The Washington SyCip Policy Forum was renamed the AIM Policy Center (APC), and designated as the public policy think-tank of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).
Competitiveness Research and Advocacies
APC continued its work on competitiveness, particularly, the partnership with IMD and APC’s flagship project, the PCCRP. Its work in this area was further strengthened upon the launching of the Globalization Lecture Series (GLS).
The GLS was launched in response to a clamor for lectures on globalization after APC (then the AIM Washington Sycip Forum) hosted Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman in the Philippines in 2000, who discussed globalization in the context of his first book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree. From its launching up to 2008, the GLS has evolved from simply being a lecture series to a rich resource for research, and a venue for discussing solutions to existing problems and opening opportunities for coordinated action in addressing new challenges. It has also become a key tool for the APC’s competitiveness analysis.
The GLS has brought together such leading intellectuals and practitioners as Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and Ramon MagsaysayAwardees Matiur Rahman, Ek Sonn Chan, and Laxminarayan Ramdas and Ibn Abdur Rehman (Ramon Magsaysay Awardees for Peace and International Peacekeeping). Other lecturers invited include Frank-Jurgen Richter (World Economic Forum), Paul Leuhr (US Dept. of Justice), Debra Steger (World Trade Organization), Gary Davis (US Office of Government Ethics), Harry Bush (UK Head of Privatization), Walter Russel Mead (US Council), Louis Goodman (American University), Albert Eckes (Fulbright- SyCip lecturer), Maurice Newman (Australian Stock Exchange), Earl Anthony Wayne (US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs), David Camroux (Science Po), Stephen Farnsworth (SyCip Lecturer).
In 2007, as part of its competitiveness work, APC conducted the first round of the Sub-National Doing Business in the Philippines (SNDB) Project with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The SNDB assessed the capability of selected local government units to provide a regulatory environment that encourages business start-ups and entrepreneurial initiative at the local level.
Also in 2008, APC established the Energy Policy Series (EPS) to cull stakeholders’ insights on local and international energy policies. Policy papers and other materials from the EPS served as inputs and take-off points for the project’s various activities, which include components of training, policy and plan formulation, and policy research. To better integrate the project’s activities within the energy sector, the APC signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to collaborate in the design and implementation of activities for energy competitiveness.
Other Areas of Study
Other than its competitiveness studies and advocacies, APC also engaged in issues in Mindanao through its program, Mindanao: The Road to Peace and Development. Under this program, APC held dialogues with Mindanao universities to discuss Islamic finance and education, implementation of a peace education certificate course in partnership with the AIM Center for Development Management and a briefing for the Young Muslim Professionals.
It also entered into a joint project called Mindshare with the Foundation for IT Education and Development, and the Philippine Venture Capital Investment Group. The project brought together IT professionals, technopreneurs, funders, consultants, e-business service providers and policy makers to share ideas and resources, to seek business opportunities, to acquire start-up funding and to form strategic alliances.
In addition, during the first half of the first decade of the 21st century, APC was becoming known as a facilitator of roundtable discussions, workshops, and conferences that convenes various stakeholders to discuss and share views on important policy issues of the day. The APC focused on major themes such as population, environment, migration, international trade, ICT, power, the services sector, and the national health crisis.