Nov 30, 2012

ASEAN - ASEAN launches statistics monitoring system

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Backed by the European Union (EU), ASEAN launched on Tuesday statistics monitoring system to check the region’s progress in addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals and regional economic integration, the ASEAN Secretariat said.

The creation of the system under the EU-ASEAN Statistical Capacity Building (EASCAB) program was very essential as ASEAN needs reliable and timely statistical data that are comparable across all ten ASEAN Member States to help formulate regional policy and monitor integration in the region.

“ASEAN must monitor progress to ensure the region remains on track towards establishing the ASEAN Economic Community by the end of 2015. For this, we need timely, reliable and regionally comparative statistics,” Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of ASEAN said.

The EASCAB assisted both ASEAN statistic department and the national statistic offices of all ten member states to produce reliable and comparable statistical data such as the trade in goods and services, foreign direct investment, and other key sectors of development, and the publication of the first ever regional report on the status of ASEAN progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

As the first regional program of its kind, the EASCAB supports the establishment of the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS) Committee as the highest policy-making and coordinating body on statistical matters in the ASEAN region.

It also supports the creation of a regional network of statisticians, harmonized collection and processing systems to produce more reliable and timely data. It also supported the creation of an online database called the Regional Information Exchange Database System (REXDBS) to facilitate data collection, production and dissemination.

“The European Union has agreed to support a second 4-year program to strengthen ASEAN integration, monitoring and statistics with a budget of 7.5 million euro. The new program is expected to start later in 2013,” Colin Crooks, Deputy Head of European Union Delegation to Indonesia, Brunei and ASEAN, said.

The first EASCAB is a 4-year, 6 million euro program, intended to improve the collection, processing and dissemination of reliable statistics in the region. The program closes in January 2013.

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