US-J-SEA Fellowship Year 1 Fellow: Darren Mangado


Residency: February - March 2019
Contact Information:*

BiographyDarren Mangado

Darren de la Torre Mangado served as lecturer of International Studies at De La Salle University Manila. He holds a Master's degree in International Studies from De La Salle University, and in International Public Policy from Osaka University-Osaka School of International Public Policy. His research interests include the international political economy, Southeast Asian regional economic integration, and Japan-Southeast Asia economic relations.

Research Topic: The Role of the Business Sector in the Trilateral Relations of the US, Japan, and Southeast Asia

The business sector, particularly multinational companies (MNCs), usually operates independently from the government. MNCs sometimes aggress against the economic and development strategies of their host countries; as such, developing countries have sought to limit the influence of MNCs and their intrusive transnational business practices. Nevertheless, developing countries increasingly accept and acknowledge the significance of MNCs to their economic development. MNCs afford developing economies alternative sources of capital, expertise, and technology. This shift of attitude is palpable in developing countries’ interest and willingness to allocate greater socio-economic role to MNCs. Southeast Asia, for example, increasingly taps on the private sector to help address investment needs for infrastructure development amounting to approximately USD 3 trillion. Southeast Asia promotes public private partnerships (P3) and sponsors different strategies including institutional reforms at the national and regional levels to attract more private investment. Nevertheless, these strategies seem not enough to convince MNCs, particularly US MNCs, to invest in the region’s infrastructure development. This research investigates the obstacles to and motivations for P3 participation by US and Japanese MNCs in Southeast Asia particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It also assesses the interactions of these MNCs with Southeast Asian host governments to find possible convergences of public and private interests and address public and private policy gaps. This research concludes with policy prescriptions to expand the role of MNCs in and through the trilateral economic relations of the US, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

*(Please note: Email addresses are only active during the visitor's residency at the East-West Center in Washington)