The 28th Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth-Triangle (IMT-GT) was successfully conducted virtually on 22nd July 2021. Strengthening subregional cooperation to mitigate and revive from the impact of COVID-19, was one of the main agenda of the meeting. The meeting also conducted to assess on projects and programs Implementation under the Blueprint 2017-2021; and Identification of possible joint cooperation with strategic partners for economic recovery post COVID-19.

The Meeting was chaired by Hon. Dato’ Saiful Anuar bin Lebai Hussen, Director General for Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia. Together attended the meeting was Hon. Dr. Rizal Affandi Lukman, Deputy Minister for Regional and Subregional Economic Cooperation, Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, Indonesia, and Hon. Dr. Wanchat Suwankitti, Deputy Secretary General Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) Thailand. The Meeting was also attended by Mr. Alfredo Perdiguero, Director for Regional Cooperation and Operation Coordination Division, Southeast Asia Department of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Ho Quang Trung, Director of Sectoral Development Directorate for the ASEAN Economic Community Department at ASEAN Secretariat, Centre for IMT-GT Subregional Cooperation (CIMT), IMT-GT National Secretariats (NS), representatives of sectoral Working Groups (WGs), IMT-GT University Network (UNINET) and IMT-GT Joint Business Council (JBC).

Hon Dato’ Saiful Anuar Lebai Hussen as the Chairman of 28th Senior Officials’ Meeting in his opening remarks pointed out that the past one year has been rather difficult as the whole world is combating the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. However, he acknowledges that the IMT-GT member countries have made measured policy decisions to minimize the public health risk. He also believes that the work together facilitated by CIMT could strengthen the fundamentals and develop this subregion towards a dynamic and resilient economy

Similar to past meeting practice, the meeting also deliberated the reports from all seven 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.

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