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Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and IMF Joint Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 12, 2011

Sustaining Development in Low-Income Asia: Infrastructure Investment and Financial Sector Development

Motivation and Objective

Asia has two faces. On the one hand, it is filled with dynamic economies at the forefront of the global recovery. On the other hand, it still has a number of economies at earlier stages of development that are lagging behind in infrastructure investment and financial sector development. The key challenges for these latter economies are how to achieve sustainable and equitable growth to help overcome still high incidences of poverty.

To find ways to address these challenges, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are jointly organizing a conference in Tokyo, Japan, on October 12, entitled "Sustaining Development in Low-Income Asia: Infrastructure Investment and Financial Sector Development." The conference will be centered on three thematic sessions: (1) macroeconomic lessons from emerging market economies on infrastructure investment and its financing; (2) lessons from the region on important policy considerations for infrastructure development; and (3) policy challenges facing the LIC financial sector.

Preliminary Program

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

8:30 am Registration
9:15–9:30 am OPENING SESSION:

Opening Remarks:
Sadako Ogata, President, JICA

Keynote speech:
Takatoshi Kato (President, Japan Center for International Finance & Member of the G20 High Level Panel for Infrastructure Investment)
9:30–9:45 am PHOTO SESSION
9:45–
11:15 am
SESSION I — Macroeconomic Lessons from Emerging Markets: Infrastructure Investment and its Financing

Accelerating infrastructure development, notably mobilizing financial resources for infrastructure projects, is challenging in many countries, and needs to be consistent with macroeconomic stability. In this session, a recent study based on a number of country cases will be presented, which could present a set of useful policy lessons to Low-Income Asia.

Moderator: Hiroto Arakawa (Special Senior Advisor, JICA)

Presenter: Jiangyan Yu (Senior Economist, IMF)

Commentators:
Ahmed Naseer (State Minister for Finance and Treasury, Maldives)
Indrajit Coomaraswamy (Former Director, Economic Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, Sri Lanka)
Dra. Tuti Riyati (Director, BAPPENAS, Indonesia)

Open discussion
11:30 am–
1:00 pm
SESSION II — Policy challenges for Infrastructure Development in Asian LICs: Lessons from the Region

The Asian LICs are lagging behind from other Asian states in infrastructure development and service provision due to limited fiscal space, weak planning and implementing capacity of government, limited private sector interest, etc. Emerging issues such as climate change, urbanization and regional integration will pose additional challenges. This session will discuss policy issues regarding strategic choice of infrastructure investment, improvement of service efficiency, and public-private partnership, and lessons from other Asian nations.

Moderator: Masahiko Takeda (Deputy Director, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF)

Presenter: Yasuo Fujita (Senior Research Fellow, JICA Research Institute)

Commentators:
Melis Tulindyevich Mambetjanov (Minister of Finance, Kyrgyz Republic)
Simon Andrews (Regional Manager, IFC)
Fukunari Kimura (Professor, Faculty of Economics, Keio University)

Open discussion
1:00–2:15 pm Lunch and Keynote Speech

"Realizing the Asian Century: Plausible but not Pre-ordained"
by Mr. Rajat M. Nag, Managing Director General, ADB
2:30–4:00 pm SESSION III — Policy Challenges Facing the LIC Financial Sector

Financial sector development in LICs can contribute to reduced growth volatility and a virtuous (and reinforcing) cycle of higher investment, growth, and savings. In considering the policy challenges facing LICs, this session focuses on the implications of the state-ownership in financial sector development, and the preconditions for and risks from relatively functional capital—equity and debt—markets in LICs.

Moderator: Jim Adams (Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank)

Presenter: Faisal Ahmed (Resident Representative in Cambodia, IMF)

Commentators:
Dam Bich Thuy (Vice Chairwoman, Greater Mekong Region ANZ Bank, Vietnam)
Hidenobu Okuda (Professor, Hitotsubashi University)

Open discussion
4:15–5:45 pm POLICY ROUNDTABLE

Low-Income countries are facing tough challenges ahead, in the backdrop of a slow-down of the world economy, which could last longer than expected. Achieving a robust, sustainable, and inclusive growth in this climate will require multifaceted policy initiatives. Governments need to emphasize macroeconomic stability while enhancing long-term growth potential. Infrastructure investment and financial sector development are an important element in the reform agenda. In this session, we will discuss key policy measures that are being planned or taken by some countries, and various difficulties in implementing them, which could provide a useful tip to all participants.

Moderator: Anoop Singh (Director, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF)

Panelists:
Mohammad Tareque (Secretary of Finance, Bangladesh)
Vongsey Vissoth (Secretary General, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Cambodia)
Khashchuluun Chuluundorj (Chairman, National Development and Innovation Committee, Mongolia)
José Luis Guterres (Vice Prime Minister, Timor-Leste)

Open discussion
5:45–6:00 pm Closing Remarks:
Kiyoshi Kodera (Vice-President, JICA)
Anoop Singh (IMF)
6:30–7:00 pm PRESS CONFERENCE

IMF/JICA