Centre for International Business Studies

1999 Eldon D. Foote Lecture in International Business

The University of Alberta School of Business is pleased to invite

Dr. Peter Drysdale
3:30 PM, Thursday, October 5th
Faculty Club, Papaschase Room
Reception to follow

About the 1999 Foote Lecturer and Lecture:

Peter David Drysdale AM is Professor of Economics and Visiting Fellow in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University. He also is Executive Director of the Australia-Japan Research Centre (AJRC).[2]

Drysdale is currently Head of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER). He is also co-editor of the East Asia Forum, which is consistently cited in ReutersThe TelegraphThe AustralianPBS and Global Times among others.

His main areas of interest are international trade and economic policy and diplomacy; the East Asian economy; Australia's economic relations with Asia and the Pacific and direct investment. His expertise encompasses work on the Japanese economy and economic policy as well as Chinese trade and transformation. His academic focus includes developments in Asia Pacific economic integration, and relations between East Asia, Europe, India and APEC.

He is the author of many books and papers and his work has had considerable policy influence in Australia, East Asia and the Pacific. His path-breaking study, The Economics of International Pluralism: Economic Policy in East Asia and the Pacific, laid the intellectual foundations for the establishment of APEC.

While at the School, Dr. Drysdale attended an informal forum of students and two international businesses classes.  He also met with members of the business community and government officials.  CIBS was particularly pleased that Mr. Eldon Foote was in Edmonton at this time and could meet with Dr Drysdale as well as attend the annual lecture.  Approximately 150 members of the business community, the general public and students and professors attended the Foote lecture, “Japan’s Economic Diplomacy, What Next?”  Professor Drysdale explored Japan’s policy of open regionalism which culminated in the formation of Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC).  Although APEC’s foundations were economic, it also had political objectives which were to accommodate Japan’s and East Asia’s growing power without disturbing the balancing role played by North America in regional political and security affairs.  The lecture concluded with a discussion of Japan’s role in the East Asia and Pacific economy beyond the present economic crisis and whether the policy of open regionalism would continue to be the primary vehicle for Japan’s international economic diplomacy.

Lecture Abstract:

Japan’s Economic Diplomacy: What Next?
While developments over the past two years have raised many questions about the immediate prospects for East Asia’s growth, the force of East Asian industrialisation has already transformed the contours of world economic power and influence in a way that will not change beyond the current crisis in the East Asian economies (Drysdale and Elek, 1997). Japan was the leading edge of East Asian industrialisation and, in the postwar period, emerged to join the same league as the industrial economies of North America and Europe.  The new role that Japan began to assume more clearly in the 1980s was defined in a pluralist structure of economic power, encompassing the effective representation of broader Asia Pacific and global interests, as well as those of the United States and Europe (Drysdale, Chs 1-3, 1988; Funabashi, Ch 9, 1995).

The heyday of East Asia’s long economic boom through the 1980s also nurtured conceptions of Japan’s role in East Asia and the Pacific and in global affairs, that came to shape the eventual emergence of Asia Pacific regional economic institutions, providing a theatre in which Japan would be naturally cast among the leading actors.

Strong commitment to these global and regional goals has provided the stimulus for every major initiative for economic cooperation in the Asia Pacific region for more than thirty years. In all of these initiatives Japan, working closely with Australia, played a leading role, crucially engaging the ASEAN countries and winning the support of the United States (Drysdale, 1988; Terada, 1998).

APEC was the culmination of Japan’s Asia Pacific economic diplomacy in the late 1980s. The organising idea for APEC was open regionalismThe establishment of APEC was part of the response to the need for regional structures in East Asia and the Pacific, notable for their paucity compared with those in the Atlantic. Asia Pacific community-building was needed to cope with the realities of growing economic interdependence (APEC, 1993) — not only to capture its opportunities but also to deal with its problems — and to allow Asia Pacific governments to contribute to collective leadership to shape a new global order following the end of the Cold War (Drysdale, 1991).

While APEC’s foundations were economic — successful East Asian economic growth and Japan’s central role in the East Asian economy — the political objective was to accommodate Japan’s and East Asia’s growing power without disturbing the balancing role played by North America in regional political and security affairs. There was a happy coincidence of economic and political interests, encouraging regionalism based on a distinctly global agenda.

Where is Japan’s role in the East Asia and Pacific economy headed now, beyond East Asia’s economic crisis? Were the premises upon which they were based so deeply flawed as to render the Asia Pacific region’s fledging economic institutions ineffective as a primary vehicle for Japan’s Asia Pacific economic diplomacy?  These are the questions around which the argument in this lecture is ordered.

Lecture copy (click here)