2016年4月11日星期一

PolyU Talk on New “Silk Road” Regional Policies and Infrastructure Politics

China Business Centre, PolyU arranged a Talk named “New Silk Road Regional Policies and Infrastructure Politics” on 11 April 2016.  They invited Professor Rafis Abazov (Visiting Professor, Al Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty Kazakhstan) to be guest speaker.  I had been invited by Prof. Azat A. Abdrakhmanov (President, Kazakh Organization for Quality and Innovation Management (KOQIM) – its previous name was International Association of Quality Managers and Auditors (IAQMA)) as keynote speaker in TQM Kaz 2011 Forum and TQM Uz 2012 Forum in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, respectively.  Therefore, I would like to join this seminar and made more friend in Kazakhstan.  I took a photo with Prof. Abazov for memory.


In the beginning, Dr. Chan Man Hung, Thomas (Director, Public Policy Research Institute & Head, China Business Centre, PolyU)  briefed the talk contents and introduced the guest speaker Prof. Rafis Abazov.
The New “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) program, which was initiated by China in 2013, has become a new paradigm in discussing the emerging spatial architecture re-conceptualizing the relations between the countries in the region.  This talk assesses the “Silk Road” paradigm as an emerging spatial architecture for Eurasian countries (China, Russia and Eastern Europe) in reshaping regional partnership and as the bases for evolving architecture of a new regional and global orders and addresses the following three questions.
-          First, it assesses three different visions and different political and economic initiative introduced by China, USA and Central Asia countries – SREB, Washington’s “New Silk Road” (NSR), regional SPECA programs – which envision the new architecture for a new regional and supra-regional collaboration.
-          Second, it assesses the essence of the Beijing-instigated “Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB)” initiative and its effects on the economic development in the countries bordering China, especially on infrastructure development.
-          Third, it presents a case study of Kazakhstan evaluating the impacts of the recent initiatives and new infrastructure projects on economic development in Kazakhstan.


Prof. Rafis Abazov is a visiting professor at Al Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he also manages a joint program with Earth Institute of Columbia University (New York, USA).  He summarized three fundamental shifts as follows:
-          It is shift in trade, investments and economic relations in the Eurasian region.
-          It is the growth of land-based transportation and communication infrastructure networks.
-          It is the formation of the new regional trade block based on the attempt to unify the tariffs and trade regime and regulations for building even closer economic relations in the region.


Then he told us three focuses for implementation of the New Silk Road projects and they were “Highways”, “Railways” and “Pipelines”.  They needed high quality highway and railways as well as pipeline & Asian energy highway.


For energy part, the gas and oil pipelines map was demonstrated which connected to China and Russia.


Then he shared 4 Challenges to us as follows:
1.      Weakness of regional collaboration institutions;
2.      Economic nationalism in policy planning;
3.      Disconnect in business development;
4.      Lack of the regional/international division or labor.

I asked a question that the fifth challenge should be language.  Kazakhstan people spoke local language or Russian language.  English is not common and students only learnt in university level.  Prof. Abazov replied that all university degrees teaching were using English and Kazakhstan began to teach English in secondary school.  


Finally, Prof. Abazov discussed six recommendations below.
1.      The University Alliance of Silk Road (UASR) should seek an affiliation status with the SCO, AIDB, EAEU;
2.      The UASR should be more involved into research activities on the Silk Road projects;
3.      The UASR should become an intellectual vehicle for the Silk Road projects;
4.      The UASR should work on infrastructure and transportation projects;
5.      The UASR should be involved to policy development projects;
6.      The UASR should be involved into technical and business feasibility studies.


Reference:

Visit to Kazakhstan
20110614: Visit to State National Natural Park of Charin - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2011/06/visit-to-state-national-natural-park-of.html

Visit to Uzbekistan
20120424: Arrival Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Dinner with Prof. Azat - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2012/05/arrival-tashkent-uzbekistan-and-dinner.html
20120425: Visit to Samarqand - A day before TQM Uz 2012 Forum - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2012/04/visit-to-samarqand-day-before-tqm-uz.html
20120428: Tashkent City Tour - A Day after TQM Forum & Jeju visit - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2012/05/city-tour-after-tqm-forum.html



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