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US-Japan-ROK Trilateral Cooperation in International Development: Global Trends, National Variations, Opportunities and Challenges
Published June 26, 2024
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Jessica Liao seeks to address three key inquiries: what the Camp David Summit aimed to achieve in development cooperation; how the United States, Japan, and the ROK can fulfill their pledges; and the opportunities and challenges of this partnership. Furthermore, Liao assesses the development policies of the three countries and the development needs of the Indo-Pacific region. Liao shows how the Camp David Summit brought together the leaders of the United States, Japan, and South Korea, who pledged to work on a wide range of issues, including development policy and finance. Development cooperation between the world’s largest economies has significant implications for the Indo-Pacific region. However, Liao highlights that there are challenges at both the macro-policy and micro-policy levels, related to infrastructure demands and differences in development practices. It is important, Liao contends, for the three partners to understand these variations and set realistic goals. Trilateral development cooperation should start with smaller ODA projects instead of large infrastructure development. Coordination, utilization of resources, and scaling up impact are crucial for supporting the Indo-Pacific’s developmental needs. Given broader geopolitical uncertainties and Beijing’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific, Washington, Tokyo, and Seoul need to strengthen their partnership and promote a rules-based order to maintain stability in the region.

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