Mansfield Fellow Shares Economic Development Expertise at GRIPS Symposium
Mansfield Fellow Jocelyn Roberts (U.S. Department of State) discussed the role of the private sector in Southeast Asian economic development at an April 5 seminar at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo. The Mansfield Foundation and GRIPS regularly organize joint seminars to provide opportunities for the Mansfield Fellows in Japan to share their professional expertise with a broad audience. Ms. Roberts, who serves as the Lower Mekong Initiative Coordinator in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, discussed “Narrowing the Development Gap: the Role of U.S. and Japanese Private Sector Investment in the Mekong.” She began her remarks by describing U.S., Japanese, and Asian Development Bank economic development initiatives in the region. She also provided an overview of U.S. and Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) and investment trends in the Mekong region before presenting these trends by sector and country. She discussed the relationship between aid, trade, and investment as factors driving regional growth and integration and noted the practice of networked FDI in the manufacturing sector. Ms. Roberts concluded by listing the challenges and benefits of working in the Mekong and by underscoring the importance of the U.S. and Japanese government and private sector working together in the region. GRIPS Professor Toshihiro Kudo moderated the seminar.