The Importance of Long-Term Perspectives in Policy Making

Author: Yoichi Sekiguchi, Senior fellow, RIETI

Good practices can be used as references for specific investigations into responsive measures that can address immediate problems. It is not easy, however, for countries with different economic conditions, legal systems, and so on to adopt good practices from other countries “as-is.” Furthermore, in a time when the pace of change in digitalization is so rapid, good practices soon become obsolete. Nevertheless, good practices are specific measures that achieved positive results in a specific region. Accordingly, rather than models that can be adopted without modification, good practices have the potential to be used as reference information for understanding the stances and directions that should be adopted when confronting problems.

So far, I have argued the universality of SME policy, which are said to be diverse, from the perspectives of the T20 SME Policy Task Force policy proposals and the SDGs. The task force makes other recommendations relating to the fundamentals of SME policy such as considering the bases of public support (e.g., backing challengers rather than backing losers and picking up winners). When proposing policy, emphasis is placed on the importance of quantitative evidence of the effects of the policy. There is a recent political trend that favors pursuing short-term results, but since the change is so rapid, in order to achieve sustainability while dealing with uncertainty, I think that the importance of policy making from long-term perspectives is increasing, because, as is stated in the 2030 Agenda, we should aim to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets before 2030.

Read the entire article on the RIETI website or in Japanese.

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