Bulletin Points from Day 1 of GReCEST 2022 Annual Conference
The 2022 Annual conference of the Global Research Consortium on Economic Structural Transformation (GReCEST) kicked off on November 14, welcoming a number of high-level representatives from both the GReCEST and international organizations, along with more than 50 participants from all over the world.
Initiated by the INSE of Peking University, launched in May 2016 at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York and supported by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), GReCEST aspires to foster intellectual partnerships and build the bridge between academia and practitioners to promote original thinking and innovative practices to help developing countries achieve economic structural transformation.
This year, the online conference lasted for 3 days. The topic of the first day is focused on Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization.
Here are some inspiring and enlightening insights from our guests and participants on Day 1.
Justin Yifu LIN (Dean of INSE, and Chair of the GReCEST Steering Committee):
The transformation of traditional technologies into to modern technologies and the upgrading of the traditional agriculture sector into a modern manufacturing and service sector are key factors to increasing productivity and income in any country. This is the foundation for eliminating hunger in the modern world. It is vital for the academia and policy communities in the North and South to exchange ideas and experience on the causes of success and failure of transformation attempts, especially when the world is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a process which has been derailed by the pandemic.
Johan SWINNEN (Director General of International Food Policy Research Institute, Vice-Chair of the GReCEST Steering Committee):
The difficult times characterized by the CCC (COVID-19, climate change and conflicts) have a profound impact on structural transformation, including that of food systems. As showcased by the resilience of value chains, innovation in terms of management practices and technology introduced in a relatively short time, these shocks also provide us with opportunities to learn from them and to reflect on our actions to keep moving forward despite the disruptions.
Edward BROWN (Senior Director of Policy and Programs, African Center for Economic Transformation, on behalf of K.Y. AMOAKO, President of ACET and Vice-Chair of the GReCEST Steering Committee):
Economic transformation has not continued in Africa at the necessary pace. Industrialization, innovation and finance are among the key factors to be considered. The successful transformation of economies in Africa, particularly for small economies, is unlikely to be achieved without a robust regional trade. The chances of leapfrogging and falling behind go hand in hand for Africa.
Jun FANG (Deputy Director of Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education of PRC):
GReCEST acts a crucial platform to foster intellectual partnership and promote academic research, incubating innovative practice to facilitate developing countries to achieve economic structural transformation. We invite you to continue bringing vitality of new thinking on economic transformation and enhancing cooperation between developing and emerging economies to facilitate the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Grace WANG (Deputy Director for Programme and Operations at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation):
Advancing industrialization policies and providing development finance on concessional terms offer opportunities to developing countries. This goal can also be met by optimizing the use of resources to promote technology transfer and foster partnership. Countries in the Global South should facilitate policy coordination to support each other’s development strategies to enable innovation and win-win situation.
Jia YU (Director of International Development Cooperation Department, INSE):
Governments should adopt gradual policies and drive gradual industrial upgrading. Cost efficiency is essential for exerting competitive advantages and the global market should be targeted. Special Economic Zones allow people to better focus on existing resources and competitive advantages, provide necessary hard and soft infrastructure, and generate a cluster effect. Furthermore, the importance of a competent economic development board for better coordination cannot be underestimated.
Jing GU (Institute of Development Studies):
As a critical tool to promote industrialization and attract FDI, industrial parks in Africa help to improve local social stability and increase export to global market. Although their performance is not always up to people’s expectations, better infrastructure and e-commerce platforms may contribute, facilitating trade and increasing business opportunities.
Eneyew Grebremenfas (United Nations Industrial Development Organization):
As a successful model to develop a robust agribusiness sector and tackle the sustainable economic transformation challenges, integrated agro-food parks (IAIPs) play an active role in promoting rural industrialization. Through employment creation, and feeding people, local rural people's welfare can be efficiently improved.
Valeria Lauria (INSE, Peking University):
The provision of infrastructure and a facilitating state are critical factors to explain the heterogeneity in industrialization and structural change across developing countries. De-industrialization is more likely to happen within countries that have followed a comparative-advantage-defying strategy and that lack both soft and hard infrastructure.
Imran Ur Rahman (Center for Trans-Himalaya Studies, Leshan Normal University):
Based on the evidence from selected Sub-Saharan African economies, the positive impacts of the implication of the New Structural Economics framework are examined by applying difference-in-differences method. The countries that have applied the NSE's framework are more likely to grow better than those that have otherwise not.