COHESIVELY ENHANCING CAPACITY OF ASEAN COMMUNITY STATISTICAL SYSTEM TO BE MORE RESPONSIVE TO GREATER DATA NEEDS                                                                                                                                                                           CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF THE ASEAN COMMUNITY STATISTICAL SYSTEM

The Eighth Session of the ASEAN Community Statistical System Committee

The Eighth Session of the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS) Committee, or ACSS8, hosted by the Singapore Department of Statistics, was held on 9 to 11 October 2018 in Singapore. Mr. Lam Yi Young, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore, delivered the welcome remarks. The Session was chaired by Ms. Wong Wee Kim, Chief Statistician of the Singapore Department of Statistics. Ms. Wanpen Poonwong, Deputy Director General of the Thailand National Statistical Office, served as the Co-chairperson.

Aligned with the overall ASEAN Singapore 2018 tagline of “Resilient & Innovative”, and as part of our continuous commitment to further enhance regional statistical cooperation and respond proactively to emerging statistical requirements, the 2018 ACSS work programme was adopted with the theme “Innovation in Statistics Collection, Compilation, Dissemination and Communication to Meet Increasing Data Requirements of the ASEAN Community”.

At the Session, key deliverables of the 2018 ACSS work programme were announced. Accordingly, in meeting the increasing statistical requirements of ASEAN regional policy makers for monitoring ASEAN regional integration, the ACSS Committee continued its statistical programmes aimed at providing timely and comparable international merchandise trade statistics, foreign direct investment statistics and international trade in services statistics. In addition, the ACSS Committee adopted the ACSS Protocol for New Data Request from ASEAN Sectoral Bodies to guide the prioritisation of new statistical indicator requirements. The updated list of ASEAN Statistical Indicators was endorsed to incorporate the new priorities from the various ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, including new areas of statistics on ASEAN Sustainable Development Goal indicators and System of National Account indicators. The ASEAN Statistical Indicators are regularly reviewed to address emerging statistical requirements of key regional data users and ensure the continued relevance of statistical indicators compiled by the ACSS. In recognising the considerable benefits of more Open Data practices through easier access to official statistics for informed policy planning, decision making, research and analyses at the ASEAN regional and national levels, the ACSS Committee adopted the Concept Note on 2 the ACSS Open Data Initiative for Statistics. The “ASEAN Statistical Highlights 2018” publication was developed with good visualisations and storytelling elements to better communicate to users our key regional statistics. A new ASEAN Statistics category in the SingStat Mobile Application was launched by the Singapore Department of Statistics.

At the national level, the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) made great efforts in striving to meet increasing data requirements at the national level, through the development of new indicators and the further strengthening of statistical capacity and cooperation. The AMSs are considering the innovations in data collection, compilation, dissemination and communication in preparation for their upcoming Population and Housing Census, Economic Census and Agriculture Census. In particular, the register-based approach that maximises the use of administrative data, the use of Big Data such as geospatial information and mobile positioning data were adopted. The AMSs also made the efforts in providing respondents with a more positive survey experience via multi-modal data collection. The plans by AMSs were made to communicate and disseminate Census findings in an engaging manner through data visualisation. With the adoption of the Monitoring and Evaluation System of the ACSS Strategic Plan 2016-2025 at the Seventh Session of the ACSS Committee in October 2017, the first round of the assessment was reported in 2018. Following the establishment of the Terms of Reference for Cooperation in Statistical Information Sharing between the ACSS and the National Bureau of Statistics of the 4 People’s Republic of China, the third issue of the Statistical Yearbook of China-ASEAN was successfully released at the Fourth China-ASEAN Statistics Forum held on 13 September 2018 in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.

Concluding the Session, the ACSS Committee expressed sincere gratitude to the Government of Singapore, through the Singapore Department of Statistics, for its excellent chairmanship, warm hospitality and impeccable arrangements for the ACSS8, at the same time, welcomed the ACSS Chairmanship of the Thailand National Statistical Office in 2019.