I refer to the article “Bracing for the ASEAN Community,” (The Jakarta Post, Aug. 27).
I share the opinion of CPF Luhulima concerning the necessity of an effective and efficient kind of interconnectivity for ASEAN. This necessity is not limited to the 10 members of this subregional organization. Connectivity should be interpreted and treated as a shared regional and global public good.
As mentioned recently in Bangkok, during the 70th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, executive secretary of ESCAP, the enhancement of connectivity across the whole Asia-Pacific region requires political will and cooperation to explore what is achievable and optimal, to develop consensus on conducive modalities of engagement, and to put in place a game plan for how this will be achieved.
ESCAP, which is the largest UN regional commission (62 members and associate members), advocated a more integrated approach and called for exploiting the interdependence and synergies of five elements constituting the new drivers of Asia-Pacific growth: trade and transportation networks, ICT networks, energy networks, people-to-people networks and promotion of knowledge-based economies.
The Indonesian delegation to ESCAP stated that the theme “Regional Connectivity for Shared Prosperity” fits well with the dynamism in the area, as Asia Pacific is, indeed, becoming more connected and able to reveal its potentials to be the main engine for global growth. Therefore, improving connectivity becomes a critical priority.
It is rewarding to learn that the great importance of the full implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity is recognized at the highest political level by all members of this sub-regional institution.
From an operational perspective, further useful guidelines are expected to be formulated by the fifth ASEAN Connectivity Symposium with the theme “Catalyzing Public-Private Partnerships to Finance ASEAN Connectivity” to be held in Myanmar in September this year.