At the 21st ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Plus Three Consultations held in August 2018, the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Ministers agreed to carry out a Joint Study on “10+3 Cooperation for Improvement of Supply Chain Connectivity (SCC)”. The launch of the Joint Study was announced at the sidelines of the 21st APT Summit in November 2018, appointing four research institutions (RIs): the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), respectively to undertake the Joint Study.
Early in 2020, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) broke out, disrupting supply chains, ways of life, and working norms, including in APT countries. Recognising the need to address the challenges posed by COVID-19, a Special APT Summit on COVID-19 was convened through a video conference on 14 April 2020. The Joint Statement of the Special APT Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) highlighted the need for the APT Countries to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of regional supply chains, and to maintain supply chain connectivity in this time of crisis and uncertainty. In light of the above, the Joint Study also takes into account the COVID-19 developments.
The objectives of the Joint Study are to (1) provide insights on the resilience of supply chains in the region in the face of uncertainties such as COVID-19; and (2) put forward practical policy suggestions on improving supply chain resilience and connectivity of APT region and to be submitted to the AEM Plus Three Consultations and the APT Summit.
The Final Report of the Joint Study was submitted to the 23rd APT Summit held on 14 November 2020. In the Chairman’s Statement of the 23rd APT Summit, APT Leaders recognised the collaborative work of the 4 RIs from APT members in completing the Final Joint Study on “10+3 Cooperation for Improvement of Supply Chain Connectivity” that would benefit the region and enhance APT economic relations.
The research results are expected to play a role in further deepening cooperation on supply chains within the APT countries, raising regional trade and investment levels and overall international competitiveness, and promoting economic development in the APT region. The Joint Study will also complement on-going ASEAN initiatives to improve the trade environment and deepen integration.