10:00 17:40, Tuesday, June 6, 2000
Hotel Diasmont Niigata, Niigata, Japan
Joint research to be conducted by the Organizing Committee should take into account both “soft” and “hard” infrastructures with focus on the Tumen area. The Tumen Secretariat has conducted research on transportation thus far, and is planning to conduct research on the competitiveness of the Tumen transportation corridor, if financial support can be found.
Discussions at the previous Northeast Asia Economic Conferences were based on rather fragmentary information. Joint research, planned by the Secretariat, will facilitate the collection of coherent data.
Efforts to secure the participation of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the Subcommittee are necessary. The Subcommittee should discuss a system where practical activities are carried out in each country. Regarding the finance for these activities, I would like to examine how we could provide support. Discussion related to the activation of trade is also necessary.
The Tumen River area is important. Three-stage development; firstly the establishment of transportation corridors, secondly trade corridors, then the creation of a growth center, should be considered. The joint research should not be mere transportation research, but policy discussion leading to active trade and investment. Primorsky Territory authorities informed me that Kraskino customs would be of a first class standard.
I would like to report about the ferry service between Zarubino and Sokcho at the Subcommittee meeting tomorrow. The plan made by the Secretariat needs to discuss whether the proposed seven transportation corridors are appropriate.
The various points of discussion were brought up, such as whether the Tumen River area should be focused on, and if the number of transportation corridors should be seven. These points should be discussed at the Subcommittee meeting to be held on June 7, 2000.
(Another suggestion was made from the hall: a breakthrough in this region could be realized by the activities of the private sector. It is important to include the private sector in the development process. Transportation cost data in particular should be collected.)
Besides transportation research, the Tumen Secretariat has conducted research on the environment, investment and telecommunications, etc. In terms of investment research, the Tumen Secretariat has been working on establishing “Tumen River Investment Service Centers” since last year.
What about paying more attention than before to “social development” in the “Northeast Asia Economic Conference”? The achievements of the United Nations Social Development Summit held in 1995 will be reviewed this year. If sufficient budget is allocated as a result of this review, we would like to conduct a two-year research program focusing on the environment and social issues in Northeast Asia.
The DPRK points out the importance of transportation. The environment, energy, telecommunications, and food are also important subjects. Networking all research institutes in the region should be facilitated to promote economic cooperation and integration in Northeast Asia.
– Yoshida, Director of the Secretariat, explained the research plan of ERINA.
The Institute of Developing Economies will support the initiative of ERINA. Research subjects, on which we would actually work together, could be: (1) the Japan-Korea Free Trade Agreement; and (2) the PECC/APEC issue. Also, we could support the creation of joint visions.
Considering recent changes in the Russian economic situation, a methodological approach might be necessary in order for development of the energy and transportation sector in Russian Far East to become possible. Econometric analysis to estimate various parameters, such as social, public finance, as well as finance, is also interesting. Our Institute is ready to cooperate.
This region is an agricultural region. Cooperation in the agricultural sector, including agriculture itself and the distribution and processing of agricultural products, is important. Our Institute will be able to cooperate on the subject of the DPRK economic policies, and we have already dispatched a researcher to ERINA to research the reform of state owned enterprises. Research to promote a regional network is needed.
Related to the fact that trade and investment by Japan is not significant, discussion with a view of conception gaps on risks and risk management is necessary. Regarding the movements of IT related matters, because it is difficult to foresee the future, how we can pick up the subject at this stage is difficult to decide. Food and agricultural matters are related to the water issue. Regarding the improvement of agricultural fields, there might be the possibility of international cooperation, including ODA .
I would like Mongolia to be included in investment receiving countries. We have experience in conducting joint research with the East-West Center on the improvement of infrastructure in Mongolia. Mongolian potential should draw more attention.
Tourism is also important. With the opening of a regular ferry line between Sokcho and Zarubino, tourism has become an urgent subject.
The contents of the research are likely to be related to the activities of our association. Japanese enterprises have begun to give serious consideration to practical points rather than to long-term viewpoints. The idea of each country individually collecting and then sharing data is a good one.
What about translating information ERINA holds and converting it into electronic form?
ERINA’s internet site will be reformed and opened on July 1, 2000. A program for a joint internet site is also in progress. Funding is an issue to be discussed, but we would like to make efforts towards further information dissemination, including the improvement of our English site.
Regarding ERINA’s research program, we would like to pursue further the completion of the research with the suggestions given. Regarding methodology, there was a suggestion that ERINA’s own projects could be included within a network. If funding could be found, holding symposia is an option. The order of research subjects and the range of participation will be discussed by the Secretariat based on the various suggestions given.
– Director Yoshida explained a plan offered by the Secretariat.
The Conference is meaningless without the participation of the ROK and the DPRK.
I understand that the ROK is considering the issue of the name of the “Sea of Japan.” The “East Sea” is written along with the “Sea of Japan” in the conference documents.
Isn’t it possible that the name of the Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia could be ERINA in Japanese as well?
I understand that we had a common understanding with the ROK side in using different names in Japanese and English. Since then, the attitude of the ROK has changed. I do not have an intention to change the name of the institute. I hope that participants from the private sector at least will be allowed.
One of the reasons why this problem occurred is that the ROK recognized this Organizing Committee as an official organization. If the Committee is positioned as an NGO, the problem might be solved. To gain practical achievements of the conference is important.
I would like Mongolia to be considered as an investment receiving country at Session three.
Investment is a main part of Session three, but trade is also important. Although there must be constraints on funding and time, additional discussions on the comparison of competitiveness by trade and investment after the plenary session is finished should be considered. A roundtable meeting about the effects of the participation of China and Russia in the WTO is also worthwhile.
What about picking up on the (economic) security issue, either at a special session or in a keynote speech?
The United Nations would like to comment on social development at the special session and the environmental issue at the environmental session. How about discussing the introduction of private funding to infrastructure improvement in Session three? Also, there should be as much time as possible for discussion with the audience.
I would like a representative to be allowed to make comments on the newly established “Hunchun Export Processing District.”
We will make utmost efforts for to encourage the participation of the ROK and the DPRK. Regarding the contents of the conference, the inclusion of Mongolia in Session three and discussion about trade related to participation in the WTO were suggested. Regarding the panelists, a United Nations representative for Session two and special session, and a representative of Jilin Province for Session three were requested. Regarding the proceedings, a suggestion for longer discussion with the audience was made. The Secretariat will discuss the matters with consideration of time distribution at the conference.
[Summarized by the Secretariat]