[ Index ] [ Gist of Proposal ] [ Underlying facts ]

A Call for
Promotion of Government-Private Coordination
in Intellectual Support for Developing Countries

-Toward Vitalization of Private Sector Economic Activities in Developing Countries-

Underlying facts

Economic Cooperation is the most important pillar of Japan's effort towards international contribution. In its position paper of December 1994 titled "Japan's International Contributions and the Role of Its Economic Cooperation in the Post-Cold War Era," Keidanren stressed the need for "government-private coordination" in economic cooperation administrations in order to ensure sustained and stable growth of the world economy.

Without development of the private sector, sustainable economic growth in developing countries is difficult to attain. Keidanren has learned on many different occasions that developing countries aiming for economic takeoff are seeking assistance based on the know-how and experience of Japan's private enterprises. These countries need such assistance for drawing up development programs, for building various kinds of infrastructure and for promoting privatization and market economies. In many countries that are almost taking off economically, too, the shortage of private sector human resources for leading the national economy has not yet been overcome. There are strong requests especially for transfer of business know-how and corporate management techniques.

In order to respond to these new needs of developing countries, Keidanren has been studying the realization of the "International Executive Services" This scheme aims at fostering the private sector of developing countries and stimulating their economic activities by transferring, from the standpoint of international contributions, the experience, knowledge and know-how of private enterprises to those countries that request assistance to Japan. Our idea is to achieve assistance in which Japan's "face is visible." Pushing economic cooperation with emphasis on software assistance through the dispatch of human resources of Japanese enterprises. Keidanren also intends to promote policy dialogues with the governments and private sectors of developing countries.

Herewith, we make the following proposal for realization of the scheme.

Proposal 1.
Efficient Use of the ODA Framework and Creation of an Assistance Structure of Developing Countries by Private Sector Participation

In order to draw out private sector vitality and to effectively support the nation-building of developing countries, it is vital to have participation of private sector human resources through the coordination of the Japanese government and the business community, according to grasping accurately the diverse needs of developing countries and the stage of each country's economic development.

  1. Coordination among Existing Experts Dispatch Systems

    The dispatch of specialists by Japan, together with the acceptance of trainees from developing countries and the supplying of equipment, has produced certain results within the framework of technical cooperation. However, there are many separate and separate systems of dispatching specialists under ODA programs due to involvement of different government ministries and agencies without adequate coordination. With development strategy that stresses importance upon building private sector vitality having become the main current today, greater coordination between the Japanese government and the private sector is absolutely essential if Japan is to help the invigoration of private sector vitality in developing countries.
    The government should promote further effective use of private sector human resources through strengthening of coordination among the different systems by reforming them and operating them flexibly.

  2. Drawing up a "Program for Dispatching Private Sector Human Resources"

    Furthermore, in order to expand the dispatch of private sector human resources to contribute to the stimulation of economic activities in developing countries, the government should consider drawing up a new "program for dispatching private sector human resources" backed with necessary budgetary appropriation. In drawing up such a program, it is vital to include from the initial stage the views of private enterprises. Also, the program should not limit itself to responding to the requests of developing countries - it is necessary for Japan to make proposals to developing countries by grasping accurately, on the basis of the empirical experience of Japanese companies, the kind of human resources necessary for fostering the private sector in developing countries. Specifically, it is vital for the government and private sector to study in coordination the needs of developing countries and, in accordance with an assistance program consonant with those needs, dispatch the appropriate human resources.
    In order to make dispatched human resources prove more effective, it is preferable to set from the very beginning a long tenure of more than three years in accordance with the need. Also, in many cases greater effects can be expected from dispatch of personnel in a group instead of in isolation. Furthermore, destination of the dispatch in recipient countries should be considered flexibly in view of placing emphasis on vitalization of the private sector.
    It is essential, moreover, to give full consideration to securing the safety of the dispatched personnel during the period of their dispatch and to provide them quickly with information necessary for carrying out their mission. A support system to enable the dispatched personnel to carry out their mission and live without fear and insecurity should be consolidated through the network of Japanese embassies, the JICA office and the local offices of Japanese companies.

  3. Coordination with Grant-in-aid Cooperation Projects

    Providing full know-how support for after-care, such as maintenance and management after facilities and supplies (occupational training center, medical equipment, medicine, chemical fertilizer, etc.) have been provided as grant-in-aid cooperation will further enhance the effectiveness of the aid. Therefore, appropriate personnel should be dispatched through the cooperation of the companies that was involved in the procurement for cooperation project.

Proposal 2.
Implementation of Intellectual Assistance in New Fields

It is necessary for the Japanese business and government to tackle the following new and important fields by building through a coordinated effort between them in creating a system for dispatching the private sector human resources.

  1. Comprehensive Economic Cooperation in Wide-Area Projects

    In recent years, economic cooperation projects in a specific area straddling a plural number of countries, such as the comprehensive development of the Mekong River basin, are attracting worldwide attention. For Japan, the question of how to cooperate with such multiple-country development plans has become a major problem.
    It is more than obvious that existing methodology of economic cooperation that involves only one recipient country at a time will not work when a multiple country project is involved. It will be necessary for the government and private sector to work together to plan, formulate and implement comprehensive development projects. Combining flexibly government loans with grant-in-aid financial cooperation and technical cooperation, while keeping in mind software aid such as nurturing local human resources, together with the provision of hardware such as the building of infrastructure will be of simultaneous and absolute necessity. It is vital for Japan that related government ministries and agencies unite their efforts, keep the entire view of the project during the full course, and tackle efficiently and implement effectively.

  2. Nurturing Human Resources for Infrastructure Improvement through Effective Use of the Private Sector Capabilities

    The improvement of the infrastructure is indispensable for stimulating economic activities in developing countries. It is expected that in future, there will be an increase in the number of cases of building infrastructure under the BOT formula (building, operation, transfer) by obtaining private sector funds, in addition to effective use of official funds. In addition to lending project funds, building facilities and supplying machinery and equipment, it will be necessary to develop and nurture local personnel to undertake the operation of facilities, maintenance and management in order to ensure the efficient operation and transfer of the project. Regarding infrastructure projects that will be operated by the private sector, too, the government and private sector must cooperate in assisting the development of able personnel through the dispatch of human resources and receiving of trainees in Japan.

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