1.    The 4th Informal Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology was held on 28 August 2006 while the ASEAN Informal Ministerial Meeting + 3 Session (China, Japan and Korea) and + 1 Sessions with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners namely Australia, India and New Zealand; and the ASEAN Ministers + Invited Dialogue Partners Working Lunch were held in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia on 28 and 29 August 2006. Ministers responsible for Science and Technology from Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand were represented by their respective Ministers while the rest, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam were represented by their Deputy or Vice Ministers or its equivalent.  The Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN, ASEAN Secretariat and his Delegation were in attendance.

2.    On the occasion of the 4th IAMMST, the Ministers from six ASEAN Dialogue Partners were also invited to meet with the ASEAN Ministers for Science and Technology. India is represented by the Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences; Japan is represented by the State Minister of Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet’s Office; China and Korea by their respective Vice Ministers of Science and Technology; Australia by its Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education, Science and Training and New Zealand by a Senior Officer from the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

3.    The 4th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology was officiated by the Right Honourable Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia on 28th August 2006.

4th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology

4.   The 4th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology, confined to the ASEAN Member Countries, was held on 28 August 2006.

5.   The Meeting endorsed in principle of the final draft of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science and Technology (APAST) for the period 2007 and 2011 and noted with appreciation the 4 flagship programmes in environment and disaster management; new and renewable energy; open source software system; food safety and security that the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (ASEAN-COST) will vigorously pursue for the said period.

6.    The Ministers expressed hope the new APAST would contribute to Member Countries in ASEAN in the transition stage; in modernising its agricultural economy and scaling up its industrial production economy, to move into the new economy, the Knowledge-based Economy, while at the same time assist in narrowing the disparity and development gap amongst Member countries of ASEAN.

7.    The Ministers realised the involvement of the private sector would be critical in realising the VAP and Vision 2020.  The Ministers agreed to organise a side event for the ASEAN private sector at their next meeting while at the same time tasked the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (ASEAN-COST) to find innovative ways and means to attract the participation of the private sectors in their activities.

8.    The Ministers were pleased to note that all Member Countries are making significant progress in their contributions to augment the ASEAN Science Fund (ASF) with the contribution of USD 1 million from each Member Countries over a period of 10 years. The Ministers agreed to approach their Dialogue Partners and invite them to contribute to the funds directly or through providing assistance in implementing the programmes and activities as outline in the APAST.

9.   The Ministers reiterated its suggestion for ASEAN-COST to consult their counterparts in other bodies and fora in ASEAN so as to join forces in addressing multisectoral issues such as emerging infectious disease, new energy and disaster management.

10.    The Ministers deliberated at length on the K-economy, setting direction and initiative in exploring each other strengths to implement R&D activities in the field of biotechnology, nanotechnology, ICT, and disaster management on a cost-sharing basis by leveraging on the commonalities between the national programmes of each Member Countries. The Ministers agreed to solicit Dialogue Partners cooperation, assistance and participation in the R&D projects, communication, innovation and as well human resource development in the fields of science and technology.

11.   As for new initiatives, the Meeting agreed for ASEAN Member Countries to develop common strategies to tackle natural disasters in an integrated manner. Malaysia expressed gratitude to Indonesia and Philippines for allowing Malaysia to place their tsunami warning buoys in their national waters and offered Viet Nam, China and Philippines to access the data from the third bouy that is to be located in Pulau Layang Layang.

12.    The Meeting took note of Thailand’s proposal to establish an ASEAN Centre for Infectious Diseases and urged each member country to identify their national centres for infectious diseases and to request Japan to assist in this area.

13.   The Meeting acknowledged that human resource development is key to the successful implementation of the flagship programmes and other S&T activities.  The Meeting supported the proposal by Thailand to establish the Network of Scientists and Researchers through the implementation of the R&D e-forum programme. The ASEAN-wide e-forum will facilitate exchange of ideas and  information among researchers in ASEAN member countries as well as enable the identification of R&D topics of common interest. The Meeting agreed for each country to identify one or two research areas that they wish to offer assistance to the newer member countries to reduce development gaps and accelerate integration.

Informal ASEAN + 3 (China, Japan and Korea) Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology

14.  The Informal ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology was chaired by H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr. Jamaludin Jarjis. Japan’s Delegation was led by  H.E. Iwao Matsuda, Minister for Science and Technology Policy. China and Korea were led by their Vice-Ministers of Science and Technology, namely H.E. Prof. Ma Songde and H.E. Dr. Park Young IL respectively.  It was the first time that the ASEAN Ministers for Science and Technology are meeting their counterparts from the ASEAN Plus Three Countries.

15.   The Ministers and Heads of Delegations exchanged views on the current situation to explore possibilities in science and technology cooperation in the region in a frank and open atmosphere. The Chairman invited Members of the Meeting to highlight on the needs and expectation of ASEAN in moving up the economic value chain.

16.   The Ministers and Heads of Delegation shared the recognition that science and technology is one of the areas which has the most potential to promote regional cooperation. Ministers and Heads of Delegations shared the view that Asia is the driving force of the world economy and that science and technology is the source of power to keep or propel the momentum. They decided that to raise the level of science and technology in the region, efforts by each country and collaboration beyond national boundaries are very important.

17.    The Meeting took note of the current status of cooperation between ASEAN and  the Plus Three countries as well as new initiatives put forward by China, Japan and Korea ranging from cooperation in biofuel, traditional Chinese medicine, new energy, networks of research centres for emerging infectious diseases, disaster management, S&T human resource development programme. The meeting agreed to Japan’s proposal on Open-Access Database (Matsuda’s Innitiative) to promote international cooperation in S&T and to merge this project with Thailand S&T e-forum while at the same time taking into account of the existing databases networks. The Meeting welcomes the new initiatives from Korea on the proposal to establish ASEAN+3 centre for the gifted in science as well as the S&T cooperation road map. The ASEAN Ministers expressed their keen interest to implement the initiatives in a more concerted manner with the Plus Three countries providing its expertise and wherever possible some financial assistance to ASEAN, particularly to the new members of ASEAN.

18.    The Meeting also welcome China’s invitation to Naning  Expo and China’s offer on training programmes for the ASEAN Member Countries.

19.   The ASEAN +1 with India was co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Jamaludin Jarjis, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia and H.E. Kapil Sibal,  Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences.

20.  In addition to the on-going active collaboration programmes between ASEAN and India in the fields of Biotechnology, ICT, Advanced materials and space technology applications, the Meeting thanked India for its offer to cooperate in relevant initiatives in the areas of infectious diseases; food security and natural disaster, among others.

21.   The ASEAN Ministers welcomed India’s initiatives to promote ASEAN as its partner for the Technology Summit and Technology Platform (TSTP) 2007 on 6-7 November 2006 in New Delhi, India. The ASEAN Ministers agreed that the ASEAN Delegation be led by Ministerial level participation of all ASEAN Member countries including representatives from the private sectors to the TSTP in India. The Malaysian Minister expressed his keenness to participate and lead the ASEAN Delegation. Under unforeseen circumstances, if the Malaysian Minister is not able to do so, then another Minister from another ASEAN Member country would lead the Delegation.

Australia and New Zealand

22.    The ASEAN Ministers and Heads of Delegation decided to meet the Heads of Delegations from Australia and New Zealand together with the consent of all parties concerned. The Informal Meeting of ASEAN + Australia and New Zealand were co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Jamaludin Jarjis, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia with H.E. Pat Farmer, the Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Education, Science and Training for Australia and Dr. Wynn Ingram, the Representative of the Minister of Research, Science and Technology of New Zealand.

23.   The Meeting took note of the ASEAN-New Zealand Framework for Future Cooperation, 2006-2010 that aims to strengthen cooperation between ASEAN and New Zealand in the political and security fields, as well as in the economic and socio-cultural development and a number of projects and programmes have been identified.

24.   The Meeting welcomed Australia’s and New Zealand’s willingness to further the cooperation in the areas of human resource development, disasters mitigation or management and food security. ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand agreed to look into R&D collaboration in areas of mutual interest.

25. 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