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SIIA joins the Asian Council of Economic Policy (ACEP) as a founding member

15 Oct SIIA joins the Asian Council of Economic Policy (ACEP) as a founding member

Media Release
For Immediate Release

SIIA joins the Asian Council of Economic Policy (ACEP) as a founding member
New Body signals importance of ASEAN-Korea Regional Partnership in a Post-Pandemic World

Singapore, 14 October 2021 – The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) participated in the inaugurating conference of the Asian Council of Economic Policy (ACEP) as one of the five founding members. The ACEP comprises institutions that provide advice and inputs to governments and aims to serve as a high-level intellectual platform, an arena for sharing policy ideas and helping advance policy coordination in Asia.

The inaugural ACEP conference was held against the backdrop of South Korea’s New Southern Policy, which aims to strengthen relations with its Asian neighbours. The virtual forum was organised by the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) of South Korea on Thursday, 14 October 2021, which initiated the network. The conference was held in the run-up to the ASEAN-South Korea Summit held later this year.

The dialogues focused on regional cooperation to tackle common challenges arising from the pandemic, the ASEAN-South Korea partnership and the New Southern Policy of Korea. The keynote address was delivered by H.E. Young-sook Nam, Economic Advisor to the President and Chair of the Presidential Committee on New Southern Policy of Korea.

Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman of the SIIA, welcomed the initiative in the context of improving ties with South Korea and its hopes to deepen economic integration and investment with the region, “We strongly believe that the pandemic has showed the need and opportunity to relook at our national, regional and global policies not only for recovery but for transformation to allow us all to increase cooperation and integration, especially in the context of US-China tensions and supply chain shifts.”

Speaking on the first panel on “Post-COVID-19 Challenges, Policy Responses, and Regional Cooperation in Asia”, Mr. Manu Bhaskaran, CEO of Centennial Asia Advisors and Council Member of the SIIA, said, “We need to seek protection from protectionism by working together to maintain the momentum of trade opening whenever there is a chance, through regional trade initiatives and pursuing smaller-scale cross-border cooperation.”

Both SIIA speakers also referenced the work of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce, co-chaired by Minister Desmond Lee. The SIIA served a knowledge partner to the Taskforce and recently launched its own independent and additional report, “New Horizons: Global and Regional Strategies for Singapore’s Future”. At the ACEP conference, Tay added, “We are all working towards the progress and transformation of our countries within the regional and global context, and Singapore has played an important role as a global node, and a regional hub”.

In addition to The SIIA, other ACEP founders are the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) of South Korea, Executive Office of the President (KSP) of Indonesia, the Economic Action Council (EAC) of Malaysia, and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) of Vietnam, all of which serve to advise their respective governments.

About the Singapore Institute of International Affairs
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Established in 1962, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is a non-profit and independent think tank committed to producing policy analysis, fostering in-depth dialogues and bridging gaps between policymakers, private sector decision-makers and experts to shape public policy and social responses. Centred around ASEAN focused themes, the institute aims to deliver policy analysis in international affairs and on issues driving environmental sustainability. The SIIA has been consistently ranked as one of the leading think tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in the Global Go-To Think Tank Index by the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2017, the SIIA was ranked the No. 1 independent think tank in Asia. It was also recognised as one of the top 50 think tanks globally, excluding the United States of America. Since 2019, it was recognised as the No. 1 think tank in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific (excluding India). In 2020, it was also recognised as one of the think tanks with the best policy and institutional response to the COVID-19 pandemic.