(For the Japanese version of this article)

APEC Project “ Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building” Tokyo Workshop [February 14-16, 2011]

APEC Project “ Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building” Tokyo Workshop


IIST has been implementing the APEC Human Resources Development Project “Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building” since 2009.
In 2010 the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and other major meetings were held in Japan, and the Yokohama Declaration was adopted with the aim of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth under the banner of liberalization and vitalization of the regional economy in light of the 20-year history of APEC. In addition, the Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting, held in China in September 2010, confirmed the importance of the regional development of human resources, including entrepreneurs and management in the future.
Against this background, this project has been implemented, comprising of holding a seminar and workshops for formulation of a medium- and long-term capacity building strategy based on the perspective that managerial capacity building will play an important role in achieving sustainable and inclusive growth. On the basis of project achievements so far, this Tokyo Workshop was organized to further discuss among experts toward building a strategic framework for medium- and long-term capacity building in APEC and the drafting of final policy recommendations, which were to be proposed as guidelines for future APEC’s Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) and Capacity Building Network (CBN) activities.

Organized by: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Institute for International Studies and Training (IIST)

Participating economies: Canada, Hong Kong, China, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, United States and Japan

Dates: February 14 (Monday), 15 (Tuesday), 16 (Wednesday), 2011

Places: Tokyo (Hotel New Otani)


The morning session on February 14 was titled “Identifying APEC Capacity Building Priorities in the 21st Century.” In a presentation by an expert from the United States, it was noted that the MBA (master of business administration) has become the global standard in developing managers for companies and organizations; that at present there are various MBA courses, with varied fields of specialty or by region/economy, and so on. However, more specialized level of capacity building, such as strengthening of creative thinking, is necessary in order to respond to economic liberalization. In a presentation by an expert from Hong Kong, China, it was pointed out that the Chinese government has been focusing on science and technology as the driving force of economic growth and has placed importance on human resources development. As a result of these efforts, the ratio of advancement to higher education and achievements in the field of science and technology have increased noticeably in the last few decades, but the problem remains in growing disparities between regions within China and between China and the major developed economies.
The afternoon session on February 14 was titled “Clarifying Methodologies and Assessment for APEC Capacity Building Activities.” In a presentation by an expert from the Philippines, it was noted that the consideration of multiple factors---political, economic, and social---is necessary for sustainability of the social system. As the process for realizing sustainability, the Philippine expert also introduced the methodology by which leaders identify problems and solve them together with stakeholders and the methodology of drawing future images and realizing them without being bound by the past experience.
In the morning session on February 15 an expert from Canada offered an analysis based on the stocktaking of past capacity building projects and explained the strategic framework and guidelines of APEC’s CB projects formulated in the interim report. Generally speaking, CB projects, which have been implemented mainly by APEC’s HRDWG, have been successful in terms of, for example, the multi-phased activities and their responsiveness to the needs of stakeholders. But the Canadian expert also pointed out issues for the future, for example, the large number of one-off projects and the lack of methods to disseminate the outputs and effectively evaluate achievements.
The experts engaged in wide-ranging discussions, reviewing the history of CB activities in APEC, the diversification of economic activity as a consequence of globalization, and the need for the involvement of stakeholders, including people from the private sector and academics. The content of these discussions was confirmed in a wrap-up session in the afternoon of February 15, and final policy recommendations were drafted on February 16.

As a result of the discussions, five areas and topics were identified as priorities in APEC’s capacity building in the medium term: (1) Changing business models in the context of regional integration, enhanced productivity under the regional and sectoral competitive challenges; (2) Developing and maintaining employability skills in high performance organizations; (3) Attracting, developing and retaining talent;
domestically and regionally (4) Human resource opportunities for green growth; and (5) Promoting stakeholder engagement
On the basis of these five areas and topics, recommendations were drafted for projects concept to be proposed to the CBN, including the skill development of leaders to drive sustainable growth and green growth and leadership necessary for regional and community development.
In addition, in order to vitalize the CBN, which is the administering body of projects, discussions focused on clarifying stakeholders, strengthening the network between businesspeople and scholars, and indicating strong incentives so that these people participate in the CBN.
The output of the workshop was scheduled to be discussed with the participating economies at a meeting of the HRDWG scheduled in Washington, D. C. United States, in March 2011. It is hoped that the project strategy finalized in the workshop would contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth of APEC over the medium to long term as a guide to the direction of CB projects in the HRDWG and as a suggestion for the CBN’s policy.

Presentation at the workshop (February 14)

Presentation at the workshop
(February 14)

Experts engaged in lively discussions.

Experts engaged in lively discussions.

Human Resource Development Dept.

(For the Japanese version of this article)

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