December 7, 2017
The 2017 Asia Think Tank Summit (ATTS) was held in Singapore on November 22 and 23, 2017. JICA Research Institute Assistant Director Kaoru Suzuki participated in the Summit.
The theme of the Summit was “Think Tanks, Public Policy and Governance.” Currently, the advancement of technology and its application in Asia are rapidly progressing, causing significant changes throughout society. This has led to an increase in the importance of think tanks and their role in making policy recommendations and shaping society’s future. Various discussions were held in eight sessions: (1) Developing Human Capital, (2) How to Promote Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Asian Region, (3) How to Finance Infrastructure Investments in Asia, (4) Fighting against Climate Change, (5) Harnessing Technology to Improve Research Capacity, Revenue and Digital Economy, (6) Water Security, (7) China's Economic Transformation after the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress and Its Impacts on the Global Economy and (8) Is Anyone Listening? Strategic Communications and Marketing for Think Tanks.
Suzuki participated in Session 5 (Harnessing Technology to Improve Research Capacity, Revenue and Digital Economy) and introduced "Harnessing the Data Revolution to Achieve the SDGs," which was published in July 2017. The publication is a report on research conducted jointly with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The report presents case studies that cite examples of JICA’s cooperation in Laos and Myanmar utilizing satellite data and geographical information systems (GIS), smartphones and global positioning system (GPS) technology. Suzuki also touched on the benefits of working jointly with overseas partners, and pointed out the necessity of basic infrastructure development like communications and electric power, as well as strengthening capabilities for national-level statistical systems to improve access to reliable information in developing countries.
In addition to think tanks from Asia, this year's ATTS included participants from think tanks in Germany, France, Italy, the United States and Australia, indicating the large amount of interest in Asian economic growth. With more than 50 organizations from a total of 22 countries gathered together, the Summit was an excellent opportunity to gain an understanding of global and Asian trends, and to communicate the JICA-RI’s research findings.