IBSS-ADBI Joint research seminar on the Asia Pacific Economies

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International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) proudly hosted the third annual research seminar on the Asia Pacific Economies. The event was organised in collaboration with The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). The two-day seminar concluded on Friday and Saturday 9-10 10 May 2015 and took place in the University's Central Building in Suzhou, China.

Professor André Brown, Vice-President of Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), delivered the welcoming speech to all participants, encouraging an open discussion of issues with implications for the real economy. In his remarks, Prof. Brown also introduced XJTLU's potential contribution to South Jiangsu National Innovation Demonstration Area (SJNIDA)- a state level innovation demonstration area consisting of a cluster of high-tech development regions from different cities. Professor Sarah Dixon, Dean of IBSS, highlighted "the importance of this type of seminar for strengthening the international research network of IBSS and she emphasises the key role of the economics group in the business school."

This was the first time this event included special sessions sponsored by an external research institution. The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) organised special sessions on topics related to financial inclusion and urbanisation. Dr. Nimesh Salike (IBSS) highlighted the importance of this association and envisaged having more such partnerships in the future.

The seminar consisted of seven sessions, four on Friday and three on Saturday. In total, the seminar had 18 participants from universities and institutions in China, other Asian countries and the United Kingdom. The round table format of the discussion encouraged active participation and critical academic debate.

Most of the presentations were related to issues of economic integration, both among countries in the Asia and Pacific region and within China. The first session started with a debate on infrastructure needs for connectivity in ASEAN countries, as well as India's view on China's initiatives such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and New Development Bank (NDB). Prof Eden Yu (Chu Hai College, Hong Kong), a distinguished scholar for his contributions to the study of trade and international economics, concluded the first session presenting some theoretical results on the importance of coordination among countries relating to taxes on international capital and pollution.

The first ADBI special session was related to topics on financial inclusion. First, Dr. Paulo Regis (IBSS) explored the importance of credit constraints of small and medium size firms in the Chinese economy and how access to credit may increase the likelihood of these firms to invest. Next, Peter Morgan (ADBI) presented his results on the relationship between mortgage lending and financial stability in the banking sector of 19 emerging Asian economies. Dr. Regis said "I benefited from the presentation, receiving some useful suggestions from the discussant (Dr. Mingming Jiang, University of Shandong) and other participants which will help to improve my work".

Prof. Charles van Marrewijk (IBSS) pointed out the high academic quality of the speakers and the discussion: "We have direct and indirect contributions from renowned economists, such as Eden Yu, Dominique Demougin, Paolo Epifani, and Maurizio Zanardi, as well as up-and-coming stars, like Chrysostomos Tabakis, Yiquan Gu, Mingming Jiang, and Shengyu Li." Prof. Paolo Epifani (University of Nottingham Ningbo) opined that the discussion based seminar is very fruitful for researchers and emphasised the benefits of open discussions.

The seminar concluded on Saturday afternoon with the last session on International Trade. Prof. Dominique Demougin, University of Liverpool, on behalf of all the participants, thanked the organising committee for the excellent quality of the seminar, both in terms of the administrative arrangements and the academic discussions. Bihong Huang (University of Macao) mentioned her participation in the seminar was a positive experience and she would like to take part again in future.

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