“A Vibrant Minerals Sector for Sustainable Development”

1. We, the ASEAN Ministers responsible for minerals and mines, held our inaugural ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals (1st AMMin) in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia on 4 August 2005.  H.E. Dato Sri Haji Adenan bin Haji Satem, Minister for Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia chaired the 1st AMMin, with H.E. U Myint Thein, Deputy Minister for Mines of Myanmar, as Vice-Chairman.

Opening Ceremony

2.                  The Right Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, officially opened the 1st AMMin. In his Keynote Speech, the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted that minerals cooperation in ASEAN is another significant economic cooperation building block that will contribute towards revitalising ASEAN so that it may take its rightful place in what promises to be the most vibrant region of the new millennium.

3.                  He remarked that to hasten the process of development, ASEAN needs to exploit its competitive advantage, including its storehouse of mineral resources. Although mineral resources in the region are different and varied, they could be mutually shared not only just to fulfill everyday necessities but as feedstock for many minerals based industries.

4.                  He stressed that the thrust and development of a regional minerals industry would include joint exploration and joint mining operations, intra regional trade, as well as the sharing of information and technical know how.  He also stressed the need to develop an ASEAN minerals database and a Research and Development (R & D) facility.

5.                  As mineral development is an international business, he indicated that ASEAN needs to seek investment to optimise the development of its reserves and meet increasingly complex demands of a global market.

6.                  He envisioned that AMMin can plan and deliberate on how to coordinate the development of the minerals industry on a global scale.  He emphasised, however, the importance of sustainable development and environmentally friendly development of mineral resources, as minerals come from the earth and we have a duty to protect that earth.

7.                  He concluded by reiterating that to realise the full potential of the minerals industry, there is a  need to combine the technological genius of man, the blessings of the earth, and the commercial impetus of business and hoped that the multi-faceted minerals industry can be instrumental in helping to bind the ASEAN Community.

Positive Growth Prospects in the ASEAN Minerals Sector

8.                  We discussed the minerals sector’s growing importance in ASEAN as a natural asset that can stimulate and enhance economic growth potential and social progress in the Member Countries.  We believed that the ASEAN minerals sector will likely expand further to satisfy a continuously increasing demand from industrial production, agriculture, high-tech sectors, and merchandise producers. We acknowledged that strong economic growth regionally and globally is fuelling demand for mineral resources in many countries, thus creating significant incentives and opportunities for ASEAN Member Countries to market their mineral products.

Charting the Course for Regional Cooperation

9.                  We recalled that our Leaders, under the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) 2004-2010, called for enhancing trade and investment in the minerals sector and the strengthening of cooperation in the rational and optimal utilisation of mineral resources.

10.              To move forward the Leaders’ agenda, we signed the Ministerial Understanding (MU) on ASEAN Cooperation in Minerals to formalise regional cooperation which aims to develop the minerals sector to be an engine for greater economic growth and social progress in the ASEAN region; enhance trade and investment in the ASEAN minerals sector; and promote environmentally sound and socially responsible mineral development practices in the sustainable management and optimum utilisation of mineral resources.

11.              We adopted the ASEAN Minerals Cooperation Action Plan (AMCAP) 2005 – 2010 which contained 19 concrete and strategic actions to realise the policy agenda under the Vientiane Action Programme and MU on ASEAN Cooperation in Minerals. For the AMCAP’s effective implementation, we have endorsed the formation of four working groups to collectively address specific cooperation areas in minerals information and database; trade and investment in minerals; sustainable mineral development; and capacity building in minerals.

Enhancing Strategic and Creative Partnerships

12.              We welcomed domestic and foreign private investment in the ASEAN minerals sector.  To facilitate investment activities and reduce business transaction costs, we resolved to coordinate development policies and programmes on mineral resources within ASEAN. We agreed to give concerted attention to the promotion of environmentally and socially responsible management and development in the ASEAN minerals sector.

13.              We also welcomed the establishment of the Forum on Private Sector Cooperation in ASEAN, under the auspices of the ASEAN Federation of Mining Associations (AFMA), as the cooperation vehicle to foster trade and investment in joint venture projects and creative partnerships in the ASEAN minerals sector. We were pleased that AFMA will develop a prioritised Strategic Plan to support the Private Sector Forum’s Roadmap for Cooperation and the AMCAP 2005-2010; expand membership to cover the other ASEAN member countries; and establish a permanent secretariat to handle the emerging priorities and challenges facing the private sector involvement in the ASEAN minerals sector.  To ensure closer public-private partnership, we agreed to hold consultation/dialogue with the AFMA officials in future AMMIn meetings.

14.              To generate high value-added manufacturing and services activities in the ASEAN minerals sector, we agreed to foster closer cooperation with ASEAN dialogue partner countries and relevant international and regional organisations in the promotion of scientific and technological research and development in mineral resource development and geosciences, as well as cooperative programmes on technology transfer. As a first step, we welcomed Malaysia’s proposal to invite representatives of China, Japan and Republic of Korea for ASEAN + 3 Consultative Meeting on Mineral Cooperation in 2006.

15.              Through stronger public-private partnership and closer collaboration with ASEAN Dialogue Partners and relevant international agencies, we are confident that the ASEAN minerals sector will be a vibrant force for greater economic growth and social well being in the region.

Ministers / Designated Representatives Attended the First AMMin

  1. H.E. Dato Paduka Dr. Mat Suny Hj. Md Hussein, Deputy Minister of Development for Brunei Darussalam
  2. H.E. Mr. Chea Sieng Hong, Secretary of State for Industry, Mines and Energy for Cambodia
  3. H.E. Mr. KPH Rusdiharjo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to Malaysia
  4. H.E. Mr. Onneua Phommachanh, Minister of Industry and Handicrafts for Lao PDR
  5. H.E. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Bin Haji Satem, Minister for Natural Resources and Environment for Malaysia
  6. H.E. U Myint Thein, Deputy Minister for Mines for Myanmar
  7. H.E. Mr.  Michael T. Defensor, Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources for the Philippines
  8. H.E. Mr. Lim Swee Say, Second Minister for National Development for Singapore
  9. H.E. Dr. Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, Vice Minister for Industry for Thailand
  10. H.E. Mrs. Tran Thi Minh Ha, Director General of International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for Vietnam
  11. H.E. Pengiran Dato Mashor Pengiran Ahmad, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN