アジアの未来2010 「開かれた経済圏へ〜新たな成長基盤を築く」

学生リポート

New Ideas in Asia

Pericles Alejandro BAYAS MORA
立命館大学 国際関係学専攻(2年)

The International Conference on the Future of Asia 2010 was a great opportunity to get to know directly from the decision makers the current and future challenges that Asia is and will be facing in the development of this century so called “Asian Century”

The issues covered different areas such as macroeconomics and the ways, environmental, trade and security issues in a region, which is now totally interdependent with the rest of the world. These issues were discussed within the context of an internal conflict in Thailand and the economic problems faced by the European Union. I was particularly interested in the future scenarios in which free trade agreements and economic partnership agreements have an important role to improve the economy in the regions around the world. The environmental discussion put on the table the mechanisms to fight environmental degradation and the issue of preventing natural resources unsustainable exploitation was also addressed. The talks about security included the recent incident between the two Koreas where the resolution through diplomatic ways was heavily emphasized.

The highlight of the event was the participation of Singapore's father Lee Kwan Yew who was interviewed during the Conference. He was very honest and pragmatic in his answers particularly when asked about the way Japan should address the problem of aging population. He said that the most convenient solution would be to accept highly educated foreigners who share similar characteristics as those existing in Japan. When asked about the most important change societies should experience sound development, he said that “ the most important transformation is the change of ideas”.

Very remarkable were the participation of the communist party Prime Ministers from Socialist Vietnam and Laos talking about the importance of economic growth, globalization and welcoming foreign investment and competitiveness. This showed me how the leaders in the region are became pragmatic and aggressively joined to participate in the world market as a way to boost economic growth.

The Minister of Thailand was probably the one who brought the issue that interested me the most. He talked about the recent internal conflict occurred in Thailand. He presented the situation elaborating a comparison as if the conflict would have happened in Tokyo to present a clear idea of the issues faced in Bangkok. He mentioned that it is important to know the origin of the conflict. Regarding those who mobilize the people he said, “a big lie can be attached to a big true”. He mentioned that some of the protesters have a true argument, which mobilized people. This argument is that there are big income disparities in the society and between the rural and urban area in Thailand. He concluded adding that if these issues are not addressed properly with justice and social policies, the economic development could not have an effect on the well being of the whole society causing eventually a lack of the political stability needed for economic development.

During this conference I could learn of the most current issues affecting the world and particularly this region that has become the economic center of the world. I read some years ago this was going to be the Asian Century. I am glad I could witness this reality while I am in Asia, from various experts on these and from the actors who have implemented these new ideas in the Asian Region.

 


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