CIMB unit and UI in tie-up to promote ASEAN integration

CIMB Asean Research Institute (CARI), a unit of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, has inked an agreement with Universitas Indonesia (UI) to undertake collaborative educational and research programmes to promote Asean integration.

CARI commissioner Glenn Muhd Surya Yusuf signed on behalf of the institute while UI was represented by Prof Firmanzah. CIMB group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and UI partnership and business incubation director Prof Wiku Adisasunito witnessed the signing.

Fully-funded by CIMB, CARI is a transnational research institute dedicated to the advancement and acceleration of the Asean agenda.

Glenn said in a statement that the institute was established to champion the private sector’s participation in supplementing Asean secretariat’s and governments’ efforts on Asean integration.

“Therefore, one of our key agendas is to seek collaboration and strategic partnership with existing centres of excellence such as UI while pursuing a pragmatic and problem-solving approach to challenges and opportunities in Asean economic integration,” he said after the signing ceremony in Depok.

Glenn said a unified Asean “is tantalizingly achievable yet beset with serious obstacles” although there was on-paper consensus on what must be done.

He said with the goal of an Asean Economic Community to be realised by 2015, “there is a need to extend the economic and social horizons of every man, woman and child in region”.

“However, the challenges before us are serious. At a recent meeting in Bangkok, senior business leaders were frank in voicing doubts that the Asean Economic Community could come into effect in four years.”

He said there was a serious “disconnect” between Asean’s plans and what business leaders understood or believed.

Glenn said CARI and UI shared the view that Asean was increasingly important to the global economy and that the Asean Economic Community needed support “by a coming-together of different sectors such as education and business”.

“Out of this shared notion, we agreed to collaborate on research and public advocacy and we’re indeed very excited with the synergy that will be created from combining our networks and resources,” he said.

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