The second “Southeast Asia Think Tank Network: Regional Workshop,” co-organized by the Association of Foreign Relations (AFR), Taiwan (ROC), and Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), US, was held in Taipei on 3-4 March 2017.
Approximately 20 delegates of free-enterprise and public policy think tanks from six Southeast Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam) convened to discuss and share experiences in issues related to the deepening of economic reform and facilitation of democratization. Topics such as closing the distance and establishing a closer network among Southeast Asian think tanks with similar focuses to share resources with one another and provide mutual support were also addressed in the closed-door meeting.
AFR Secretary-General Professor Kwei-Bo Huang welcomed the delegates, and indicated in his opening remarks that the purpose of the workshop and that of AFR’s founding share mutual missions to boost people-to-people exchanges and promote understanding of the civil society between Taiwan and Southeast Asia. CIPE Managing Director Andrew Wilson also delivered opening remarks, and expanded on the center’s work and expectations from the workshop.
The CIPE team consisted of Kim Bettcher, Cathy Tai and Ryan Evangelista who flew to Taipei from Washington DC and Manila to join the meeting . AFR Senior Advisor Fadah Hsieh, AFR Advisor Ali Du and representatives of AFR’s member organizations arrived the first day afternoon, and engaged in the lively discussions and exchanges with the CIPE team and Southeast Asian delegates.
Director Eric Yu of Taiwan Foundation for Democracy was invited to the workshop and sat through all the conference sessions. Research Fellow Chin-En Wu of Academia Sinica, Taiwan (ROC) was also invited, and gave a talk on Taiwan’s democratization and political economy the second day.