World Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Speaks at JICA-RI



Dr. Justin Lin

Dr. Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, visited JICA-RI on November 16 and made a presentation on "Economic Development and Structural Change," focusing on Africa. The World Bank and JICA-RI have been working closely together on African development, and the meeting enabled the participants to share their interests, approaches and insight for future direction

In his presentation, Lin cited how developing countries, particularly in Africa, must transform their economic structures for the sake of more sustainable economic growth. Lin said that in order to strengthen their economic structures, developing countries should accumulate capital from the economic surpluses which stem from each country's own endowments and comparative advantages. Lin also suggested a moderate "facilitating" role for the State in more wisely leading its industrial sector toward development consistent with its comparative advantages. Such a role would involve industrial diversification policies based on better coordination, information and collaboration with the private sector.

In response, JICA-RI Research Fellow Megumi Muto and her team shared an example of a JICA-RI research project that explored the structural composition of African indigenous firms in "clusters." These conglomerations, which are geographically-based, suggest an influential relationship to infrastructure location. A team member also discussed JICA-RI managerial training programs in Tanzania. Professor Keijiro Otsuka of the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development spoke on the continuous improvement of productivity and managerial skills, or kaizen, to advance small to medium-sized enterprises.

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