From the Dean

From the Dean

By Professor Houmin Yan

We live in extraordinary times. The populist spirit is abroad, and politicians and peoples alike are contesting the efficacy of the globalization project as never before. As economic nationalism takes hold across the North Atlantic, I take a look at President Xi Jinping's One Belt One Road initiative, and how the mantle of Free Trade Champion appears to be passing – perhaps surprisingly – to China. US President Trump has placed a searchlight on Sino-American trade relations, and in The Chinese manufacturing exodus, Professor Frank Chen evaluates the latest trends suggesting that manufacturing industry is moving out of China to Southeast Asia, Africa, and the US. This picture of a thriving Chinese manufacturing diaspora is brought home vividly in Manufacturing by the moon, where DBA learning partner Frank Leung, tells of the challenges in setting up shop in Ethiopia.

The ephemeral nature of a country's "manufacturing base" is vividly demonstrated by DBA alumnus, Dr Sheng Li, who describes how economic downturn has caused the near collapse of China's smalland medium-size shipbuilding companies. Accountancy, on the other hand, seems to thrive in good times and bad, and in Mergers, Collapse, and Accountability  we get an insight into the development of the Chinese accountancy market through the eyes of alumnus William Mak, Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong.

From the relative calm of a College of Business in Hong Kong, there is perhaps a temptation to frame the globalization debate in narrow economic terms. As a recipient of international refugees, Sweden has been grappling with the human costs of disruptive immigration for several decades. In Getting to Sweden we hear from visiting Swedish Member of Parliament, Thomas Strand, on how the country's inclusive social democracy is coping with recently accelerated immigration. The globalization project can of course fall apart disastrously. In the past five years, Syria has borne the full brunt of war, and the region an ensuing humanitarian crisis. In Until war ravaged the nation, PhD candidate Ghazwan Hassna reminds us of how quickly a peaceful society can slide into war. In the face of the full-scale humanitarian crisis which is Syria, and as we search for a global "reset", we are reminded that much more is at stake than mere logistics.

CB's International PPP Specialist Centre of Excellence for Public Transport Logistics is discussing aspects of globalization, at a conference entitled Implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through effective, people-first Public-Private Partnerships from 9 – 11 May 2017 at CityU. We hope to see you there.

Houmin Yan