First, Largest Youth-Led Economic Forum Takes Place in Southeast Asia

First Youth-Led Economic Forum in Southeast Asia Building Cooperation for a Sustainable Future
A group photo with all the delegates and VIP guests

The ASEAN Youth Organization has organized the first and largest youth economic forum, called the ASEAN Youth Economic Forum (AYEF) 2023 with the theme of “Building A More Inclusive Youth Participation in ASEAN-Japan Friendship” to celebrate the commemoration of the 50th ASEAN-Japan Relationship Anniversary.

The AYEF 2023 was opened by Mr. Kiya Masahiko, Ambassador of the Mission of Japan to ASEAN. In his speech, he remarked that “It is important, at this point, to look back on our history to understand the values of ASEAN-Japan cooperation. Simply put, Japan has always been with ASEAN to overcome challenges, and will always be.”

Closing the opening ceremony and officially opening the ASEAN Youth Economic Forum 2023, Senjaya Mulia, the Chairperson of the ASEAN Youth Organization and the Project Director of the AYEF, said he believes that youth inclusion is one of the most important elements to create a more sustainable future.

He added that this forum could be a platform for young people to freely exchange ideas on the circular economy and provide opportunities for the young generation to learn from the experts, as well as build cooperation with their fellow youths. It is the time for us, young people, to be heard, seen, and involved in the policy-making processes.

Many experts, government officials, and professionals, among others the ASEAN Secretariat, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Japan
Mission to ASEAN, the Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesia, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN, Mekong Institute, the United Nations Environment Programme – Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and some Social/Environmental Enterprises were attending, along with the 20 main delegates of AYEF 2023 from 10 ASEAN countries, Timor-Leste, and Japan.

Over 300 people attended the public forum, joining online and on-site from the ASEAN member states, Japan, and beyond. The public forum, which serves as the opening of the five-day forum, was conducted at the Le Meridien Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The final policy recommendations of this forum will be shared with Key Government officials to implement the ASEAN Framework on the Circular Economy in their national-level policies going forward.