Technical Workshop on Productivity Drivers in Asia: The Firm-Level Perspective | Asian Development Bank

At the forefront of growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

Technical Workshop on Productivity Drivers in Asia: The Firm-Level Perspective

Event | 11 - 12 January 2018 ADBI, Tokyo, Japan
Time of event

Day 1: 08:30–18:30
Day 2: 08:30–18:30 (Tentative)


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for most of employment and much of production in emerging Asian economies. However, their potential for growth, innovation, and productivity enhancement is often stymied by lack of access to finance as well as inadequate capacity and training. SMEs have difficulties accessing both traditional bank-lending channels and capital markets. This is mainly due to the small size of their business, lack of reliable data, lack of collateral, and market information asymmetries. Policy interventions and institutional developments that could ease these constraints on the supply side could contribute substantially to the growth potential of these countries.

Researchers at the Business School of the National University of Singapore (NUS) have created the Productivity Research Network (PRN), in collaboration with the Asian Bureau of Financial and Economic Research (ABFER) and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). Their objective is to promote empirically based research on productivity drivers for countries in Asia and the Pacific, while also stimulating better firm-level information gathering.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to members of PRN and other invited researchers to submit papers and discuss state-of-the-art research on productivity, as well as to establish concrete collaboration. We expect this meeting to provide an impetus for improved data collection within the region, aimed at fostering the interaction between senior and junior researchers working with firm-level data, and allowing more solid research and policy analysis.

We focus on the ways in which market forces can stimulate innovation and spur productivity growth. How do companies in Asia and the Pacific cope with new competitive forces and shifts in international supply chains? Do they become more innovative, seek alternative markets, or scale down? What is the role of openness and internationalization? Do new technologies and new business models help the improvement of productivity, the efficiency of R&D spending, and the fostering of innovation? What is the role of finance in promoting innovation and productivity growth?

  • To better understand the drivers of productivity and innovation in Asia and the Pacific
  • To analyze supply-side policies that can promote access to finance by SMEs and foster higher productivity and innovation among SMEs
  • To gather well-known scholars and experts on the analysis of firm-level data, promote a discussion on the abovementioned issues, and contribute to the empirical literature and regional policy dialogue

50 academics, think tank researchers, and students.

Participant responsibilities

Participating and presenting at the conference, writing ADBI working papers; and a special journal issue.

  • ADBI working papers
  • A special journal issue
How to get there

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National University of Singapore Business School, Productivity Research Network, and Asian Bureau of Financial and Economic Research