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January 2020

Voices from the Field

JICA's Evolving Contribution to the Mekong Region

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Fujii Takao
Project Leader of the Consulting Team for Japan Center

Since 2000, JICA's Japan Center program has supported countries transitioning to market economies, and as of today there are five centers operating in four countries in the Mekong region alone. Over 10 years have passed since the opening of the first Japan Center in the Mekong region, and their reputation as a link to Japan has grown steadily. The Centers offer business courses which are based on the "Japanese-style management" and tailored to each country's unique needs.

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I was appointed Director of the Vietnam-Japan Center in Ho Chi Minh City in 2007, and I have overseen the dispatching of lecturers to the Mekong and Central Asia regions since April 2019. We have reached a time when other organizations can also provide support, and this allows JICA to make a unique contribution.

An idea of starting a Japanese-style Management School, which has now been spread to all the Japan Centers, was originated by my own experience as an entrepreneur. As "Japanese-style management" changes with the times, we constantly adapt to provide a high-quality curriculum at every Center.

The Mekong countries need to cultivate small and medium enterprises if they are to achieve their industrialization goals. We will continue to work to develop human resources that lead industrialization with a long-term perspective.

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