Went to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia - ERIA today with my AEI friends i.e. Azrul Shahreen & Zikry Kholil for a 10am appointment.
Purpose of the visit was two-pronged i.e. to understand the functions and workings of ERIA and to gather data on SMEs and Islamic Finance which would be pertinent for my research paper.
Am honoured and very thankful that 2 researchers i.e. Ms. Friska Parulian & Mr. Sothea Oum took time off from their busy schedule to brief us about ERIA and to answer my questions on Economics/Finance generally and on Islamic Finance and SMEs specifically. In addition, we were given copies of the latest Policy Brief on "Global Financial Crisis and Policy Responses in Southeast Asia" and a draft of a future Policy Brief as well. Quite pleased to hear that the researcher "liked" Malaysia's Stimulus Package response to the Global Financial Meltdown.
Thank you again to Mr. Sothea Oum for extending me a copy of the ERIA Research Project Report, No.5 titled "Asian SMEs and Globalization".
My heartfelt thanks to Miss Arlene Taulu of the ASEAN Secretariat for making the visit arrangements and to Ms. Mitsuko Takayanagi for receiving us and bringing us around.