Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » ASEAN collaborates with EU to integrate Asia trade stats

Representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union met late last month in Indonesia to mark the close of the four-year EU-ASEAN Statistical Capacity Building (EASCAB) Programme and announce the launch of a second four-year program.

The EASCAB, a EUR6-million project to improve the reliability of statistics in the region, closes in January 2013.

“The ASEAN community needs reliable and timely statistical data that are comparable across all ten ASEAN member states to help formulate regional policy and monitor integration in the region and the world. This is also essential for governments, businesses, academics, and civil society groups to improve decision-making,” an official press release stated.

The EASCAB program supported the production of reliable and comparable statistical data through harmonizing figures for trade in goods and services, foreign direct investment, and other key sectors of development.

It also saw the publication of the first regional report on the status of ASEAN progress on the Millennium Development Goals as well as the initial release of the 2012 ASEAN International Merchandise Trade Statistical Yearbook.

The program likewise supported the establishment of the ASEAN Community Statistical System Committee as the highest policy-making and coordinating body on statistical matters in the ASEAN region; the creation of a regional network of statisticians; the alignment of collection and processing systems to produce more precise data; and the creation of an online database to facilitate data collection, production, and dissemination.

“ASEAN must monitor progress to ensure the region remains on track towards establishing the ASEAN Economic Community 2015. For this, we need timely, reliable and regionally comparative statistics. The EASCAB Programme … has worked effectively to harmonise data collection and processing across the region in key, relevant statistical fields,” said Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of ASEAN.

Colin Crooks, deputy head of the European Union Delegation to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN, said the second four-year program on regional statistical integration, monitoring, and production will be launched in 2013 with a budget of  EUR7.5 million.

The event brought together ASEAN ambassadors, heads of the national statistical offices of the ASEAN members, and representatives of line ministries, central banks, and customs departments.

 

Photo: yohanes budiyanto

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