May 18, 2017
Seminar venue filled with more than 150 attendants
Name of Meeting: JICA-EPU Seminar 60 Years & Beyond: The Way Forward
Date: 18 May, 2017
Sponsors: Economic Planning Unit(EPU), Prime Minister's Office and JICA
Location: Putrajaya, Malaysia
<Speakers and Panelists>
Datuk K. Yogeesvaran, Deputy Director General (MACRO) of EPU
Mr. Hiroyuki Orikasa, Counsellor from the Embassy of Japan
Dr. Jinichiro Yabuta, Advisor, International Development Center of Japan
Dr. Leong Choon Heng, Professor and Deputy Director, Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC), Sunway University)
Dr. Osman Zakaria, Senior Director of SIRIM
En. Sabri Jaafar, Chief Mechanical Engineer, TNB
Dr. Theng Lee Chong, Environment/Waste Management Specialist
Ms. Yuslindal Yaakub, Deputy Director of Human Capital Development Section, EPU
Mr. Toru Homma, Senior Advisor, JICA
Mr. Kojiro Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA Malaysia Office
Government officials, staff of Counterpart organizations of JICA Projects, Press and media
Presentation of the report (From left, Datuk Yogeesvaran, Mr. Orikasa, and Mr. Matsumoto)
Year 2016 was the 60th year since the first technical trainees visited Japan from Malaysia in 1956. Year 2017 is also the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and Japan.
As a commemoration of those anniversaries, EPU and JICA held the Seminar to look back how Japanese ODA has been walking along the way to social and economic development of Malaysia and to explore the ways to widen the scope of future cooperation.
Ceremonial photograph of the panelists
Exhibition of panels summarizing representative cooperation fields
At the seminar, in their opening speeches, Datuk Yogeswaran of EPU and Mr. Orikasa of the Embassy of Japan both acknowledged the success of Japanese assistance and complimented JICA's role in the development process.
A keynote speech and a video provided the background and characteristics of Japanese ODA and explained the basis for the success of the cooperation. Guided by Dr. Leon from Sunway University, a panel of 6 speakers then explored various themes of the development cooperation that ranged from industrialization, infrastructure development, waste management to human resource development, private sector and the importance in trade and investment and finally the future of the cooperation, which will likely take the form of partnership, the next step beyond development cooperation and assistance.
Many top management participated in the seminar including those from Centre for Instructor and Advanced Skill Training (CIAST) and Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), both of them have long cooperation history, as well as implementing agencies of on-going projects such as Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT). The fact that more than 60 of Ministries/Departments and universities participated in the seminar shows that many Malaysian related recognized the contribution of Japan to social and economic development of Malaysia and people-to-people exchange between Malaysia and Japan through training programmes under the Look East Policy built the foundation of this success.
Expectation from Malaysia towards Japanese cooperation is still strong, but that is more about facilitation to connect resources such as information between Malaysia and Japan rather than the orthodox financial and technical cooperation.
The relationship between Malaysia and Japan is getting more comprehensive and multi-layered. To cope with this change, JICA's role needs to change from simple "cooperation" to mediating and promoting "collaboration" between various players of the two countries.