The 27th Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth-Triangle (IMT-GT) was conducted virtually on 2nd November 2020. It was the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19, IMT-GT Senior Officials’ Meeting to be conducted via video conference, with the main agenda, among other: strengthening subregional cooperation to mitigate the impact of Covid-19; Assessment on projects/programmes Implementation under the Blueprint 2017-2021; and Identification of possible joint cooperation with strategic partners for economic recovery post COVID-19.

Hon. Dr. Rizal Affandi Lukman, Deputy Minister for International Economic Cooperation of Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Indonesia chaired the Meeting. The Meeting was attended by, Hon Dato’ Saiful Anuar Lebai Hussen, Director General, Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department, as the head of Malaysia delegation and Hon. Dr.Wanchat Suwankitti, Senior Advisor on Policy and Planning of National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) as the head of Thailand delegation, Mr. Firdaus Dahlan, Director of Centre for Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Growth Triangle (CIMT) Subregional Cooperation, accompanied by Deputy Directors Ms. Wariya Pisuchpen and Mr. Mohd. Akhir Rahman. The Meeting was also attended by Director Mr. Alfredo Perdiguero, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Ho Quang Trung, the ASEAN Secretariat and 169 registered delegates from the relevant agencies representing the six IMT-GT Working Groups (WGs), the IMT-GT Joint Business Council (JBC), and the IMT-GT University Network (UNINET).

Hon Dr. Rizal Affandi Lukman as the Chairman of 27th Senior Officials’ Meeting in his opening remarks emphasized on the importance of closer cooperation between IMT-GT countries to accelerate the process of post-pandemic economic recovery. The meeting is part of the subregional collective effort towards economic recovery as well as achieving IMT-GT Vision 2036. Echoing the statement, Hon Dr. Wanchat Suwankitti, appreciated to each IMT-GT member countries on the timely repond to the pandemic and measures taken to address economic and social challenges. While, Hon Dato’ Saiful Anuar Lebai Hussen underscored the importance in co-creating high impact and catalytic private sector-led subregional projects to accelerate the post Covid-19 economic recovery as well as to turn IMT-GT into a preferred investment destination. This will be also a starting point for us to prepare for a more robust 2nd IMT-GT Blueprint (2022-2026) under the IMT-GT Vision 2036.

As past practice, the meeting also deliberated report from six working groups on update and progress of projects implementation, and CIMT report on Review of Implementation Blueprint (IB) 2017-2021 which is going to be completed by next year; and preparation for the 2nd IB 2022 – 2026.

For further updates on IMT-GT, like our page: Centre for IMTGT or visit our website: www.imtgt.org