ERIA is well positioned to implement a robust Capacity Building Programme (CBP). ERIA's ability to do this derives from its position as a leading think tank conducting quality research on numerous issues.
With its strong relations with governments in the region, the CBP, which focuses on Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (often referred to as "CLMV"), can then work to bridge the gap between research and national policymaking through:
- Inviting government officials to participate in ERIA research;
- Arranging special workshops for government officials to increase understanding of the conceptual frameworks and approaches applied to ERIA's research;
- Make available technical assistance to support the implementation of new approaches at the national level.
Capacity Building through ERIA Research
Integrating government officials in ERIA research teams offers numerous advantages. Their participation in all aspects of discussion, along with their academic counterparts both at the national level and at international technical workshops, allows team members to gain a stronger understanding of the complexities of the study, as well as a greater empathy for it. Government officials are involved in two ERIA studies for the 2015-2016 period.
These focus on:
i) SME Participation in ASEAN and East Asian Regional Integration
As the economies of ASEAN and East Asia become increasingly integrated, a concern amongst policy makers has been the extent to which small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are benefiting from integration. This study commenced in August 2015, with a second workshop in January 2016, looks at SME participation in regional trade, production networks, investment activities, enabling factors for SMEs, and policy imperatives to promote participation.
ii) Reducing Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens
Many national regulations have not been crafted using established principles of good regulatory process. Undertaking a review of existing practices in particular sectors will identify the burdens of most concern; reducing unnecessary regulatory burden (RURB), can make these sectors more attractive to investment in the increasingly competitive and integrated ASEAN. This study commenced in September 2015 with a second workshop in February 2016. It is expected to be completed late 2016.
Increasing Understanding of ERIA Studies
For 2015-2016, ERIA will organize three workshops on issues critical to the growth, development and integration of the region.
i) Non-Tariff Measures
The implementation of non-tariff measures (NTM) is common but the purpose and difference with non-tariff barriers (NTBs) often misunderstood. Creating a clearer understanding of the two and how and when they can be used is of growing importance. A workshop, scheduled for February 2016, will be developed for officials from the CLMV countries.
ii) Services Liberalization
This training will share ERIA's approach to analyzing services liberalization from an analytical and methodological approach. The analytical framework explains ASEAN Framework Agreement in Services (AFAS) within the context of services liberalization. Understanding this is critical for states to develop a liberalization plan or strategy. This training will be 15-16 March 2016 in Bangkok
iii) Public Private Partnerships
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are critical for mobilizing sufficient funding for key infrastructure projects that can help propel economic development. Although a popular mechanism for funding, PPPs are often problematic. Having developed its Guidelines on PPPs, this workshop, scheduled for June 2016, will includes case studies and a checklist of essential factors for a PPP project.
National Policy Dialogues
The 2015 National Policy Dialogue for Viet Nam was held on 14 December at the Sheraton Hotel on the theme, Developing an Agricultural Value Chain in the Mekong Region. The Dialogue was opened by H.E. Mr Tran Quoc Khanc, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade. Over 150 people from government, academia, the private sector and international organisations attended the event. The Key Note speech was given by Professor Sisira Jayasuriya of Monash University and was followed by two panel discussions looking at the issue from the policy and business perspectives.
Up-coming Dialogues will focus around the launch of the ERIA study, Lao PDR at the Crossroads: Industrialization Strategy 2016-2030, to be held in Vientiane, March 2016, and the final report on Reducing Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens, in late 2016.
The Executive Leaders' Initiative
Each year ERIA holds its Executive Leaders' Initiative for Deputy Director Generals (DDGs). The 2015 was held in Hanoi and Da Lat, Viet Nam, December 14-17. The theme of the meeting was, "Developing an Agricultural Value Chain in the Mekong Region".
The meeting allowed DDGs to think "out of the box" to identify the needs to achieve the goals of a regional agricultural value chain. Supporting the DDGs were world renowned academics and expert practitioners from across the region.