China-Hong Kong network partners business and studies

University of British Columbia students in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration will gain a greater understanding of trade relations in the Asia-Pacific region thanks to a network launched recently.

"The China-Hong Kong Business Studies Network will bring people together -- academic and business partners from North America, China and Hong Kong -- to develop the knowledge and the people who will shape the economy of the 21st century," said UBC President Martha Piper.

The initiative will provide Commerce students with direct Asian experience through their studies, summer programs and Asian exchanges. Commerce faculty will also work with the Canadian and Chinese business communities to identify important issues, management development needs and research.

"The network will be the core element of a new Centre for Asia Pacific Business in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration," said Grace Wong, assistant dean, international programs.

The initiative is part of an effort by the faculty to establish itself as one of North America's leading Asia-Pacific business schools. The faculty will build on relationships it has formed in China over the past 20 years while expanding partnerships with universities, institutions and businesses in China and Hong Kong.

The network's first forum looked at business opportunities in the Asian financial crisis. Topics included a perspective of the crisis, prospects and implications for North America, economic reform in China, regional differences in doing business in China, and short- and long-term tourism opportunities in China.

Among the guest speakers were Annie Wu of Hong Kong, who formed the first Chinese joint venture business, China Air Catering; Donald Tong, director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office; Prof. Liu Zhu, chairman of the Shanghai Tourism Society; Liu Yunbiao, deputy editor-in-chief of the Chinese International Business Daily; and UBC Commerce Prof. Maurice Levi.