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High Level Task Force on ASEAN Connectivity Continues its Work
Source: aseansec.org
Source Date: Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Knowledge Management in Government
Created: Jun 07, 2010

In the ongoing efforts to develop a Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, which is to be submitted to the 17th ASEAN Summit in October 2010, the 2nd High Level Task Force Meeting on ASEAN Connectivity was convened at the ASEAN Secretariat from 25 to 27 May 2010. The meeting, chaired by Viet Nam’s Vice Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Nguyen The Phuong, was attended by delegates from ASEAN Member States, representatives from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Economic Research Institution for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the World Bank (WB).

The meeting focused on the following issues: (1) physical connectivity, namely transport, ICT and energy; (2) institutional connectivity, which encompasses trade liberalisation and facilitation, investment and services liberalisation and facilitation, mutual recognition agreements/arrangements, regional transport agreements, and capacity building programmes; and (3) people-to-people connectivity, including tourism, education and culture.

The ASEAN Leaders, in 2009, agreed to establish the Task Force to develop an ASEAN Master Plan on regional connectivity, that include, among others, innovative infrastructure financing mechanisms, taking into account the work done and planned to ensure optimum synergy rather than duplication of work.

As ASEAN is located at the crossroads of an economically vibrant and growing region, it has the potential to physically anchor itself as the transportation, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and tourism hub of the region. Enhancing intra-regional connectivity within ASEAN and its sub-regional grouping would thus benefit all ASEAN Member States.

The Task Force was also mandated to identify specific measures with clear targets and timelines and to develop viable infrastructure financing mechanisms for the implementation of the Master Plan. The Task Force first met in Ha Noi in March and is scheduled to hold their third meeting in Bangkok in July.
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