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Economic Research Institute for North East Asia (ERINA)

ERINA or Economic Research Institute for North East Asia is a think tank based in Japan that provides insights into economic trends and activities within the region. They are focussed on conducting research related to the interdependent relationships and trade and coordination between Japan and neighbouring nations and regions on the sectors of infrastructure, energy and environmental cooperation.

The ICT and Development Section of ESCAP under ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division has been collaborating with ERINA to conduct research related to broadband connectivity in Northeast Asia for Northeast Asia International Conference for Economic Development. In particular, the research is focussed on the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway Project. In its findings, AP-IS found that Central Asian countries in Asia, in particular Mongolia is suffering from the gaping digital divide. While Japan, Republic of Korea and China enjoy fast broadband connectiviity, DPRK and Mongolia are getting left behind in an increasingly connected world. Through policy proposals on ICT infrastructure development, ESCAP hopes that broadband connectivity will be realized in these countries sooner than later.

Especially with the advent of artificial intelligence, blockchain, e-commerce and automation, it will be even more important for high level dialogue and promotion of broadband connectivity, in particular through the deployment of fibre-optic cables. China is the biggest supplier of goods in e-commerce and while Japan and Republic of Korea become hubs for research and development in frontier technologies, the rest of the region is getting left behind.

In order to catch up with the developed world, through collaboration with ERINA, ESCAP hopes that no one will get left behind in the age of the fourth industrial revolution.  ESCAP extends their support to ERINA in their efforts for research in ICT and looks forward to further collaboration.