Economic Development Strategies of East Asian Countries

Fourth Workshop on Economic Development Strategies
of East Asian Countries.

The Mongolian Development Research Center (MDRC) and KDI School of Public Policy and Management, ( South Korea ) jointly organized “Fourth Workshop on Economic Development Strategies of East Asian Countries” under the theme “Poverty Reduction and Sustaining Growth Strategy”. The Workshop was held in “Continental” hotel on 11-12 August in Ulaanbaatar , Mongolia . The objective of the workshop was intended to enhance economic cooperation among East Asian transition Countries and share knowledge, experiences and visions on “Poverty Reduction and Sustaining Growth Strategy”

Therefore, participants were expected to discuss the current state of economic development in their respective countries and help them to produce policy and action strategies aimed on poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth.
There were about 25 participants including researchers from Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, invited guest speakers from Japan, Inner Mongolian Autonomous region, China and representatives of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Japan) as well as KDI School of Public Policy and Management. Among the participants were also delegations from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Welfare and Labour and Institute of International Study , Mongolia . From the DPRK side, a representative from DPRK Embassy to Mongolia attended the opening ceremony of the workshop.
Welcoming speeches were deliveried by Dr.Ts.Batbayar, Chairman of Board, Mongolian Development Research Center and Mr.Ji-Hong Kim, Director of Knowledge Cooperation, KDI School of Public Policy and Management.

The morning session was started by Mr.Chan Sopheap, Research Associate, Supreme National Economic Council under the Office of the Prime Minister, Cambodia . He made a presentation on “Cambodian National poverty reduction strategy: Poverty reduction remains the problem of economic development” in which he talked about the fundamental development challenges facing the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC). The challenges are to reduce poverty and inequality, and improve the quality of life of the vast majority of Cambodia's rapidly growing population.The RGC considers poverty to be economically wasteful, morally unacceptable, and socially divisive. Accordingly, alleviating poverty in Cambodia has become the RGC's overriding objective. On the 20 th of December 2002 , the RGC has adopted its first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper known as National Poverty Reduction Strategy (NPRS).

The next presentation was made by Dr.Wang Wei, Senior research fellow, and Vice Director, Institute of Market Economy , Development Research Center of China, on the topic of “Industry cluster and Economic development”. She summarized:
•  China 's Economy is moving into a new fast development round
•  The coastel regions are main driven of the China 's economic development
•  China is to be the world manufacturing center
•  Industry Cluster is growing intensified
•  Industry Cluster will be one of the main characteristics in the future sustained economic development of China.

In the afternoon session, Mr.Sthabandith Insisienmay , Researcher of National Economic Research Institute of Lao PDR, presented a paper on “Toward poverty eradication strategy of the Lao PDR”. He aimed to brief and discuss about poverty situation in the Lao PDR with modest understanding on approaches used to identify country specific poverty which is path toward formulation of NGPES (National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy). Throughout the paper, he briefed on background of historical development as national context and some selected previews on figures of recent macroeconomic performances. With the content mainly cited from NGPES, he provided poverty assessment, poverty situation, sector perspectives on poverty and cause of poverty. He also gave brief summary of current poverty eradication strategy that Lao PDR is persueing at present stage with some progress on its implementation.

The next presentation was prepared by Dr.L.Nyamtseren , Researcher of Mongolian Development Instutute, in collaboration with Mr.Jargalsaikhan , Deputy Director of Economic Policy Department, Ministry of Finance, Mongolia . The paper was devoted to give some information on Poverty Reduction Strategy of Mongolia and its Implementation or the current achievements of Mongolian economic growth and issues further to be concentrated.

The last presentation of the afternoon session was Democratic People's Republic of Korea . Although the DPRK did not send the delegation, a paper titled “Efforts and experiences of Democratic People's Republic of Korea in sustainable Development of Economy and its perspectives” was given by Ms.Sarantuya, Executive Director of Society for Mongolian Independent Development “Pektu San” .The paper gave some information about an independent national economy of the DPRK and severe economic difficulties that the Korean people face to.

The second day of the workshop was started by Dr.Hoang Sy Dong , Deputy Director of Center for Information Resources, Training and Development Consultation, Vietnam Development Strategy Institute. He made a presentation entitled “Main challenges in growth and poverty reduction in the northern mountains in Vietnam ” in which he aimed to contribute to achieving the comprehensive development goal of the country “rich people, strong country, equitable, democratic and civilized society”. Specifically, it is an attempt to support the Ministry of Planning and Investment in its preparation of the next 5-year SEDP 2006-2010, especially the development plan for the Northern Mountains based on the analyses of the main challenges in growth and poverty reduction, using domestic and international information.

During the workshop, invited guest researcher Dr.Fujio Goto from Kyoto, Sangyo University, Japan presented a paper “Economic Reforms in North Korea: Lessons from Mongolia's experiences” while invited guest researcher Mr.Baatar from North East Asian Institute, Inner Mongolia, China distributed a paper titled “The sustainable developing road of Xilingol League's stock raising industry” which are both very interesting papers among the participants.

The last presentation was done by Dr.Hoang Pyo Moon , Senior research fellow, Korean Development Institute (KDI), School of Public Policy and Management. His paper on “Social development in Korea ” was about a look back of Social Welfare Policy into the passed periods over 1960s-1970s, which the State of Korean economy was that of a typical underdeveloped countries owing to low-income level, lack of capital and resources, and prevalence of unemployment, especially in rural communities. During this period, an advanced social security systems, the heavy and chemical industry, income distribution structure and initiation of New Community Movement (NCM) were introduced.

In the 1980s-1990s, Korea faced the second oil price shock /1979/ and exposed Korea 's weakness in the striking macroeconomic imbalance. In the early 1980s, fighting inflation was a top priority on national economic policy. During this period, Korea adopted a comprehensive stabilization package and achieved stability and annual growth of 8%. Accordingly, the unemployment rate dropped to about 2% level. The government carried out various projects and programs to improve social welfare and spur regional development such as the implementation of the National Pension scheme and the introduction of the minimum wage system in 1998.

Since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 1997, Korea has been plagued by deleterious social consequences: unemployment, declining wages and income, education and health risk and rising crime and violence. During this period, unemployment insurance (1995), public works programs and legislation of the minimum living standarts security act were introduced.
Concerning the future tasks, in Korea , the ratio of people over 65 years of age accounts for 7.9% of the whole population as of 2002, which means the Korea has begun the inevitable trend in moving toward an “Aging Society”.

At the end of the workshop, Mr.Ji-Hong Kim, Director of Knowledge Cooperation made a wrap-up discussion and closing speech was made by Dr.Ts.Batbayar, Chairman of Board, Mongolian Development research Center as well.

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