Fostering Human Resources for Global Soft-Infrastructure connecting between ASEAN and Japan

Purpose of the Program

The globalization of the economy closely links to markets all over the world, and the mobilities of labor, goods and capital are liberalized through political implementations such as Free Trade Agreement and Economic Partnership Agreement. Particularly in the ASEAN countries, at the end of 2015, the leaders of 10 member-countries signed the "Kuala Lumpur Declaration" toward the inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC: ASEAN Economic Community).

As a result of the declaration, tariffs on goods among member-countries in the region will be gradually eliminated and may reach zero as a Free Trade Area, and markets of ASEAN with 600 million people will be integrated step by step. One of the pillars of Blueprint (2007) which is the road map for AEC has an act "Single market and production base" (A5) and this part provides "Free flow of skilled labor." The part provides that besides goods, services, and even investment shall freely cross the borders, mobility of workers will be promoted in the area. What is noteworthy in this act is that it promotes only the mobility of "skilled labor."

This act is expected to have a great impact on Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (collectively referred as "CLMV"), which are the principal counterparts and main targets of this program. As underdeveloped/developing economies in ASEAN, the CLMV is facing to challenges in "fostering talented personnel" in order to address human resource inflow / outflow problems.

This program encourages those countries to foster the growth of human resources and to contribute to a new society by acquiring the "fundamental power of the global soft-infrastructure." Those human resources shall obtain high skill and knowledge which are required for the coming borderless era.

Outline of the Program

Since the 2000s, the ASEAN countries have been achieving rapid economic growth. Because of the increasing trend of Foreign Direct Investment to the CLMV, economic partnership agreements can provide a further chance to progress of economics growth in ASEAN and cooperate more with Asian countries. Multinational corporations have developed the Global Value Chain (GVC), and their businesses are closely linked each other in Asia as well. Such development of international businesses goes beyond the framework of traditional economic circulation in a nation and suggests the beginning of a new era "Global Economy". The growth of borderless economy causes various problems across borders (environment, expansion of disparity, immigration, organized crime, terrorism, etc.), and it demands cross-border cooperation and contribution by multiple states.

As the economic integration progresses multinational cooperation, in order to resolve cross-border issues accurately, it is necessary to have capable human resources with global perspectives -- namely "human resource for the global soft-infrastructure." Based on the research and educational activities with CLMV that we have engaged in last decades, this program will develop the fundamental skills of students in management, economics, law, politics, environment, agriculture or higher mathematics which is necessary to solve transnational problems. This program also aims, through developing fundamental skills of each student in specific areas, to develop capabilities of global soft-infrastructure. Furthermore, this program utilizes experimental education collaborating with companies and public institutions so that students can gain practical skills as well.

Target

In this program, we aim to develop human resources for global soft-infrastructure which can contribute to Asia, including ASEAN. Specifically, we will develop human resources who can contribute in establishing relationships between Japan and ASEAN, among others, CLMV which are achieving rapid economic development, as well as human resources who can play a vital role in multinational companies and public institutions. Here, "soft-infrastructure" is defined as a practical capability to be responsible in real world by obtain knowledge of economics, law, international cooperation, environment, and agricultural policy that forms the foundation of social structure. In this program, we will make the best use of our experience in research and education that we have conducted with our partner universities. We will carry out the experience-based education through industry-academia collaboration to foster the ability of students to utilize knowledge in practice to build a new society. In addition, this program lets Japanese and ASEAN students to have an experience of multicultural collaboration by offering special classes for communication skills.

Through this program, we aim to cultivate human resources who are able to become leaders bridging ASEAN and Japan in the business sector, public institutions and the agricultural field in the future.
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