Yangon, Myanmar

Prof. K. Ohno's Homepage

Updated August 6, 2021

GRIPS Office: E410     Profile     GDF    VEPR

Nairobi, Kenya

News    previous1  2

  Japanese manufacturing SMEs and support organizations (June 2021)

Japanese SMEs have high skills and technology, but owners are getting old. They receive work orders from big assemblers and execute perfectly. They need to broaden their business scope to survive and prosper in the globalized age. Note that many wear light blue or green work wear.

Osaka firm supplying aircraft parts to Boeing

Metal casting firm in Kawaguchi, Saitama
A tiny firm producing gears in Ota-ku, Tokyo. Only a few visitor can enter the premise at a time.
SME technology support center in Higashi Osaka
SME technology support center in Saitama
SME Support Japan, a central SME support organization under METI. Its Tokyo headquarters office is relatively modest in size and interior.


Policy Design and Implementation in Developing Countries
Spring, Friday 15:00-16:30  Classroom I

Course completed for 2021

Click photo to enlarge

     syllabus    grading   student presentations

Economic Development of Japan
Spring, Thursday
16:40-18:10  Classroom F

Course completed for 2021

     syllabus   textbook

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Below are additional materials prepared to answer students' questions in past classes

- Evolution of postwar SME policy
- Foreign teachers at Kobu Daigakko
- Sakoku (closing/re-opening country)

- How hans promoted industries
- More about terakoya
- Kaiyomaru
- High-level Industrial Schools in Meiji
- Factory relocation around 1923
- What was Security Maintenance Law?
- How Toyota started car production
- How BOJ reacted to 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

Industrial studies & reports

Technology transfer of Meiji Japan (Uchida)
Introducing Kaizen in Africa
Ethiopia Information Kit for Japanese businesses

Mission reports on industrial policy quality
     Singapore (Sep.2010)
     Korea (Dec.2010)
     Taiwan (Apr.2011)
     India (Oct.2012)
     Mauritius (Oct.2012)
     Indonesia (Jul. 2014)
     Rwanda (Aug. 2014)
     Thailand (May 2015)
     Cambodia (May 2015)
     South Africa (Apr. 2016)
     Sri Lanka (Oct. 2017)
     Kenya (Aug. 2018)
     Myanmar (Nov. 2019)

Paper on industrial policy quality

SME product exhibition hall in Higashi Osaka

Research Topics   2005  06  07  08  09  10  11  12  13  14&15  16&17

Productivity Reports of Ethiopia and Vietnam (updated July 2021)

I have been working with two GRIPS PhD alumni to produce national productivity reports in Ethiopia and Vietnam. Dr. Kidanemariam Berhe Hailu is lead researcher at Policy Studies Institute (Addis Ababa) and Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh is president of Viet Nam Center for Economic and Strategic Studies (Hanoi). They both got studied under my supervision. Though the two countries are at different development stages and face different problems, they both need analytical and reliable information on productivity for policy making. To ensure high-quality research, I advised their data collection and cleaning, labor productivity decomposition, shift-share analysis, firm survey, etc. Interim results were presented to high-level national audience as well as at the World Bank headquarters, and received positive responses. The Ethiopian report was completed in 2020 and the Vietnamese report is to be launched in April 2021.

  Ethiopia Productivity Report          Vietnam Productivity Report (prelim.)

Myanmar's industrial policy (Nov. 2019)

We visited Myanmar to study its industrial policy methods, especially automotive and SEZ policies. Myanmar has poor infrastructure and current policy capability is low, but it seriously listens to and accepts foreign advice (including Japanese). Japanese car makers requested restriction of used car imports, and Myanmar did it. They also participated in drafting Myanmar's first automotive policy. As a result, new car sales rose dramatically. Toyota is now building a new assembly plant (photo) and Suzuki is expanding its existing plant.  Even though Myanmar's automotive sector is at an early stage of SKD (simple assembly), it wants to go to CKD (assembly with welding & painting) and component supplier development in the future. Myanmar also permitted Japan to build and run Thilawa SEZ by Japanese standard in both hard infrastructure and customer service. It is now fully occupied and expanding.  Myanmar report

How Nations Learn (Jun. 2019)

Kenichi Ohno and Arkebe Oqubay, an Ethiopian minister at PM Office, published an edited volume, How Nations Learn: Technology Learning, Industrial Policy and Catch-up (OUP, June 2019). Renowned researchers examine key features of successful industrialization, state's role in catch-up and innovation, and cases from Asia, Africa and Latin America with particular emphasis on HOW policies are made and executed, not just WHAT are done. This book is another offshoot from the Ethiopia-Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue.    book website

Policy to attract automotive assembly (Feb. 2019)

GDF interviewed Japanese auto makers, visited many developing countries that produce cars, analyzed auto tariff structures globally, and carefully compared the policies of Kenya and Ethiopia to come up with pragmatic policy advice to invite global car giants to Ethiopia. The results were reported to Ethiopian leaders and industrial officials, and recommendations will be followed up with action. In Ethiopia, barriers that need to be overcome are (i) foreign currency shortage; (ii) incentive problems; (iIi) used car import; and (iv) small demand.  slides

Narrative of Ethiopia-Japan Policy Dialogue (Feb. 2019)

Izumi & Kenichi Ohno contributed a chapter to the recently released Oxford Handbook of the Ethiopian Economy (OUP 2019). We explained how Ethiopia has learned from East Asia, especially Japan, and how GRIPS and JICA have conducted bilateral industrial policy dialogue since 2008. The GRIPS Development Forum has exchanged many policy issues with PM Meles (2008-12) and PM Hailemariam (2013-17). We are re-establishing working relations with the new policy teams of PM Abiy Ahmed who came to power in April 2018, to continue Japan's industrial cooperation.    book website

Productivity in Ethiopia and Vietnam (Mar. 2018)

Ethiopia and Vietnam are two countries with which GRIPS Development Forum (GDF) conduct intensive policy research & dialogue. Despite their different level and pattern of development, both now focus on productivity and GDF is deeply involved in it.

In both, GDF works very closely with the Japanese embassy, JICA and policy research institutions. We work with high levels (PM, PM Office, ministers) as well as relevant ministries and implementing agencies. In Ethiopia, JICA-supported Kaizen programs are now nationally owned and strongly expanding. In Vietnam, productivity concern is widely talked about but real action is slower than in Ethiopia.

We mobilize researchers who received PhD from GRIPS under K. Ohno's supervision--Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh (director, Vietnam Economic Policy Research, Vietnam National University; former PM advisory member) and Dr. Kidanemariam Berhe Hailu (Lead Researcher, Policy Study and Research Center under federal government). GDF is currently working with them to produce a policy-oriented Productivity Report in each country.