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The Fourth Empirical Investigations in Trade and Investment (EITI) Conference, Tokyo

11 March 2010

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The Fourth annual Empirical Investigations in Trade and Investment (EITI) Conference was held at Keio University, Tokyo, from 11 to 13 March 2010.

 The EITI conference is part of the so-called 'Quartet of Conferences' organized by the Forum for Research in Empirical International Trade, or FREIT. The forum is organized by, and consists of, some of the world's leading trade economists and researchers. Jon Haveman (Beacon Economics) jointly heads the forum with Fukunari Kimura (Keio University and Chief Economist of ERIA), David Hummels (Purdue University), and Joze Damijan (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia).

Scholars from some of the world's most prestigious universities and institutions, including Mary Amiti (Federal Reserve Bank of New York), Eugene Beaulieu (University of Calgary), Matilde Bombardini (University of British Columbia), John Romalis (University of Chicago), Peter Schott (Yale University), Howard Shatz (Rand Corporation), and Beata Javorcik (University of Oxford) form the forum's strong editorial board.

The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) was proud to support the Fourth EITI in conjunction with the Department of Economics of Keio University. As the name of the conference suggests, the Fourth EITI discussed and disseminated the most recent empirical research on trade and investment conducted by scholars from countries around the world. Research papers presented at the conference were the result of rigorous research which addressed issues currently at the forefront of trade economics. Themes of the research papers included among others, trade facilitation, foreign direct investment and export strategies, international production networks, trade and innovation, and impact of free trade arrangements on domestic economies. The fourth conference, building on the achievements of previous conferences, was successful in further strengthening the position and reputation of the annual EITI conference within the global scholarly community. Indeed, EITI has become an important gathering point for scholars to exchange research output and ideas. As indicated by Professor Fukunari Kimura in his opening speech, paper submission for the conference was very competitive. In total, more than seventy papers were submitted although only fifteen were selected for presentation. The conference can justifiably claim to have been an excellent venue for networking between scholars.

Researchers from Asia were connected with those from Europe and North America. At the same time, junior researchers were able to learn from more experienced researchers. This learning opportunity was made possible by the conference's active support in accommodating paper presentations by graduate students and junior researchers. Altogether, the Fourth EITI Conference has proven to be a very valuable and effective forum for researchers who work in empirical trade and investment. It has exchanged ideas, disseminated research works, as well as contributing to a widening of networks amongst participating scholars. Taken together, these factors should eventually make a valuable contribution to knowledge accumulation on the subject, particularly for the scholarly community in the East Asian region.

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