Austin Falley
School of Business

School of Business to host inaugural international business conference

Mon, 02/04/2013

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Business will present its inaugural international business conference, “China Emerged: Rethinking Your Global Strategy," March 1 at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

The daylong conference will address pertinent themes in international business, including the sustainability of China’s political, economic and social systems; leveraging a company’s China-based resources for global operations; investing in China; rethinking how firms do business in the growing nation; and China’s expanding role in Africa, Latin America and other burgeoning economies.

“China is at crossroads,” said Tailan Chi, professor and director of KU’s Institute for International Business. “Rapid increases in skill levels and wage rates are altering its economic structure, and its citizens’ demand for greater political transparency and economic equality are putting enormous pressure on the government to undertake deeper institutional reforms. How might a company respond to all these changes strategically? This is the key question that we are going to examine at the conference.”

The event will showcase a keynote address by Stephen Chipman, chief executive officer of Grant Thornton LLP, one of the largest audit, tax and advisory firms in the United States. Chipman’s career at Grant Thornton spans more than 30 years, serving in leadership positions throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Prior to becoming U.S. CEO, he served two years as chief executive of Grant Thornton China Management Corp., where he was responsible for leading the firms’s growth and development in China.

“China continues to provide significant opportunities for U.S. businesses, but not without risk,” Chipman said. “There are numerous considerations — regulatory, political, labor, compliance and consumer behaviors — to take into account in order to bring to fruition successful business growth that includes this important market.”

The conference will feature remarks by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Provost Jeff Vitter and School of Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi, as well as panel discussions with Jeff Gentry, chief executive of Wichita-based Invista, and Gerry Lopez, president and chief executive of Kansas City’s AMC Theatres.

Panel moderators will include professors from the School of Business and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The conference is presented in partnership with KU’s Center for East Asian Studies and Confucius Institute. The Institute for International Business, housed within the School of Business, was first established in 1993 as the Center for International Business to promote the internationalization of students and faculty and to foster best global business practices within the region.

Registration is required to attend by Feb. 15, and space is limited. Attendees can register online.

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