Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Strengthens Cooperation Towards Covid-19 Economic Recovery with Asean-Japan Center

In photo: Philippine Embassy DCM Robespierre Bolivar (top); ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi (bottom left); Dr. Fukunari Kimura of Keio University (bottom right)

In commemoration of the 53rd anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Embassies in Tokyo and the ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC) organized an online symposium entitled “Beyond COVID-19: Moving into the New Normal” on 20 August 2020.

ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi delivered the keynote address from the ASEAN Headquarters in Jakarta. In his speech, he expressed confidence in ASEAN’s resilience, noting that the region will recover from the effects of the pandemic, as it overcame previous challenges, like it did during the 1998 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 global economic meltdown. He discussed various regional initiatives to strengthen ASEAN’s capacity to withstand the economic effects of the pandemic, including the establishment of an ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and the Hanoi Plan of Action, which is a comprehensive recovery framework in response to COVID-19.

A panel of experts, including Dr. Fukunari Kimura of the Keio University Faculty of Economics and Dr. Maria Bautista of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, outlined various policies and action plans to help ensure the region’s economic recovery. Among these actions include prioritization of social protection and the delivery of essential goods and services and increasing the use of information and communications technology (ICT) for e-commerce, e-learning and e-government.

Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Robespierre Bolivar, who also serves as Council Director for the Philippines at the ASEAN-Japan Center, represented the Philippines at the symposium.

The Philippines is one of the founding members of ASEAN and chaired the regional grouping during its 50th anniversary in 2017.