Signing Ceremony for the Second Renewal of the OECD-ERIA MoU, 28 April 2021


Remarks by Angel Gurría,

Secretary-General, OECD

Paris, 28 April 2021

Dear Nikai-san, Nishimura-san, Friends,
Let me begin by thanking Nishimura-san and his team at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia – or ERIA – for their support and very effective partnership with the OECD since 2014. I am very pleased that my dear friend, Nikai-san, could also join us on this special occasion, as it was he who brought the OECD and the ERIA together.
I still recall with fond memories when Nikai-san, Nishimura-san, Ambassador Kodama and I met at the Chateau de la Muette to sign the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Japan’s accession to the OECD.
Thanks to this co-operation, and through the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme, that then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and I launched together, we have been strengthening our collaboration with countries in the region in a broad range of policy areas.
Our collaboration with ERIA has been integral to our Southeast Asia Regional Programme. By renewing our MoU today, we are taking our relationship to a higher level.
Asia is one of the most dynamic regions in the global economy, and for the past seven years the OECD and ERIA have been working closely to support ASEAN. Our collaboration focuses on a broad range of policy areas including SMEs, sustainable infrastructure, trade and the governance of disaster risks.
For example, ERIA and the OECD through the Southeast Asia Regional Programme, and in co-operation with ASEAN, released the flagship ASEAN SME Policy Index in 2018. The Index has become an important reference within the ASEAN system for measuring progress of reforms in areas such as: SMEs and innovation policies, SMEs and women entrepreneurship, SMEs and business climate issues, and SMEs and green growth.
Our collaboration however does not stop there. ERIA has also made important contributions to our flagship annual regional event, the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Forum, most recently on the topic of Connectivity. We look forward to ERIA’s participation at our next Regional Forum taking place in May.
With the second renewal of this MoU, we will continue to broaden and further build on the breadth of our co-operation, as we put more focus on SMEs, Green Growth, Infrastructure and Connectivity. Discussions are also starting on the next edition of the ASEAN SME Policy Index, and with the help of Japan, the OECD and ERIA are embarking on a project on Connectivity in Southeast Asia.
Our growing collaboration with individual Southeast Asian countries will create further synergies and leverage our partnership with ERIA.
Dear Friends,
I am certain that our longstanding partnership – with this renewed impetus – will continue to produce many important results. Let’s keep working together for a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable global economy in the post-COVID world.
Thank you very much.


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