Jakarta, 12 August 2021 – Today, the ASEAN Secretary-General, Dato Lim Jock Hoi, EU Ambassador to ASEAN, Igor Driesmans, and the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, Ambassador Noel Servigon, reaffirmed commitments to promote connectivity amidst the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

The 4th ASEAN-EU Cooperation and Scholarship Day is a virtual event to showcase EU-ASEAN cooperation programmes and scholarship opportunities from ASEAN and EU Member States.  The two-day event features a series of talk shows and workshops on digital innovation, women in STEM, circular economy, and many other topics of interests. Also participating in the event is 13 education agencies and scholarship providers including EU flagship programmes EU SHARE and Erasmus.

“As we enter the 44th year of the ASEAN-EU dialogue relations this year, I am pleased to note that our cooperation continues to advance across all pillars, including in fostering a knowledge-based society and enhancing the region’s competitiveness through higher education,” said Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

On 4 June 2021, ASEAN and the EU have just concluded the world’s first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement, which enables the two regions to rebuild the air connectivity between ASEAN and Europe. While the agreement serves as an important milestone for both ASEAN and the EU, Ambassador Driesmans stressed the importance of people-to-people connectivity to mutual understanding and achieving socio-economic resilience.

“It is my hope that ASEAN youth and students can take full advantage of the next two days to explore the different scholarship opportunities and to draw inspiration from their fellow ASEAN youth leaders. At this event, we will do what the EU’s partnership with ASEAN is all about: bringing together people and ideas,” Ambassador Driesmans said during the opening of the 4th ASEAN-EU Cooperation and Scholarship 2021.

Ambassador Servigon remarked on the celebratory nature of the event. “Today is a celebration of the people-to-people connectivity of our two regions and an opportunity for ASEAN students to explore higher education options and scholarships,” Ambassador Servigon said. “I am also looking forward to meeting inspiring young leaders of ASEAN in these coming two days,” he added.