Conferences & Workshops 2007

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The South Korean Presidential Election: Domestic Politics, Inter-Korean Relations, and the US - ROK Alliance

Wednesday,  28 November 2007
This event was co-sponsored with the WEAI and was held at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).  

Gordon Flake, Executive Director of the Mansfield Foundation, Scott Snyder, Senior Associate at the Asia Foundation and Charles Armstrong, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for Korea Studies, Columbia University discussed the upcoming elections in South Korea.  They focused on the positions and personal traits of the three major candidates: Lee Myung-bak of the Grand National Party (who ultimately won the election), Chung Dong-young of the United New Democratic Party, and Lee Hoi-chang of the Independent Party.  Mr. Flake noted that although Lee Myung-bak might be indicted for a scandal, he had a reputation of “getting stuff done” as Mayor of Seoul and was the clear favorite in the race; Chung Dong-young had failed to unite the progressive forces so would probably be the runner-up; and Lee Hoi-chang had just re-entered the race and was considered too progressive on the North Korean issue, so would probably come in third.  He also talked about the Kaesong Industrial Region, which continued to operate despite the North Korean nuclear test; it was so big – soon to contain 200 factories – that it had been essentially “de-linked” from the nuclear issue.  Finally, he stated that whoever wins the presidency, South Korea’s relations with the U.S. would be good.  Mr. Snyder focused on the campaign finance laws, stating that although there were more laws than before, this also ensured that all the candidates would break the rules; the interesting story would be how they were enforced.  He also discussed the North Korean issue, saying South Koreans expected engagement with the North, although they expected the North to reciprocate.  He said the South Korean electorate was generally becoming more conservative.  Professor Armstrong disagreed with this assessment, citing a successful democratization movement and improved North-South and U.S. relations as examples of a leftward shift in the electorate; in 2002 there had been thousands of demonstrations against the U.S. and ongoing negotiations about the U.S. leaving; by 2007 this had quieted down.  Furthermore, a U.S.-Korea free trade agreement had been signed (but not ratified), albeit over much opposition. 

2nd Annual Columbia Asian Alumni Career Panel & Networking Reception

Monday,  5 November 2007
This event was co-sponsored with the Asian Business Association of Columbia Business School and took place at CBS.

Four distinguished alumni spoke to CBS students with a specialization in East Asian business who are on the verge of entering the work force.  Geoff Donelan, Head of Japan Equity Sales in North America, Citigroup; Kirin Rao, Consultant, McKinsey & Company; Savio Tung, Senior Partner, InvestCorp; and Patrick Yau, Co-Founder, First American International Bank gave detailed advice on issues ranging from preparing for an interview to tactics for advancement within a company. 

Coping with Globalization: The Swedish Model

Thursday,  1 November 2007
This event was co-sponsored with SIPA’s International Economic Policy Program and was held at Columbia Law School.

Leif Pagrotsky, a member of Parliament from Gothenburg, Sweden and Sweden’s former minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, discussed his country’s experience with economic globalization.  Columbia University Professor Jagdish Bhagwati commenced the discussion by counterposing the uncommonly pro-trade public opinion of the Swedish people with that of other industrialized countries, where unease over trade liberalization and outsourcing is visible and increasing.  Mr. Pagrotsky said that, while serving as trade minister, rather than mass demonstrations that beleaguered his colleagues in other European capitals, he found interlocutors from organized labor who had reasonable concerns over the risks of trade liberalization and a measured approach to dealing with them.  Mr. Pagrotsky believed that this broad acceptance of openness owes primarily to Sweden’s generous social welfare system, which “reduces the peoples’ natural resistance to change”.  He asserted that the manner in which the government deals with the people who lose from globalization is not just a moral issue, but also an economic one.  However, he didn’t pretend to prescribe a “Swedish model” for other countries’ approach to globalization, as one-size-fits-all policies rarely fit; instead, he sought to draw lessons from Sweden that might apply elsewhere. He singled out basic education as fundamentally important, arguing that broad educational curricula produced a more versatile labor force, less susceptible to long-term unemployment. 

Critical Issues from the 2007 APEC Summit: 2 Climate Change, Credit Crunch and Transpacific Free Trade

Wednesday,  31 October 2007
This event was also co-sponsored with the National Center for APEC, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University.  It was held at the Asia Society in NYC

This symposium, exploring issues raised in the September 2007 APEC Summit in Sydney and looking forward to the 2008 summit in Peru, featured Ambassador Patricia Haslach, U.S. Senior Official, APEC; Karl Ege, Chief Legal Officer, Russell Investment Group and U.S. Alternate Member, APEC Business Advisory Council; and Gonzalo Gutierrez, Peru Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair, APEC Senior Officials 2008.  The speakers declared that it was time for member economies, especially emerging economies, as well as the oil and energy industry across the region, to address climate change.  Carbon trading is a good start, but members should focus on capping CO2 emissions as well.  Regarding Peru’s 2008 APEC Summit, in addition to climate change, topics will include economic development, education, and transparency.  APEC members will also focus on equity markets, regional bond markets, microfinance, and aging in Asian society.  As background, Peru’s GDP growth rate has increased from 3.4% in 2003 to 7% in 2007, which is attributed to its integration into the globalized world, higher level of education, and development of small and medium-sized businesses. 

The Past and Future of American Leadership in Asia

Wednesday,  26 September 2007
This event, a Weatherhead Policy Forum, was co-sponsored with the Weatherhead East Asian Institute (WEAI) and took place at Faculty House. 

Victor Cha, Associate Professor at Georgetown University and Former Director of East Asian Affairs at the United States National Security Council, explored and challenged conventional wisdom about U. S. relations with East Asia during the Bush administration, and presented recommendations for the future of U.S. leadership in the region. Among the examples he gave of recent successes in the region were China’s gradual assumption of a role as responsible stakeholder in global affairs and economy, the stability of the U.S./Japan/China triangular relationship, the success of non-proliferation efforts in North Korea, the strengthening of American institutional and diplomatic ties with South Korea, and the fostering of multilateral relationships in the region. Professor Cha’s recommendations for the future of U.S. policy in the region touched on issues of security, diplomacy, and economics, and he stressed using the Six-Party Talks on North Korean non-proliferation of recent years as a basis for the establishment of a Northeast Asian Security Institute. Following his speech, Professor Cha answered questions from students, journalists, and members of the international affairs community.

Perspectives on U.S. Trade Policy:   Congressional Priorities in a New Political Era

Monday,  26 March 2007
This Spring 2007 Distinguished Speaker in International Economic Policy was presented by Columbia University’s APEC Study Center and the Program in International Economic Policy, School of International and Public Affairs.

With the expiration of the U.S.’s Presidential Trade Promotion Authority looming and current holdups in the WTO Doha round of negotiations, the U.S. Congress plays a vital role in determining the future of international trade. This event featured Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Chairman, Committee on Ways & Means, US House of Representatives as its speaker.  He was joined in discussion by Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO, The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc. and Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University.  Together, they explored the Congressional priorities, some private sector perspectives, and the broader, economic implications.  Lisa Anderson, James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations;  Dean, School of International and Public Affairs introduced Congressman Rangel.  The Moderator was Merit E. Janow Professor in the Practice of International  Economic Law and International Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs;  Director, Masters Program in International Affairs.  A conference report is available.

Business Opportunities in Asia:  A Panel Discussion

Tuesday,  27 February 2007 This event was presented by Columbia University’s APEC Study Center and the Asian Business Association.  Douglas Guthrie, Adjunct Professor of Management, Columbia Business School moderated a panel discussion featuring: Gregory Wang, Director, Head of China Group, Cantor Fitzgerald; Anish   Malhotra, Director, Head of India Group, Cantor Fitzgerald;  Jonathan Lipton, Vice President, GSC Partners and Henny Sender, Senior Special Writer, The Wall Street Journal. The panelists focused on the current business landscape and trends, from both an economic and social perspective, as well as Asia's   future growth opportunities in various industries.  They were asked to describe the “hottest” areas within Asia emerging markets and explain how the markets of India, Korea and Japan differ from that of China.  They were asked to explain the ways in which western-educated students (and entrepreneurs!) can contribute to Asia’s growth.  They also addressed the challenges involved. 

The World Bank:  China, India, and Africa

Friday,  23 February 2007 Presented by Columbia University’s APEC Study Center and the Program in International Economic Policy, School of International and Public Affairs.

Harry Broadman, Acting Chief Economist, Africa Region, of the World Bank, is one of the key architects of the Bank Group’s new operational strategy in Africa.  He discussed leading new work on African-Asian investment flows, especially those involving China and India. Dr. Broadman previously served as the World Bank’s Lead Economist for Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.  Prior to that, he was the Bank’s Senior Economist for China, leading the operational work in China on competition policy, corporate governance, state owned enterprise reform, FDI policy, and WTO accession.  He is the author of a new book, “Africa's Silk Road: China and India's New Economic Frontier.”