strategic Action Plan (ATF-SAP) and the ASTFI that are geared towards addressing Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) in the region. We further commended ERIA’s resolve in promoting regional economic integration, including support for RCEP negotiations and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025.
ASEAN SOCIO-CULTURAL COMMUNITY
Implementation and Review of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025
81. We noted that the ASCC Blueprint 2025 is being progressively implemented through the work of the 15 Sectoral Bodies under the ASCC pillar, 14 of which had their work plans/programmes adopted. We acknowledged that the monitoring system of the ASCC Blueprint 2025 has been in place, including the Framework for Reporting on ASCC Sectoral Bodies’ Implementation for the Sectoral Work Plans and Monitoring Matrix of Declarations/Statements under ASCC. We noted that a project to develop and finalize ASCC Blueprint 2025 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is on-going.