Seminar & Events

International Symposium

Roundtable Discussion on "Connectivity and Innovation" 30 January 2018

The East Asian economies have so far succeeded in achieving higher economic growth by attracting foreign direct investment and deepening regional economic integration since the 21st century. Cities in ASEAN – such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila – have attracted investors, especially from multinational corporations (MNCs), including China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. As their population has rapidly expanded, industrial agglomerations centred on manufacturing industries have been created. As a result, complex international production networks have developed in East Asia.

Connectivity has been a key word in the regional economic integration process in East Asia, as embodied in concepts such as the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. Connectivity has two aspects: (i) physical connectivity that includes energy, information, and telecommunication, and transport infrastructure; and (ii) institutional connectivity that includes harmonization and recognition of rules, regulations, and legislation such as the ASEAN Single Window and mutual recognition agreements. Enhancing the two kinds of connectivity at the same time makes international production networks in East Asia more efficient, effective, and resilient. The important thing is, beyond the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 towards 2025, connectivity should be developed further in terms of both quantity and quality. In this regard, the recent closer relationship between ASEAN and South Asia and the movement of digitalized economy represented by e-commerce are notable issues on connectivity.

Moreover, ASEAN countries still have to overcome a number of hurdles other than connectivity. In particular, ASEAN countries have been seriously concerned that they might fall into the ‘middle-income trap’ in the near future. In order to escape from the middle-income trap and achieve significant economic growth, these economies should be able to innovate. But in reality, many industries in ASEAN are still highly dependent on MNCs. Further participation by local firms in global value chains established by MNCs is indispensable. Local firms should be encouraged to seek every opportunity to link with MNCs in support of appropriate industrial policies, which would culminate in nurturing the ability of local firms to innovate. Meanwhile, ASEAN cities are required to exert efforts to form ‘innovation hubs’ by attracting diverse capital and human resource. To do so, urban amenities need to be improved in addressing traffic congestion and air pollution to help create an attractive, comfortable, and safe environment for foreign entrepreneurs, engineers, and scholars.

These subtopics on 'connectivity and innovation' will be discussed in a one-day round table after presentations by prominent scholars, including researchers from the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO) and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).


January 30, 2018 (Tuesday) 9:00-18:00 (Registration on the day: 08:30-9:00)


Ballroom 1, Ground Floor, Fairmont Hotel, Jakarta



8:30-9:00 Registration
Opening Session
  • MC: Masami Ishida (Director General, Development Studies Center, IDE-JETRO)
9:00-9:10 Opening Address
  • Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura (President of ERIA)
9:10-10:10 Keynote Address
  • Prof. Fukunari Kimura (Chief Economist, ERIA)
    Title: "How Can Connectivity Support Innovation?"
10:10-11:45 Session Discussion *joined by all the participants
11:45-12:00 Photo Session
12:00-13:15 Lunch
Session 1: Connectivity in East Asia
  • Moderator: Dr. Hyung-Gon Jeong (Vice President, Korea Institute for Economic Research)
13:15-13:35 "Connectivity between ASEAN and South Asia"
  • presented by Ikumo Isono, Overseas Research Fellow (Seville), IDE-JETRO and Satoru Kumagai, Director, Economic Geography Studies Group, Development Studies Center, IDE-JETRO
13:35-13:55 "Measuring Urban Connectivity in ASEAN from Space"
  • presented by Souknilanh Keola, Research Fellow, Bangkok Research Center, JETRO Bangkok/IDE- JETRO
13:55-14:15 "E-Commerce Connectivity in Asia"
  • presented by Dr. Lurong Chen, Economist, ERIA
14:15-14:25 Comments on the above subjects presented (5 min. for each)
  • Dr. Wang Yuzhu (Head, Regional Cooperation Dept. National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
  • Dr. Francis Mark A. Quimba (Research Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
14:25-15:15 Session Discussion *joined by all the participants
Including comments from the following point of view;
  • Australia; Dr. Jennifer Corbett (Australian National University)
  • India; Mr. Rajeev Kher (Research and Information System for Developing Countries)
  • Myanmar; Mr. Kyaw Soe Thein (Yangon University of Economics)
  • Cambodia; Dr. Chap Sotharith (Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace)
15:15-15:30 Tea/Coffee Break
Session 2: Innovation in East Asia
  • Moderator: Dr. Vo Tri Thanh (Senior Expert, Central Institute for Economic Management)
15:30-15:50 "Urban Amenities"and "GVC in The Service Industry"(TBD) 
  • presented by Dr. Shandre Thangavelu (Regional Director (Southeast Asia), Center for International Economic Studies, University of Adelaide)
15:50-16:10 "The Complexity of Ride Sharing Competition"  
  • presented by Dr. Cassey Lee Hong Kim, Senior Fellow & Co-Coordinator, Regional Economic Studies Programme, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
16:10-16:30 "Innovations with Network Effects in Production Networks"  
  • presented by Tomohiro Machikita, Research Fellow, Development Studies Center, IDE-JETRO and Dr. Yasushi Ueki, Economist, ERIA

Comments on the above subjects presented (5 min. for each)

  • Dr. Yose Rizal Damuri (Head, Dept. of Economics, Centre for Strategic and International Studies)
  • Mr. Laurence Kubiak (Chief Executive, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research)
16:40-17:50 Session Discussion *joined by all the participants
Including comments from the following point of view;
  • Singapore:Dr. Hank Lim (Singapore Institute of International Affairs)
  • Malaysia:Dato’ Steven Wong Cheng Ming (Institute of Strategic and International Studies)
  • Malaysia:Mr. Wan Saiful Wan Jan (Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs)
  • Thailand:Dr. Saowaruj Rattanakhamfu(Thailand Development Research Institute)
  • Lao PDR:Dr. Leeber Leebouapao (National Institute for Economic Research)
  • Brunei:Ms. Noni Zurainah Ismi (Brunei Darussalam Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies)

Wrapping-Up and Closing

  • Yuri Sato (Executive Vice President, IDE-JETRO)
  • *joined by all the participants





ERIA Support Office, IDE-JETRO
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