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Audrey Liwan spent her childhood days playing in the lush rainforest of Borneo, in the Miri Division of Sarawak, Malaysia, ‘Nature is an important part of my life and environmental issues have always been close to my heart’.

is currently working on her PhD thesis with a focus on environmental economics, ‘I think environmental issues need to be seen beyond national perspective’, Liwan said. ‘I’m particularly interested in the areas of green technology and sustainability in the ASEAN context’.

Liwan believes in the importance of learning from other countries and engaging with the Next Gen EU-ASEAN Think Tank Dialogue (EANGAGE) programme provides her with the opportunity to connect, learn and work together with other researchers in the region and in the European Union.

The EANGAGE programme is designed to increase the awareness of EU foreign policy objectives and the EU’s engagement in ASEAN. The programme facilitates 90 young think tank researchers from ASEAN and the EU to exchange ideas, strengthen networks and improve mutual understanding on issues of interest between the two regions.

Etienne Hoera has always been fascinated by the cultural diversity in ASEAN, ‘It started off as a personal fascination and as I watch the region grow, I became more interested in learning about ASEAN’.

‘Working with ASEAN researchers through the EANGAGE programme has really enrichened my perspectives’, Hoera said.

Through the EANGAGE programme, researchers like Liwan and Hoera, engage in regular discussions and structured exchanges of ideas. This series of engagements are expected to unearth new areas of cooperation within the three focal areas of connectivity, security, and sustainable development.

‘The EU and ASEAN are natural partners that have based their 45 years of relations on shared values and shared interests’, Hoera said. ‘It is a great experience to be part of this relationship and somehow act as a bridge’.


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