Networking and Seminars on Asian Economic Community in China and Japan 

 

As a part of the follow-up of the RIS research on economic integration in Asia , RIS has made attempts to establish networking links with leading think-tanks in China and Japan. 

Development Research Center of the State Council, Beijing

During his trip to Beijing on 3-4 April 2003, DG-RIS, Dr Nagesh Kumar, visited the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council and made a presentation on A Framework for India-China Economic Partnership on 4 April 2003. DRC is a top-level policy think-tank of the State Council (or Cabinet) of China. The presentation was attended by about 25 experts having representation of, besides DRC faculty, many influential think-tanks and government agencies such as the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, China Institute of International Studies, Ministry of Commerce (formerly MOFTEC), scholars from Beijing University, officials from Asia Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Xinhua News Agency.

The presentation was co-chaired by Professor Lan Weiban, Deputy Director-General, and Professor Li Tonglian, Director-General, International Cooperation Department, DRC.

The presentation touched upon the recent trends in India-China trade and its potential in view of the complementarities and argued for cooperation between India and China in building an Asian Economic Community for exploiting the regionís vast resources for mutual development, drawing upon our recent work on the subject. The presentation evoked a lot of response from the audience who posed questions on constraints in promoting bilateral economic relations, the relevance and possible obstacles to the Asian Economic Community, among other issues.

After the presentation, the issues concerning the inter-institutional cooperation and exchange of delegations between DRC and RIS were discussed. In view of DRCís on-going research programme on Asian economic integration, there would be synergies between DRC and RIS.

Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, Beijing

During his stay in Beijing, Dr Nagesh Kumar was also invited to give a Seminar on the Relevance of Asian Economic Community at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC). This Meeting was chaired by Dr. Li Yushi, Vice President of the CAITEC, Ministry of Commerce, (formerly MOFTEC) and was attended by senior officials of the Academy. RIS has already established some contacts with CAITEC as one of its researchers Mr. Li Wei had participated in RIS Conference on Asian Economic Community in March 2003 and made a presentation on relevance of an India-China FTA. The CAITEC is the think-tank of the Ministry of Commerce covering work on WTO issues, Asia Pacific cooperation, multinational enterprises, among others, and brings out reports on Foreign Trade Situations in China.

The presentation at CAITEC drew upon RISí recent work on the subject to make a strong case for the Asian Economic Community which could cover Japan, ASEAN, China, India and Korea (JACIK) in the first phase. The presentation was followed by an intensive discussion on various issues concerning the Asian economic integration. The overall response was quite favourable and provoked a lot of interest among the audience.

The discussion with CAITEC also covered exchange of publications and networking with RIS.

Dr Kumar also visited Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) (Professor Sun Shihai, Deputy Director and Professor Wang Hongwei), and discussed the issues concerning bilateral economic relations between India and China.

China Centre for Contemporary World Studies, Beijing

A delegation consisting Mr. Yu Hongun, Director, China Centre for Contemporary World Studies (CCCWS), Beijing; Mr. Zhou Yuyun, Research Fellow, CCCWS; Mr. Mou Hong, Researcher, CCCWS; Mr. Feng Wei and Mr. Chen Ying, Assistant Researchers, CCCWS; and Mr. Shi Xiaohu, CCCWS; along with Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, Director, Centre for Strategic Studies, India visited RIS on 16 April 2003 for an interactive session at which Dr Nagesh Kumar, Director General, RIS made a presentation on Reforms, Economic Performance, and a Perspective on Bilateral Economic Relations with China. Members of the RIS Faculty also participated in the discussions.

Institute of Developing Economies of JETRO, Tokyo, Japan

During his visit to Tokyo on 16-17 June 2003, Dr Nagesh Kumar visited the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE) of JETRO, Chiba and delivered a seminar presentation on the Relevance of Asian Economic Community on 17 June 2003 at the IDEís seminar room. The presentation was well attended and was followed up by intensive discussion. In general the audience agreed with main contention of the presentation that Asia needs to move towards regional economic integration and that JACIK provided a way forward.

The presentation was followed by a meeting with senior officials of the International Cooperation Department of IDE on the possibilities of institutional cooperation. RIS and IDE agreed on networking arrangement, involving exchange of publications, exchange of faculties for short-term visiting fellowships, to explore future collaborative research, particularly for the proposed RIS Conference to be organized in Tokyo in 2004 on JACIK.

Dr Kumar also visited the headquarters of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and had a meeting with its President Mr Akira Iriyama, besides ADB Institute and the National Institute for Research Advancement during his stay in Tokyo.

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