Research 2012

Learning to Industrialize (Nov. 2012)

My latest book, Learning to Industrialize: From Given Growth to Policy-aided Value Creation was published from Routledge. The first part (chs.1-4) covers ideas and methods such as middle income traps, policy learning, standard industrial policy tools, policy organizations, etc. The second part (chs.5-10) discusses concrete country cases - Meiji Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Ethiopia - in which governments brilliantly succeeded or are seriously struggling to industrialize the national economy. It is still in hardcover edition (expensive) but it will be re-issued as paperback in 2014.

New Thinking in Industrial Policy: Implications for Africa (Jul. 2012)

J. Stiglitz & Justin Lin, two former WB chief economists

A roundtable workshop was organized by the International Economic Association and World Bank in Pretoria, South Africa on July 3-4, 2012. I was an invited discussant. Among many issues discussed, I especially noted the following:

 - Countries cannot avoid "industrial policies" because all policies, including US financial deregulation, have sectoral impacts (Stiglitz. Columbia Univ.)
 - Creation of a "learning society" should be the goal (Stiglitz).
 - Currency undervaluation can be a substitute for export promotion measures now banned by WTO. Intellectual property rights should be upheld only as long as they are developmentally oriented (Stiglitz).
 - Proposal of a six-step approach to industrialization (Justin Lin, Beijing Univ. - however, participants were generally skeptical of such a programmatic approach).
 - Analysis of political settlement that promotes learning by doing and organizational capability building (Mushtaq Khan, SOAS/London Univ.) "Collaborative governance" where multiple stakeholders benefit from industrial policy is important (Brian Levy, WB - this is called "win-win" arrangements in E. Asia).
 - E. Asia will soon have to end labor-intensive manufacturing such as textiles due to rising wages. Africa's average wage is similar to Vietnam's, and Africa can and should receive light industries migrating from E. Asia (Vandana Chandra, WB).
 - Mining concessions should be revised to benefit African countries more; using this new funding, core infrastructure and related industrial and agro projects should be built (Paul Jourdan, COEGA).
 - Academic seminars like this cannot inform countries of concrete sectors and measures to be chosen; for this, a policy mechanism deeply involving private actors should be created as in Japan, Singapore, Korea, etc. (Ohno, in response to South African minister's request for this seminar to continue and help S. Africa to formulate concrete measures).

How East Asia can transfer developmental knowledge to Africa (May 2012)

That was the title of my invited lecture at the Graduate School of International Studies of Korea University, Seoul, on May 23. I discussed general ideas and issues in knowledge transfer, characteristics of Japan's approach, our Ethiopia-Japan industrial policy dialogue, and a comparison of Japan's policy dialogue and Korea's "Knowledge Sharing Program."

My presentation

Inviting Japanese manufacturing SMEs to Vietnam (March 2012)

The GRIPS Development Forum is launching a new research project funded by the Asia Pacific Institute of Research. Japanese big-name companies have invested heavily in Asia and other regions but Japanese SMEs have been less active in going abroad due to knowledge, financial, language and other barriers.

However, Japanese SMEs are facing weak domestic demand, rise of emerging economies, aging of SME general directors, power shortage, etc. Many of them have to go abroad to find new business opportunities or disappear. The Japanese government organized a national council on assisting overseas business expansion of SMEs in 2010, and created a related policy in 2011. On the receiving side, developing country governments in Asia are naturally happy to attract Japanese manufacturing SMEs with high technology.

We want to create information and action linkage between Japan and developing countries at the operational level to accelerate this trend. To begin with, we organized, together with the Japanese and Vietnamese governments, a conference on Inviting a Large Number of Japanese Manufacturing SMEs to Vietnam on March 22, 2012 in Hanoi. It was attended by many policy makers and covered by Vietnamese TV and media. We will host similar events in other countries as well as in Osaka and Tokyo. Hot topics include (i) how to create a truly effective one-stop service in Japanese language; (ii) how to design industrial parks to invite Japanese SMEs (incl. rental factories with right size); and (iii) what concrete information must be conveyed in FDI marketing.

My overview slide   Checklist for industrial park developers

Policy dialogue with Vietnam (March 2012)

Japan has conducted many policy dialogues with the Vietnamese government, including the Ishikawa Project for comprehensive joint research (1995-2001), the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative for improving investment climate (since 2003, now Phase 4), Supporting Industry Development Action Plan (2008-2010), and the current "Vietnam Industrialization Strategy" initiative (2011-) by Mr. Tanizaki, the Japanese ambassador to Vietnam.

I have been involved in most of them. For the current initiative, I am the leader on the Japanese side of the Working Group on Vietnam Industrialization Strategy, and host a monthly meeting between the two governments. The aim of this initiative is to select a small number of potential industries and promote them vigorously through bilateral effort (including mobilization of Japanese FDI and ODA). This discussion will continue through 2012, then implementation will start.

(Photo: Ambassador HE Mr. Yasuaki Tanizaki and HE Mr. Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment, at the Sixth Working Group meeting in Hanoi in Feb.2012).