Initiative for ASEAN Integration Task Force, (May 2023)
The Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) is a program designed to narrow the development gaps among the ASEAN member countries and promote balanced growth and integration within the region. It was launched by ASEAN in 2000 to support less developed member states in catching up with their more developed counterparts. The IAI aims to enhance economic, social, and institutional cooperation among ASEAN member states through various projects and initiatives.
The Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force held its 70th meeting at the headquarters of the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on May 25, 2023, with the participation of all member states and Timor-Leste who joined for the first time as an observer.
Led by the Permanent Representative of Laos to ASEAN, Ambassador Bovonethat Douangchak, the session focused on the execution of initiatives outlined in the IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025). The agenda also encompassed the comprehensive evaluation of the results achieved from the previous Work Plan III, alongside the revelations from the Follow-Up Monitor of the ASEAN Framework for Equitable Economic Development (AFEED).
The IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025) was adopted at the 37th ASEAN Summit in November 2020. It maintains the five strategic areas of the IAI Work Plan III with revised and new actions and has considered new challenges and emerging issues, such as Industry 4.0, Gender and Social Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The implementation of the IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025) commenced on 1 January 2021.
The IAI Task Force provides overall leadership and direction for the IAI and conducts regular reviews to ensure that the IAI Work Plan is effectively implemented.
Initiative for ASEAN Integration Task Force, Indonesia 2023 (August 2023)
The 71st session of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force, the group’s final assembly for 2023, took place on August 10 at the ASEAN Secretariat. Ambassador Bovonethat Douangchak, the Permanent Representative of Lao PDR to ASEAN, led the meeting as the chairperson. Participants included all ten ASEAN Member States, along with Timor-Leste and Attachment Officer who attended as observers.
During the meeting, IAI National Coordinators representing Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided updates on the progress of IAI projects in their respective nations. The discussions covered the advancement of projects outlined in the current IAI Work Plan and the monitoring report for their outcomes. Additionally, the reports presented by the IAI National Coordinators for each country were acknowledged.
Furthermore, the Task Force approved a new project, contributing to the existing portfolio of 75 IAI projects under the ongoing IAI Work Plan. The meeting also addressed the preparations for the consultation session scheduled for August 11, 2023, involving the IAI Task Force and ASEAN Partners.