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World Bank Online Morning Seminar #96 “The Innovation Imperative for Developing East Asia”

March 19, 2021

Tokyo, Japan


  • Innovation is critical to productivity growth and economic progress in developing East Asia in a rapidly changing world, according to a new World Bank report “The Innovation Imperative for Developing East Asia” aunched on February 23, 2021.  Countries in developing East Asia have an impressive record of sustained growth and poverty reduction.  But slowing productivity growth, uncertainties in global trade, and technological advances are increasing the need to transition to new and better modes of production to sustain economic performance. To support policy makers in meeting this challenge, the report examines the state of innovation in the region, analyzes the key constraints firms face in innovating, and lays out an agenda for action to spur innovation-led growth.

    At this seminar, the co-authors of the report, Xavier Cirera, Senior Economist, Firms, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Andrew Mason, Lead Economist, Office of Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific Region, presented the main points of the report.  


    8am-9am, Friday March 19, 2021 (Japan Standard Time)



    Xavier Cirera
    Senior Economist, Firms, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, World Bank

    Xavier Cirera is a Senior Economist in the Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank. He has more than 15 years’ experience working in different microeconomic areas of development; including innovation and entrepreneurship policies, productivity, firm level dynamics, trade policy and competitiveness. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex and prior to joining the World Bank he was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. His most recent research work focuses on the measurement of firm-level innovation, the relationship between innovation, productivity and employment; and on productivity and firm dynamics. His most recent policy work centers around the evaluation of innovation and entrepreneurship policies, leading the development of the public Expenditure Reviews in Science, Technology and Innovation implemented in Colombia, Chile and the Ukraine. He is the co-author of the World Bank report The Innovation Paradox: Developing-Country Capabilities and the Unrealized Promise of Technological Catch-Up and the forthcoming handbook “Instruments to Support Business Innovation. A Guide for Policymakers and Practitioners”.


    Andrew Mason
    Lead Economist, Office of Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific Region, World Bank

    Andrew Mason is Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. Prior to joining the Chief Economist’s Office, Mr. Mason served as Manager of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice for the Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region.

    During his career, Mr. Mason has worked on a range of development issues, including poverty reduction, gender equality, labor, and social protection. He is co-author of several World Bank flagship studies, including A Resurgent East Asia: Navigating a Changing World; Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific; Informality:  Exit and Exclusion, a Latin America and Caribbean regional study; and, Engendering Development – Through Gender Equality in Rights, Resources, and Voice, a World Bank Policy Research Report. Mr. Mason has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

    He holds a Ph.D. in applied economics from Stanford University and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard University.

    Presentation material: The Innovation Imperative for Developing East Asia (PDF)

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  • DATE/TIME: 8am-9am, Friday March 19, 2021 (JST)
  • LANGUAGE: English (no interpretation to Japanese)
  • CONTACT: Koichi Omori, World Bank Tokyo TEL: 03-3597-6650