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ASEAN to Revamp and Integrate Data Management
Source: asean.org
Source Date: Friday, November 04, 2011
Created: Nov 07, 2011

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is set to improve and integrate their statistical data to help sharpen policy-making and planning, as well as to boost development in the region.

Professor Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, State Minister for National Development Planning, Republic of Indonesia, and Mr Dirk Meganck, Director for Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific of the EU Development Co-operation Office will unveil a plaque and present it to Mr Sundram Pushpanathan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community, at an event in the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on Friday, 4th November to mark a new era in statistical cooperation across the ASEAN region with the launch of the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS) Committee.

The ASEAN community needs reliable and timely statistical data that are, crucially, comparable across all ten Member States, to help formulate the right regional policy mechanisms. The new Committee is composed of the Chief Statisticians/Heads of National Statistical Offices in ASEAN and ASEANstats. This week the Committee met for the first time marking an important milestone on the path to increasing regional cooperation across ASEAN.

"This initiative will help the region to see more accurate and reliable figures and better quality statistical data concerning the trade in goods, trade in services, foreign direct investment and other key sectors of development," said Professor Alisjahbana. She further added, "It will sharpen the decision-making process for governments, businesses, academics, civil society groups, the media, and the public, and help in making more precise projections, measurements, targets and achievements towards fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals."

"In a globalised world, regional cooperation is crucial for promoting growth and stability. Planning and policy-making are made on the basis of statistical information in such important areas as trade and investment. With the launch of the ACSS Committee today, ASEAN is on the right track to establishing the ACSS by 2015, a commitment ASEAN leaders made back in October 2010 through the ASEAN Framework of Cooperation in Statistics 2010-2015," commented Mr Sundram Pushpanathan. "There is no doubt that a strengthened regional capacity in statistics will help achieve our regional integration objectives," he added.

Mr Dirk Meganck, Director for Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific of the EU Development Co-operation Office of the European Commission noted, "At first sight, it may seem that statistics are not always relevant or exciting for the average person. But sound policy is based on reliable statistics in such fields as education, health, trade, and investment. Poor statistics lead to poor policy making, so any improvements in statistics gathering is highly welcome. Statistics matter for both governments and for regional blocks such as the EU and ASEAN and we are happy to share our 50-year experience of economic and political integration with ASEAN to promote regional cooperation in this area."

Dr Suryamin, Principal Secretary, BPS-Statistics Indonesia, said "The ACSS Committee is the concrete outcome of decisions taken by ASEAN to reinforce the contribution of statistics within the ASEAN Community. The greater authority of the Committee means that good quality statistics are put at the heart of ASEAN policy-making, equipping it with the means to be more effective both regionally and globally."
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