The Informal Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology Between ASEAN and Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand was held on 29 August 2006 at the side of the 4th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology in Kuantan, Pahang. This Informal Meeting was chaired by the Honourable Dato’ Sri Dr. Jamaludin bin Dato’ Mohd. Jarjis Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia and co-chaired by H.E. Minister Matsuda, Minister for Science and Technology Policy of Japan, who had earlier proposed the idea of convening an Asian Science and Technology Ministerial Meeting. The Meeting provided the opportunity for the Ministers and Heads of Delegations for Science and Technology of Member Countries of ASEAN to meet with their counterparts from Australia, People’s Republic of China, Republic of India, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. All Ministers and Heads of Delegation of ASEAN Member Countries and ASEAN’s other Dialogue Partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, and members of their delegations were present at the Informal Meeting.

The Ministers and Heads of Delegation exchanged views on various matters pertaining to regional cooperation as they recognised the potential benefits from regional cooperation in the field of science and technology at large. The Ministers shared the views that the following areas are promising for regional cooperation: technology for disaster contingency planning, infectious diseases, energy and environment, human resource development in S&T, collaboration in new emerging technologies such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, and international industry-academia-government collaboration.

The Ministers discussed regional and international developments, in particular on energy security and disaster management and emergency response.  ASEAN welcomed the continued support by the Dialogue Partners in regional cooperation on regional disaster management and relief. The Meeting acknowledged that energy security should be strengthened through interdependence and cooperation to ensure greater access to adequate, reliable and cost-effective energy supply to achieve economic, social and environmental objectives.

The Ministers and Heads of Delegations recognised the importance of promoting joint study, exchange of researchers, and industry-academia collaboration across national boundaries. They welcomed the proposal from Japan to construct an Open-Access Database to promote regional cooperation in the area of science and technology.

The Ministers and Heads of Delegations shared the view that the Informal Meeting offered an exceptional opportunity to promote regional cooperation and propose to convene the meeting of 16 countries. The Ministers and Heads of Delegations reguested the ASEAN Secretariat and other 6 countries to prepare the formality of the meeting as soon as possible.

The Ministers of ASEAN and ASEAN Dialogue Partners and Members of their Delegations and the Organising Committee of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia conveyed their full hearted gratitude and thanked to His Royal Highness the Sultan of Pahang, the people and the Government of the State of Pahang for their support and warm hospitality.

29 August 2006