On April 12, 2018, the 2018“China-ASEAN Year of Innovation” Opening Ceremony & China-ASEAN Innovation Forum was held in Beijing. The event was jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore and the ASEAN Secretariat. Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of China and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, the country holding the rotating presidency of ASEAN and serving as coordinator in China-ASEAN relations, respectively sent their congratulatory letters to the event. Wang Zhigang, Minister of Science and Technology of China, and Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State of the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore respectively read the congratulatory letters and addressed the meeting. Attending the meeting were Minster Mohamad Nasir of the Ministry of Research,Technology and Higher Education of Indonesia, Minister Boviengkham Vongdara of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Laos, Malaysian Ambassador to China Dato Zainuddin Yahya, Thai Ambassador to China Piriya Khempon, Thai Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Ms. Kanyawim Kirtikara, Vice Minister Win Maw Tun of the Ministry of Education of Myanmar, Brunei’s Charge d‘Affaires ad Interim to China, Minister of the Philippines Embassy in China and Director General of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam. The opening ceremony was presided over by Huang Wei, Vice Minister of Science and Technology.
Minister Wang Zhigang said that China and ASEAN countries are good neighbors enjoying geographical proximity and cultural affinity, and good partners for close cooperation and common development. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, the start of the 2nd half-a-century history of ASEAN and the 15th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnership between China and ASEAN. It is of great significance that at this critical moment the two sides took innovation as the China-ASEAN theme of the Year for the first time. Both China and ASEAN attach great importance to an innovation-driven strategy, and China will unswervingly implement the innovation-driven development strategy and carry out innovative and open cooperation with greater efforts in a wider scope and at a deeper level. In recent years, the two sides have carried out fruitful pragmatic cooperation in the fields of STI people-to-people exchanges, establishment of joint laboratories , technology transfer and science park cooperation under the frameworks of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms of science ,technology and innovation and the China ASEAN Science and Technology Partnership Program, and served regional economic development and livelihood improvement. In the new era, China is willing to engage in comprehensive innovation cooperation centering on science and technology innovation and make new contributions to the establishment of a China-ASEAN community of common destiny.
In their speeches, Senior Minister of State Koh Poh Koon, Minister Muhammad Nasir and Minister Boviengkham Vongdara all spoke highly of the tangible progress which China and ASEAN countries have made in their bilateral and regional STI cooperation in recent years. They also put forward measures and initiatives to strengthen STI cooperation and promote regional innovation and development.
At the China-ASEAN innovation Forum held after the opening ceremony, Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Huang Wei, Myanmar Vice Minister of Education Win Maw Tun, Thai Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Ms. Kanyawim Kirtikara, and other participants made speeches on innovation cooperation platforms built by government, people-to-people exchanges in science and technology, exchange in policies for science,technology and innovation, and cooperation in innovation among industry, academia and research institutes and other topics.
Nearly 200 representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the China-ASEAN Center, industry, academic and research institutes participated in the afore-mentioned events.