NEAT Philippines Hosted the 34th NEAT Country Coordinators Meeting

Source: NEAT Philippines Secretariat taken during the 34th CCM, 01 September 2021 via Cisco Webex. Photo arranged by Ms. Jean Carlos


The Philippine Institute for Development Studies, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of ASEAN Affairs, University of the Philippines-Asian Center, Foreign Service Institute, and selected Philippine experts on regional integration, hosted the 34th Network of East Asian Think-Tanks (NEAT) Country Coordinators Meeting (CCM) on September 1, 2021, 13:00-17:00H (+8UTC) via Cisco Webex.


The meeting was attended by 45 representatives composed of NEAT Country Coordinators (NEAT-CC), Contact Persons, Working Group Representatives, Diplomats, and Members of the Academe from the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Countries. Dr. Celia M. Reyes, former Philippines NEAT CC opened the meeting and introduced Dr. Aniceto Orbeta Jr. as the new Philippines’representative to the network.


Dr. Orbeta welcomed the participants by stating that ‘’as the new President of PIDS, one of my main thrusts is to continue the collaboration with policy research institutions like the Network of East Asian Think-Tanks. This is in support of the Institute’s vision to be the country’s foremost think tank and a globally recognized policy research organization by 2025. As a track two process of the ASEAN Plus Three, NEAT provides intellectual support for East Asian cooperation.’’


The two main agenda of this meeting was to discuss the results of the five (5) NEAT working groups (WGs), and draft a memorandum which will contain policy recommendations from the WGs to be submitted to the APT leaders who will meet in November 2021. Below are the details of the WGs:



Working Group Topic


Climate Change and East Asian Sustainable Development


ASEAN Plus Three and COVID-19 Pandemic: Countries’ Responses and Regional Cooperation


Toward Carbon Neutrality in East Asia


East Asia cooperation and Human Security in the Post Covid-19 Era


ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation on MSMEs: Accelerating Digital Adoption to Thrive in the New Normal


The meeting was closed by Director Jim San Agustin of the Department of Foreign Affairs Philippines by acknowledging the importance of Track-2 efforts to the development of the region. He assured that the results of the NEAT 2021 will be mentioned during the APT Summit which will be held on November 2021.


NEAT is a network of government and research institutions in the 10 ASEAN countries plus Japan, South Korea, and China. It is a Track Two process for East Asian cooperation, the main purpose of which is to support, promote, and develop the ideas of East Asian cooperation and regionalism, and, in particular, to provide intellectual support for East Asian cooperation through studies of key and strategic issues concerning future developments of East Asian cooperation.

The meeting sought to strengthen the research collaboration among the APT think tanks to produce studies that will help the region recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the working group will be will be submitted to the APT track-one mechanism.

This is the second virtual CCM hosted by the Philippines this year. The Philippines hosted the 33rd CCM last April 2021.