Japanese Investment in the Mekong Region and the China Factor
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME SEMINAR
About the Seminar
As the most advanced economy in East Asia, Japan has long been the leading provider of official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI) in many ASEAN countries since the mid-1980s. While Japan still dominates in the ASEAN6 countries, its relative importance as a foreign direct investor is much smaller in the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) in comparison to China. There is no denying that the Mekong region has become an economic battleground where the two regional giants are competing to gain and sustain economic influence in the region. The talk will examine the nature and intensity of the competition between the two regional powers and stress how Japan’s approach to the CLMV has become more “strategic” and to a large extent “politicized” under Chinese pressure.
About the Speaker
Françoise Nicolas is a Senior Researcher and Director of the Center for Asian Studies at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), Paris. She also teaches at Langues’ O (National Institute of Oriental Studies) in Paris, at Sciences Po Paris (Euro-Asia campus in Le Havre) and at Sciences Po Lyon. She is also a consultant to the Directorate for Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs (DAF) of the OECD, focusing on Southeast Asian non-member countries.
She holds a Ph.D in international economics (1991) from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva, Switzerland). Her research focuses on development strategies in East Asia; FDI and growth; regional economic integration; emerging economies and globalization. She has published extensively on these various issues in academic journals and edited books. Her latest publications include: « Communauté économique ASEAN : un modèle d’intégration original », Politique étrangère, n°2, été 2017, pp. 27-38 ; « Catching Up or Staying Ahead : Japanese Investment in the Mekong Region and the China Factor », Asie.Visions, Ifri, No 99, May 2018.