JUNE 2014
Emerging Markets Research Builds
Real-World Impact
Research with pragmatic effect is one of the goals of the HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, according to Founding Director Prof Albert Park (above, right).
It has been a busy start for Prof Albert Park, Founding Director of the HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (HKUST IEMS), The Institute just celebrated its first anniversary in May. Like the economies it focuses on, the Institute’s activities have been growing fast.  Set up in 2013 with sponsorship from Ernst & Young (EY), the global professional services company, the Institute draws together HKUST faculty engaged in research in the area to support new studies, create  interdisciplinary connections and increase networks globally while serving as a platform for events and publications engaging policymakers and business leaders.  
With Asia playing a leading role in the emerging markets which continue to expand and generate the majority of global GDP growth, a greater understanding of these markets and their potential to transform the world economy is essential for international relations, economic development, and the strategic direction of multinationals.  “HKUST can rightly be proud of establishing its reputation for top research in such a short time,” said Prof Park, also Chair Professor in the Division of Social Science and Professor in the Department of Economics. “The Institute helps the University to further build on its strength to play a greater role in discussions on global issues.” 
Practical thought leader
The Institute has already awarded two rounds of competitive research grants to faculty members to provide innovative insight, high-quality data and analyses of practical relevance to the local and global community.  Areas of research include entrepreneurship in emerging economies, comparison of companies in China and Eastern Europe, corporate risk management, and sustainable urbanization, among others.  Around 40 University’s academics are engaged in related areas. 
In the past year, the Institute has held successful conferences and a series of lunchtime seminars for University professors to introduce their research.  In April, a major three-day HKUST IEMS and World Bank conference on the challenges of population aging in Asia brought together researchers from around the regions, government officials and business strategists.
International presence
The Institute is a leading part of a network of EY research centers focusing on emerging markets. Other centers set up in Russia, India and Mainland China have opened up valuable opportunities for collaborative activities and access to top companies in these markets.  It is also a network partner of the Jobs Knowledge Platform manged by the World Bank, which explores the global jobs agenda.  The platform involves institutions in locations ranging from India to Latin America, South Africa to Poland. It offeres HKUST the opportunities to strength its international presense through joint events such as the April conference.  This Fall, the Institute will collaborate with the Development Policy Research Unit of the University of Capetown in an event exploring the impact of China on employment outcomes in Africa.  The Institute will also disseminate a series of short and easily accessible leadership briefs by HKUST faculty members.
Looking ahead 
 “Our vision is global but our prime location and faculty expertise offer us a comparative advantage of a deeper understanding of China and Asia,” said Prof Park.  “I see our first 12 months as the foundation year. In future, we would focus our research direction further to provide deeper insights that will help governments and businesses in emerging markets to meet the challenges they face.”