JICA-EPU Seminar 60 Years & Beyond: The Way Forward

At the seminar, in their opening speeches, Datuk Yogeswaran of EPU and Mr. Orikasa of the Embassy of Japan both acknowledged the success of Japanese assistance and complimented JICA’s role in the development process.
A keynote speech and a video provided the background and characteristics of Japanese ODA and explained the basis for the success of the cooperation. Guided by Dr. Leon from Sunway University, a panel of 6 speakers then explored various themes of the development cooperation that ranged from industrialization, infrastructure development, waste management to human resource development, private sector and the importance in trade and investment and finally the future of the cooperation, which will likely take the form of partnership, the next step beyond development cooperation and assistance.
Many top management participated in the seminar including those from Centre for Instructor and Advanced Skill Training (CIAST) and Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), both of them have long cooperation history, as well as implementing agencies of on-going projects such as Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT). The fact that more than 60 of Ministries/Departments and universities participated in the seminar shows that many Malaysian related recognized the contribution of Japan to social and economic development of Malaysia and people-to-people exchange between Malaysia and Japan through training programmes under the Look East Policy built the foundation of this success.
Expectation from Malaysia towards Japanese cooperation is still strong, but that is more about facilitation to connect resources such as information between Malaysia and Japan rather than the orthodox financial and technical cooperation.
The relationship between Malaysia and Japan is getting more comprehensive and multi-layered. To cope with this change, JICA’s role needs to change from simple “cooperation” to mediating and promoting “collaboration” between various players of the two countries.

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