Jakarta, 5 December 2023: The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) have taken a significant stride towards advancing regional progress and sustainable development by formalising a strategic partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This momentous collaboration solidifies the shared commitment of both organisations to foster cooperative efforts within the ASEAN Region.

Mr Cyrille Bellier, AFD Head of Department for Europe, Middle East, and Asia, warmly welcomed the ERIA delegation led by Mr Toru Furuichi, ERIA Director General for Research and Policy Design Administration, to the AFD’s Jakarta office to officially cement the collaboration.

‘I would like to express ERIA’s appreciation for this new partnership and our commitment to the sustainable development of the region. ERIA is continuously expanding its outreach, and this MOU marks another important step forward for us,’ stated Mr Furuichi. He also conveyed the anticipation of ERIA’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Koji Hachiyama, who is a signatory of the MoU from ERIA, regarding the fruitful outcomes of this collaboration.

Bellier remarked, ‘The blue economy stands as a central concern in AFD’s strategic initiatives within Indonesia and ASEAN. This collaboration with ERIA illustrates the convergence of the institutions’ aligned priorities and objectives, each party bringing complementary networks and expertise. Joint efforts will concentrate on two pivotal areas within this shared agenda: the mitigation of plastic pollution and the advancement of sustainable and inclusive fishing value chains.’ He echoed ERIA’s anticipation for the promising outcomes arising from this collaboration.

The collaboration between AFD and ERIA will concentrate on substantive environmental areas, including the blue economy, environmental policy (encompassing marine plastic, marine financing, and marine policy coherence), circular economy, climate change, renewable energy transition, biodiversity conservation, and other mutually agreed-upon areas of focus.

The two organisations aim to begin their collaborative efforts in 2024, potentially commencing with a study addressing marine plastic debris in the ASEAN region, as they look forward to the inception of concrete joint projects.