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Past Events

Seminar: Challenges for Railway Systems in South-East Asia: Lessons from 30 Years’ Experience of Japanese National Railways Privatization

16 Aug 2017
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

In 1987, Japanese National Railways (JNR), the government-owned body responsible for operating the railway network across Japan was privatised and divided into seven railway companies that together form the JR Group. In 1985, JNR made a loss of 1.8 trillion yen, but as of 2015, the JR Group makes a combined profit of 1 trillion yen per annum. Of the seven companies, JR Kyushu remains one of the few that consistently turns profits. The success of JR Kyushu is largely down to an innovative approach in which diversification has been embraced, whilst customer service has been placed at the core of the business model.

Nevertheless, JR Kyushu continues to face key challenges, and Mr Ishii will address what he considers to be particularly pertinent amongst these issues, and how we can overcome them. A railway system is a key infrastructure for passenger and cargo transportation and affects the relationship between the urban and regional economies in a fundamental way. Based on 30 years’ experience of JNR privatization, he identifies challenges for expanding railway systems in Southeast Asia, and proposes how the region could cooperate better for mutual benefits.   

About the Speaker

Yoshitaka Ishii served as the first president and chairman of JR Kyushu Railway Company between 1987 and 2002. JR Kyushu was formed after the Japan National Railway Corporation was privatised and divided into seven railway companies. During his tenure as president, Ishii diversified the business of JR Kyushu into new ventures ranging from property development to the management of shopping malls, restaurants and hotels, as well as the establishing a hydrofoil ferry service between Fukuoka and Busan. He also improved the quality of the railway service and the cutting-edge trains designed by a leading designer Mitooka received the Brunel Award, one of the most prestigious awards for railway industry design worldwide. Under his leadership, the company increased its total sales significantly from 150,000 million yen in 1987, with sales as high as 378,000 million yen in 2015. He has been advising the Japanese government and the Japan Freight Railway Company on its strategy. He began working in the National Railways in 1955 as a graduate engineer, and he played a pivotal role in the development of diesel railcars and locomotives in the early stages of his professional career. Drawing on his experiences in the railway industry, he has been a prolific writer over a period of more than 4 decades. His books on the KiHa series of diesel railcars has been well received, especially “KiHa 58”.

Mr Ishii served on the selection committee for the Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship, and has also been involved in the local community, and since retiring, he has served as the Chairman of the Fukuoka Prefecture Football Association and as President of the Kourokan-Fukuoka Castle History & Tourism Citizen’s Association. In the latter role, he has been heavily involved in the restoration of historic buildings in Fukuoka.

Mr Ishii holds a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Tokyo.

Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 15 August 2017.

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Seminar: Internationalising SMEs: Case Studies from Indonesia and Malaysia

02 May 2017
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) aims to create an integrated market and production space for its ten member states. This expanded market, in principle, should create opportunities for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the region to grow within a regional context as a first step towards a global market. The focus on SMEs is not without reason: SMEs constitute between 89-99 % of the firms in ASEAN Member States (AMSs), creating between 52-97% of employment and contributing between 23-58% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 10-30% of exports in the region. However, studies have shown that there is generally low awareness of the AEC and the opportunities accorded by the AEC initiatives. The literature tends to focus on the challenges faced by the SMEs in general, especially in internationalizing their operations. Research questions that are frequently asked pertain to the factors that determine their exports or internationalization strategies or the drivers of their internationalization and/or the challenges faced by SMEs in their internationalization efforts. In contrast, there is less focus on how SMEs overcome exisiting challenges to enter markets and extend their reach, especially in ASEAN. The seminar aims to understand how SMEs in Indonesia and Malaysia manage to penetrate the ASEAN and global market, using a case studies approach. In particular, what are the policies and institutions (both in their respective countries and in ASEAN) that are most helpful in their internationalization strategies for ASEAN and beyond ASEAN.

About the Speakers

Tulus T.H. Tambunan is a lecturer in the faculty of economics, Trisakti University in Jakarta, Indonesia. Currently he is also the director and the main researcher of the Center for Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Business Competition Studies in the same university. He has done many studies on various issues related to micro, small and medium enterprises, economic crises, regional trade, and inclusive development. Some of his publications include ASEAN Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises toward AEC 2015 (Saarbrȕcken: Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP), 2015), and SME in Asian Developing Countries (London: Palgrave Macmillan Publisher, 2009).

Tham Siew Yean is a Senior Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. She was formerly Director and Professor at Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Her research interests and publications are in foreign direct investment, international trade, trade policies, and industrial development in Malaysia and ASEAN. Her recent publication includes among others, “Moving Up the Value Chain in ICT: ASEAN Trade with China”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 46, No. 4: 680-699; 2016 (with Andrew Jia Yi Kam and Nor Izzatina Aziz).

Registation

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 28 April 2017.

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Seminar: Internationalising SMEs: Case Studies from Indonesia and Malaysia

02 May 2017
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) aims to create an integrated market and production space for its ten member states. This expanded market, in principle, should create opportunities for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the region to grow within a regional context as a first step towards a global market. The focus on SMEs is not without reason: SMEs constitute between 89-99 % of the firms in ASEAN Member States (AMSs), creating between 52-97% of employment and contributing between 23-58% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 10-30% of exports in the region. However, studies have shown that there is generally low awareness of the AEC and the opportunities accorded by the AEC initiatives. The literature tends to focus on the challenges faced by the SMEs in general, especially in internationalizing their operations. Research questions that are frequently asked pertain to the factors that determine their exports or internationalization strategies or the drivers of their internationalization and/or the challenges faced by SMEs in their internationalization efforts. In contrast, there is less focus on how SMEs overcome exisiting challenges to enter markets and extend their reach, especially in ASEAN. The seminar aims to understand how SMEs in Indonesia and Malaysia manage to penetrate the ASEAN and global market, using a case studies approach. In particular, what are the policies and institutions (both in their respective countries and in ASEAN) that are most helpful in their internationalization strategies for ASEAN and beyond ASEAN.

About the Speakers

Tulus T.H. Tambunan is a lecturer in the faculty of economics, Trisakti University in Jakarta, Indonesia. Currently he is also the director and the main researcher of the Center for Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Business Competition Studies in the same university. He has done many studies on various issues related to micro, small and medium enterprises, economic crises, regional trade, and inclusive development. Some of his publications include ASEAN Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises toward AEC 2015 (Saarbrȕcken: Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP), 2015), and SME in Asian Developing Countries (London: Palgrave Macmillan Publisher, 2009).

Tham Siew Yean is a Senior Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. She was formerly Director and Professor at Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Her research interests and publications are in foreign direct investment, international trade, trade policies, and industrial development in Malaysia and ASEAN. Her recent publication includes among others, “Moving Up the Value Chain in ICT: ASEAN Trade with China”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 46, No. 4: 680-699; 2016 (with Andrew Jia Yi Kam and Nor Izzatina Aziz).

Registation

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 28 April 2017.

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Seminar: De-Globalisation Sentiments and Risks for ASEAN Economies

28 Apr 2017

ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

The risk of de-globalisation is on the rise due to a combination of economic and political risks. Global trade has slowed down since the 2008-09 crisis as a result of the slowing down of trade liberalization and rising protectionism. New barriers in form of bailouts, trade defence measures, import tariff increases and localisation requirements have increased sharply. The US, India, Indonesia are some of the more prominent examples of countries turning to trade barriers to protect their national economies. It is unsurprising that the politicization of trade has come to the forefront in advanced economies as voters make their frustrations known through the ballot boxes, expressing their angst against stagnant wages and rising income inequality, which were attributed to unfair foreign competition. All this is unlikely to bode well for ASEAN economies. While the region has limited direct exposure to the US, its indirect linkage through China is a matter of concern. The region is cautious about a future economic downturn or a similar political backlash in their own economies.

The Seminar will discuss the implication of global developments on ASEAN economies from research, policy-making and private sector perspectives.

Programme

8:30 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 10:00 Session I: Understanding De-globalisation and Its Impact on ASEAN Economies
  Mr Marcus Bartley Johns, Senior Trade Specialist, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice World Bank, Singapore
  Dr Deborah Elms,  Founder and Executive Director, Asian Trade Centre, Singapore
10:00 – 10:30 Q&A
10:30 – 10:45 Coffee
10:45 – 11:45 Session II: De-globalisation Sentiments: Views from the Public and Private Sectors
  Ms Mary Elizabeth Chelliah, Principle Trade Specialist, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore
  Ms Priyanka Kishore, Lead Asia Economist, Oxford Economics, Singapore
11:45 – 12:15 Q&A

Click here for more details about the programme and speakers.


Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 27 April 2017.
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Seminar: The Economic Impacts of the Singapore – Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail: An Analysis Based on a Geographical Simulation Model

26 Apr 2017
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

This seminar examines the potential economic impacts of the Singapore - Kuala Lumpur (KL) High Speed Railway (HSR). These were estimated by researchers from the Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO (IDE-JETRO) using the IDE-GSM -  a numerical simulation model based on spatial economics. The simulations covered three different scenarios, i.e., a) Singapore-KL non-stop express service, b) Johor-KL local service, c) Singapore-Johor shuttle service.  Simulations were also carried out to compare the economic impacts of the project on Singapore and the thirteen states of Malaysia.

 

Programme

02:45 - 03:00 pm     Registration

03:00 - 03:10 pm     Opening Remarks (Kazunobu Hayakawa, Visiting Fellow, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute)

03:10 - 03:40 pm     Geographical Simulation Model (IDE-GSM) (Ikumo Isono, Deputy Director, IDE-JETRO) 

03:40 - 04:10 pm     Economic Impacts of the Singapore-KL HSR (Satoru Kumagai, Director, IDE-JETRO)

04:10 - 04:30 pm     Q&A


The Geographical Simulation Model (IDE-GSM)

Ikumo Isono, IDE-JETRO

Abstract

The Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO), together with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), has been developing the IDE-GSM since 2007. The main purpose of the model is to predict the economic impact of physical or institutional integration on regions at the sub-national level. It can also be used to predict the types of policy measures that are favorable for stable and balanced economic development of the regions by identifying potential bottlenecks and thus extracting the full merits of economic integration. In fact, IDE-GSM simulation analyses have been used in many policy research projects and conveyed to policy makers. In East Asia, lack of quality data remains a challenge to conducting quantitative analyses. However, waiting for precise data to become available is unfeasible because of the urgent need for policy recommendations on development strategies. Despite the challenges, the IDE-GSM has been used along with night-time satellite image to estimate and construct regional economic data and conduct simulations.

Ikumo Isono is a research fellow, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO (IDE-JETRO). He was educated in Japan and received a bachelor degree of economics in Saitama University in 1998. He had a master degree of economics in the University of Tokyo in 2000. He joined the Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO (IDE-JETRO) in 2005 as a research fellow. He was a research fellow in the Bangkok Research Center, JETRO from 2009 to 2011 and dispatched to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) from 2011 to 2013. His expertise is in spatial economics and connectivity aspects of economic integration in ASEAN and East Asia, including infrastructure development, economic corridors, logistics, trade and transport facilitation, free trade agreement (FTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Economic Impacts of the Singapore-KL HSR: Simulation Results from the IDE-GSM

Satoru Kumagai, IDE-JETRO

Abstract

In this session, we will introduce the economic impacts of Singapore-KL HSR estimated using the IDE-GSM, a numerical simulation model based on spatial economics. We conducted the simulation along three different scenarios, i.e., a) Singapore-KL non-stop express service, b) Johor-KL local service, c) Singapore-Johor shuttle service, and compared the economic impacts for Singapore and 13 states in Malaysia. The economic impacts of the project under these three scenarios differ in terms of size and distribution.  There are also differences in terms of industrial sectors that gain from the HSR development. The simulations further revealed that the economic impacts are influenced by the quality of supporting infrastructure, such as a good transport between HSR stations and the city centre, and a smooth border control.  

Satoru Kumagai is a director, Economic Geography Studies Group, Inter-disciplinary Studies Centre, Institute of Developing Economies (IDE), JETRO. Since 1996, Mr Kumagai has joined IDE as a researcher in charge of economic integration in East Asia and Malaysia’s economic affairs. He has been working for the development of the Geographical Simulation Model (GSM), an economic model based on spatial economics since 2007 and the results of the simulation are widely used in various conferences held by ERIA, ADB as well as IDE-JETRO. He was a visiting research fellow at Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) during 2013-2015. He  received his Master in Media and Governance degree from Keio University in 1996 and his MSc in Global Market Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science in 2004.


Registration

For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 25 April 2017.

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Seminar: PRC Investment in Malaysia

20 Mar 2017
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME AND MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

While Singapore, the US, and Japan have traditionally been Malaysia’s main trading partners, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been the country’s most important trading partner since 2012. Beyond trade in finished products, commerce between the two countries is based on inputs and parts being sent within production networks operating between the two countries. This same trend is visible in investment flows. From a minor investor, China has now become a significant player in the Malaysian economy, investing RM 11.6 billion in manufacturing projects in 2012-15 - behind only Japan, Singapore and the United States.

Beyond setting up manufacturing operations, Chinese government-linked corporations and private consortiums have been active in the real estate sector. Government-linked corporations have stakes in the Malaysia-Kuantan Industrial Park as well as Bandar Malaysia, which will be the main terminus of the planned High Speed Rail. Large-scale private sector concerns such as Country Garden, R&F, and Greenland have a significant presence in Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur.

With regard to infrastructure, government-linked corporations have won contracts for the RM 55 bn East Coast Rail Link, the RM 9 bn Gemas-Johor Bahru dual tracking project, as well as provisions of rolling stock. A consortium of government-linked corporations is positioning itself for the High-Speed Rail project, slated to go to tender later this year. There are also large-scale port projects being planned with PRC involvement, two on the Peninsula’s west coast and another on the east coast.

Looking forward, the PRC presence in the Malaysian economy looks set to increase. In December last year, Prime Minister Najib returned from his visit to China, where he and his counterparts signed 14 agreements totaling RM 144 billion, which represents 12 percent of Malaysia’s GDP. However, this trend has not gone unnoticed by Malaysia’s electorate, with polls indicating a growing sense of unease at the rapid increase in PRC presence in the economy as well as foreign ownership of strategic assets.

This seminar will analyze the trends in PRC investment into Malaysia, particularly in the real estate and construction sectors, as well as key aspects of infrastructure such as railways and ports. From there it will examine trends in public opinion regarding the level and different types of PRC investments in the country.

 

About the Speakers

Topic: PRC Investment in the Real Estate and Construction Sectors in Malaysia

Loong Chee Wei joined Affin Hwang Capital in April 2015 as the Senior Associate Director covering the construction/infrastructure, property and building material sector. He has been covering Malaysian equities since 1997 (including strategy, banking, construction/infrastructure, property, gaming, oil & gas), and formerly worked for CLSA, Nomura, BNP Paribas, AmInvestment Bank and Hwang-DBS Securities. Mr Loong has been a qualified Chartered Financial Analyst since 1999.

 

Topic: PRC Investment in the Rail and Port Sectors in Malaysia

G Naidu was, prior to his retirement, a professor in transport economics at the University of Malaya and is currently an independent consultant.  His main areas of interest have been in transport, logistics and infrastructure.  He has worked as a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Ministry of Transport and number Malaysian port authorities.  He recently served as a subject matter expert for the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).

 

Topic: Evolving Public Opinion Regarding PRC Investment in Malaysia

Ibrahim Suffian is Co-founder and Program Director of Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, a leading public opinion polling and political surveys organization in Malaysia. He presently manages Merdeka Center’s portfolio of clients ranging from political parties, government departments as well as local and international institutions of higher learning. Through Merdeka Center,
Mr Suffian has been organizing surveys in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and Myanmar. Prior to his role in the Merdeka Center,
Mr Suffian worked as a project finance specialist in a Malaysian investment bank and was project manager in an international development agency.


Registration

To register, please fill in this form and email it to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 17 March 2017.

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Seminar: Unveiling the Answers to Trump and Brexit – What Next for Global Politics and Economics?

16 Jan 2017
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME

(Revised)

The book THE VEIL OF CIRCUMSTANCE published by ISEAS in November 2016 and authored by Jørgen Ørstrøm Møller analyzes the turmoil and seeks answers in an increasingly unpredictable world of problems and challenges

About the Seminar

How did we get into this mess? Discontent and frustrations fuel movements and rebellion against the global model. How do we get out of the mess? Why doesn’t globalisation work? What is the role of social networks? Which economic model will we see in the future? The author puts forward ideas of how to provide ANSWERS to the most challenging transition civilization has ever faced: From Societies to Humanity. How groups and values can help to make economics and politics work again.

About the Themes in the Book

“Many ills afflict the global political economy today. Conventional economic tools are losing their power to ensure steady economic growth.  Competing nationalisms are creating a more dangerous world that threatens the current international economic and political order.    This book gets to the heart of the issues that have brought the world to its current state.  Mr Moeller is to be congratulated for producing an historically grounded analysis which suggests a different way forward for our unequal, resource-depleting world economy.”

- Pang Eng Fong, Professor (Practice), Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University

“This book, immensely rich in data and keen observations, dwells into the central challenges of our economic and political system – the erosion of trust, the declining coherence and the shrinking common space. The author’s attempt to sketch out what can be done to help us address these challenges brought about by globalization, digitalization and our disconnect with nature is well worth pondering about.”

- Yeo Lay Hwee, Director, European Union Centre in Singapore

“Our world is changing deeply at the moment, economically, technologically, and socially. Jørgen Ørstrøm Møller is an astute observer of the forces and mechanisms causing these changes. Well worth reading and pondering.” 

- W. Brian Arthur, formerly Morrison Professor of Population Studies and Economics, Stanford University

“In his brilliantly illuminating book the author referenced the fundamental historical facts to trace the sources and triggers of a paradigmatic ongoing change in society, economy and world order. He did this with an immense knowledge, circumspection and interdependent understanding of the relevant forces and undertook a well-structured and documented research and analysis. We get valuable and important impetus as food for thought to a coming complex and gigantic change.”

- Alfred Scheidegger, Dr, Founder and CEO of Nextech Invest Ltd, formerly member of the board of directors, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich

“It has been more than 15 years ago when Joseph Stiglitz wrote, Globalisation and its Discontents with the message that there is evidence of much unhappiness in the way global reforms were taking place ,and how that have impacted developing and poor countries. Stiglitz concluded that the main issue is not with globalisation but rather the process of management was very much lacking. And now in Stiglitz, in his latest book, Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy’ had argued that this old message he had on globalisation is now affecting the advanced economies.

Professor Jørgen Ørstrøm Møller is never one to evade the complexity and subtleties of current affairs. He pursues the issues of the day with an intellectual curiosity, clarity of thought and completeness that is enriched with his vast experience in the Danish diplomatic service, policy-making and academia. In this book, he uses an interdisciplinary approach to discuss the intrinsics including globalisation that is shaping the world.

While Stiglitz’s point is about managing the needed change as in globalisation, Møller’s argument is to reinforce a better global governance , and a challenge of minds for world leaders and policy makers to create a new world where not only Science and Technology matters but also to some semblance of sanity where deep consciousness can take root, where inspiration , thought and creativity, strong bonds and cohesion in and across societies deepens, making cultural identities count , and above all when materialism fades.”

- Euston Quah, Professor, President, Economic Society of Singapore, Head of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

“An excellent and important book, wide-ranging (and comprehensive), drawing together many strands which we have already observed ourselves into a single coherent analysis with many original insights.”

- Stuart Larkin, Consulting Economist

 

About the Author

Jørgen Ørstrøm Møller is a seasoned diplomat having served as State-Secretary 1989-1997 in the Royal Danish Foreign Ministry and from 1997 to 2005 as Denmark’s ambassador in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Since 2005 with ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore Management University, and MFA Diplomatic Academy (Singapore) plus Copenhagen Business School and University of Copenhagen. He is a well-known futurist and author having published HOW ASIA CAN SHAPE THE WORLD (2010) and THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN TRANSITION (2013). Since 1997 he has lived in Singapore.

 

About the Chairperson

Francis E. Hutchinson is a Senior Fellow and Co-ordinator of the Regional Economic Studies and Malaysia Studies Programme at the ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute. He is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, and is the author of Mirror Images in Different Frames? Johor, the Riau Islands, and Competition for Investment from Singapore (ISEAS, 2015), and co-editor of Asia and the Middle Income Trap (Routledge, 2016).
 

About the Panelists

Pang Eng Fong is Professor (Practice), Lee Kong Chian School of Business, (LKCSB), Singapore Management University.  He has served as Dean, LKCSB and in Singapore's diplomatic missions in Seoul, Brussels and London.

Yeo Lay Hwee is Director of the European Union Centre in Singapore since 2009. She is also Council Secretary and Senior Research Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), and Adjunct Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).  Since 2011, she is Co-Editor in Chief of the Asia Europe Journal. An international relations expert, her research interests revolve around comparative regionalism, principles of multilateralism and governance networks. She has written extensively on issues pertaining to Asia-Europe relations in general, and in particular, the ASEM process and relations between the European Union and ASEAN.


Programme

 

14.45 pm   Registration

15.00 pm   Opening Remarks by the Chairperson (Francis E HUTCHINSON)

15.10 pm   Introducing the themes in the book (Jørgen Ørstrøm Møller)

15.20 pm   First Panellist (PANG Eng Fong)

15.40 pm   Second Panellist (YEO Lay Hwee)

15.55 pm   Questions & Answers Session

17.00 pm   Refreshments


Registration

To register, please fill in this form and email it to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 13 January 2017.

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Seminar: The Internationalization of Firms and Management Practices: A Firm-Level Study of Vietnam

13 Dec 2016
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME

About the Seminar

Production fragmentation has become a global trend in recent decades. Observers claim that participating in a global value chain (GVC) is crucial for a country’s economic development. However, local firms in developing countries still tend to find it difficult to participate in global production networks, and it is not clear how local workers can benefit from these networks. This seminar explores the mechanism of the GVC participation of firms from the perspective of firms’ management practices, using results from a survey of Vietnamese firms.

Presentation I:

Internationalization of Firms, Human Resource Management Practices, and Workers in Developing Countries:  An Overview

Isao Kamata, Kobe University

The presentation provides an overview of the relationship between internationalization and productivity of firms in which human-resource management practices play an important role as a key determinant of firms’ productivity. The presentation also discusses some of the potential benefits from firms’ participation in GVCs that would accrue to local workers, especially in developing economies.  Finally, It will lay out the background of the survey that we have been conducting.

Isao Kamata is an Associate Professor at Kobe University. His research covers a variety of topics in international trade such as firm heterogeneity in the comparative-advantage framework and labor in trade. He was previously researching and teaching as an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Wisconsin. He received PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor.

Presentation 2:

How Do Internationalized Firms Differ from Non-internationalized?:  Evidence from Survey Results

Hitoshi Sato, IDE-JETRO

The presentation will discuss the role of management practices in the internationalization of domestic firms, based on the results of an original survey in the Vietnamese manufacturing sector. Special attention will be given to human resource management (HRM) practices, such as compensation, recruitment, and job training, to capture the effect of globalization on workers at the firm level. We find that internationalized firms tend to be more enthusiastic about the formal training of production workers, modernization of production and operation, and product and process innovation. Differences in skill and experience requirement for newly employed managers are less recognizable, but internationalized firms tend to have managers with overseas education.

Hitoshi Sato is a Senior Research Fellow at IDE-JETRO. His research field is international trade. Dr Sato’s recent research interest include the interaction between the internationalization of firms and labor markets. He recently worked with ILO on the labor market consequences of globalized East Asian economies. He received PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


Registration

To register, please fill in this form and email it to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 12 December 2016.

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Seminar: The Impact of TPP on MNEs in Southeast Asia

16 Sep 2016
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME
AND
SINGAPORE APEC STUDY CENTRE


About the Seminar

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) from East Asian countries have significant investments in the Southeast Asia region.  The main objective of this seminar is to examine how the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will affect the operations of these MNEs in both countries that are and are not participating in the TPP. These include East Asian MNEs that originate from both countries that are members of TPP (Japan) as well as non-member countries (Taiwan).

TPP and Japanese Manufacturing Affiliates in ASEAN
Dr Kazunobu Hayakawa
Institute of Developing Economies (IDE)

Dr Kazunobu Hayakawa is a senior research fellow of the Inter-disciplinary Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies (IDE). He was a research associate in Keio University during 2005-2008. He also worked at Bangkok office of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) during 2011-2015. He received his doctorate from Keio University with a dissertation on intermediate goods trade in 2008. His main research areas are international economics and economic geography. He has published in many journals such as the Journal of Economic Surveys, the Review of World Economics, and the Oxford Economic Papers.

TPP and Taiwanese MNEs in Southeast Asia
Dr Shin-Horng Chen
Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research

Dr Shin-Horng Chen is currently the Director and a research fellow of the International Division at the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER), a leading economic think tank in Taiwan. Apart from full-time research work, Dr Chen has taught EMBA/MBA courses at several universities in Taiwan, including National Taiwan University, National Tsinghua University and National Chiao Tung University. Dr Chen has intensive research experience on the development of the ICT industry, science and technology policy, national innovation system, global production and innovation networks, R&D internationalization. In recent years, he has extended his research fields into China’s industrial development and innovation, technology foresight, and service innovation. He is also an experienced reviewer for a few R&D programs sponsored by the Taiwanese government. For his well-respected work of innovation and policy studies, Dr Chen received Award for Innovation Model Promoter, First National Industry Innovation Award from the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2011. Out of his policy studies, Dr Chen has generated a number of academic publications in the international academic community. His recent academic publications can be found in a few referred journals, such as Research Policy, Technovation, R&D Management, Industry and Innovation, Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, Working Paper of National Bureau of Economic Research, China Economic Review, China Information, and NTU Management Review. He has also contributed papers to more than twenty editorial books, published by international academic publishers.

Registration
To register, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 15 September 2016.

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Seminar: The Impact of TPP on the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia

02 Sep 2016
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME 
AND
SINGAPORE APEC STUDY CENTRE

About the Seminar

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) was signed by twelve countries in February 2016. Only four of the ten ASEAN member countries are participating in the TPP.   Will the other non-participating ASEAN countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia be economically disadvantaged from not participating in the TPP?  Will TPP affect the trade and investment patterns in these non-TPP ASEAN countries? Should these countries consider joining the TPP in the future given the costs and benefits of doing so?  In this seminar, a group of prominent country economists from the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia will reflect on these questions.

TPP:  Are We In or Out? Possible Implications for the Philippines

Dr Rafaelita Aldaba

The Philippine Department of Trade & Industry

The TPP countries are important markets for Philippine exports and major sources of imports and investments. This presentation will examine how the TPP could affect a non-member country like the Philippines. The analysis will focus on major findings from existing studies quantifying the trade diversion effects of the TPP on Philippines. It will also present the trade and investment performance and structure of the Philippines and TPP member countries and identify the possible sectors that would most likely be affected. Given the potential losses of remaining outside the TPP, the necessary regulatory and policy reforms to enable the Philippines to successfully participate in the TPP will also be discussed.

Dr Rafaelita Aldaba is currently Assistant Secretary of the Philippine Department of Trade & Industry - Industry Development & Trade Policy Group. Prior to her appointment, she served as Senior Research Fellow and Vice-President of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). She has extensive research experience on development issues with focus on industrial policy, regional economic integration, international trade, foreign direct investment, competition policy, and small and medium enterprises.

The Impact of TPP on Thai Economy

Dr Archanun Kohpaiboon and Dr Juthathip Jongwanich

Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University

The presentation discusses the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the Thai economy.  We review the agreement and highlight the potential gains and losses relevant to Thailand.  The former focuses on preferential market access to the US which is the world’s largest economy and yet a country that that has not signed any FTA with Thailand.  In the latter, the adverse effect of the TRIPs plus in TPP on pharmaceutical expenditure in Thailand is emphasized.  There are other issues covered in TPP that are likely to be either non-binding constraints (e.g. investment agreement) or their impacts unquantifiable given the time and space constraints (e.g. government procurement, environmental agreement).  We find that potential gains would be limited on certain product categories of garment export to the US. While there is belief that the TPP and cumulative ROO in particular could alter supply chain of production network, it is unlikely to occur due to a number of exceptions in TPP itself. It is unlikely to compensate the losses in terms of more expensive medicines.

Dr Archanun Kohpaiboon is currently an Associate Professor in the Faculty Economics, Thammasat University, Thailand. He specializes in trade, FDI and industrial development.  A well-known economist in Thailand, Dr Kohpaiboon has won numerous research awards including the Best Young Economist in 2006 awarded by a jointing committee of seven Leading Economics Research Institutes in Thailand.  He has published extensively in leading peer-reviewed journals such as World Development, Asian Economic Journal and Research Policy. He is currently editor of the Thammasat Economic Journal. Dr Kohpaiboon received his PhD from the Australian National University.

Dr Juthathip Jongwanich is currently Assistant Professor in the Faculty Economics, Thammasat University, Thailand. Her previous appointments include Assistant Professor in the School of Management (SOM) at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, the Philippines. Her specialization is in International Economics and Managerial Economics.  Dr Jongwanich obtained her Ph.D in Economics from the Australian National University, Australia in 2005.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Challenge: Indonesia’s Economic Cooperation Option  

Dr Kiki Verico

The Institute for Economic and Social Research (LPEM)

Faculty of Economics & Business, University of Indonesia (FEB UI)

In October 2015, during President Joko Widodo’s official visit to the USA, his excellency stated that Indonesia ‘intend’ to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the future. This presentation attempts to analyse the potential impact of the TPP on Indonesia’s economy - both if Indonesia successfully joins the TPP and on the opposite, if it remains outside. This study focuses on the trade and investment with some discussions of issues relating to the Indonesia’s position in the Global Value Chain (GVC) and Regional Value Chain (RVC). The latter will further discusses the impact of the TPP on economic convergence in Southeast Asia.  This is an important issue given that Indonesia always expect positive economic outcomes from Southeast Asian economic integration - both at the regional level (ASEAN Economic Community) and regional plus level (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). This presentation will discuss Indonesia’s trade position in the TPP member’s market and their investment (FDI Inflows) role in Indonesia. It will answer the question of whether Indonesia should or should not join the TPP.                                                                                                                                     

Dr Kiki Verico obtained his bachelor degree in economics (monetary economics) from School of Economics Faculty of Economics and Business University of Indonesia (FEB UI), master in regional economic integration of double-degree program from University of Malaya and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and Ph.D degree in International Studies (economics) from Waseda University in Tokyo. He started to work at the FEB UI in 1999 as teaching assistant and a year later in 2000, he joined the Institute for Economic and Social Research (LPEM FEB UI) as a research assistant. Among his research interests are international trade, Foreign Direct Investment flows, regional economic integration issues, ASEAN economic integration process, Southeast Asia economies, and multi-country economic cooperation that features Indonesia. Before he has been appointed as Deputy Director of Research of LPEM FEB UI in early January 2016, he was appointed as Head of International Trade and Macroeconomic Research Division of LPEM FEUI from August 2014 to December 2015.  Dr Verico has published academic articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development (AJAD), Bulletin of Indonesia Economic Studies (BIES), Economics and Finance in Indonesia (EFI) and the Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development (JECD).

Registration
To register, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 1 September 2016.
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