Economic Freedom and Development

SOOA TH Food card

Our programs in the Southeast and East Asia region also support the strengthening of economic freedom and economic development in the countries we work in, as well as at the regional level.

 Our work on economic freedom and development is focused on:

  • Bringing together academics, think tanks, and politicians to tackle current economic issues and challenges in the region including access to markets, freedom of speech, governance, corruption, to name a few.
  • Supporting the creation of legal frameworks geared towards enabling sustainable growth through market processes in local economies.
  • Knowledge exchanges between various government agencies and local governing institutions.

Through our partnerships, both diplomatic and strategic as well as our regional and local programs, we have:

  • Established and continued to support the Economic Freedom Network in Asia. The network was established in 1998 and provides a platform annually to bring together academics, politicians, economists, think tanks, and the broader public to discuss and debate current challenges in the region. To date we have over 24 member institutes, 13 prominent economists in the region, and have supported over 15 annual EFN Asia conferences.
  • Helped to popularize the use of economic freedom indices, both global and national, around the region to keep policy debates informed and give direction to reform ideas.
  • Supported EFN Asia’s presence at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, enabling the use of a bigger platform to engage in specific debates around economic freedom in the region.
  • Developed and implemented a broad program on Development of Vietnam's Market Economy with local think tanks in the economic field. The results of this project could help the policy makers to assess better key indicators of Vietnam's economic performance. We also support the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to create annual competitiveness studies of Vietnam’s economy on a provincial level and the economic performance of the private sector in Vietnam’s provinces.  Together with the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vietnam (MOFA), we organize study tours, field trips, conferences and workshops on various topics to improve the market economy in Vietnam.
  • Successfully established a strong working partnership, through the work of our Malaysian country team, with Malaysia´s Institute for Democracy and Economics Affairs (IDEAS), which now is frequently ranked as one of Asia´s top think tanks.
  • Introduced German know-how in the fields of politics, economy, and administration to North Korean decision makers and officials, focusing on the building blocs of market-based development.  With our Korea country team’s commitment in these efforts, such knowledge exchanges are hoped to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of market-based economic development outside North Korea. 
  • Successfully negotiated and signed the Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate with the Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Commerce in Myanmar. This is aimed at fostering the country’s competitive business environment by strengthening SMEs in addition to building the capacity of government officials from partner ministries. Our team in Myanmar has also successfully provided policy recommendations and consultation on the drafting of SME Development Law, SME Development Policy, SME Development bylaw, Industrial Policy, Industrial Zone Law, and Competition Rules and Regulations. Additionally, we have supported the drafting of the first State/Regional level SME Development Roadmap for Chin State, which is the least developed and poorest state in Myanmar.