The Inaugural Chinese Economic Association (Europe) and 20th Chinese Economic Association (UK) Annual Conference
23-24 July 2009
University College Dublin, Ireland
The UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland and the Irish Institute for Chinese Studies at UCD organised and hosted a major 2-day international conference on the theme of ‘China and the Changing Landscape of the World Economy’ held at O’Reilly Hall on July 23rd and Quinn School of Business on July 24th. This timely and highly successful academic event combined the 20th annual conference of the Chinese Economic Association (UK) with the inaugural conference of a new organisation: the Chinese Economic Association (Europe). Some 130 scholars of China’s economy from 71 different universities around the world gathered in Dublin to present and discuss their latest research and thinking on a vast range of China-related topics, with the current global economic crisis under particular scrutiny and the focus of much new work.
The Opening Ceremony in O’Reilly Hall was chaired by Dr. Liming Wang and commenced with an opening address from Ireland’s Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan TD, in which he expressed the hope for Ireland and China to continue to build successful economic links. This sentiment was echoed by the Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Zhengbing Xu. Professor Brigid Laffan, Vice President of UCD, warmly welcomed the delegates to the conference and remarked on the shared experience of China and Ireland not only in terms of recent rapid economic growth, but also with regard to diaspora and history. Dr. Jinghai Zheng, President- elect of CEA (Europe/UK) and Professor Xiaohui Liu, President of CEA (UK) also welcomed delegates on behalf of the two inter-connected Chinese Economic Associations. A letter of encouragement and praise to all at the conference from the Irish ambassador in Beijing, Declan Kelleher, was read out by Dr. Wang. At the end of the Opening Ceremony, the official plaque for the new CEA (Europe) was unveiled by Dr. Hugh Brady, President of UCD, and Conor Lenihan, TD.
The first day of plenary sessions in the O’Reilly Hall featured the following keynote speakers, all of whom shared deep insights on China in the light of current critical developments in the world economy: Professor Wen Hai of Peking University, China, Professor Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, USA, Professor Zhiyuan Cui of Tsinghua University, China, Professor Robert Gordon of North-Western University, USA, and Professor Thomas Rawski, University of Pittsburgh, USA.
On the second day, 5 parallel sessions were held at The Quinn School covering a wide range of issues including Financial Markets, Labour Economics and Management, Economic Reform, Economic Growth and Regional Development, Macroeconomic Policies, Industrial Economics, Rural and Urban Development, Foreign Direct Investment, Internationalisation of Chinese Firms, Environment and Development, Banking, Monetary Policy and Economic Fluctuations, and Corporate Finance. There were 80 participants in all, including some 30 PhD. students taking part in colloquium sessions.
The conference was very well attended and produced much lively debate, interaction, and discussion. In addition to its significant contribution to global scholarship on China, this gathering continued the joint mission of the UCD Confucius Institute and Irish Institute for Chinese Studies to promote deeper and stronger links and advance understanding between Ireland and China. A further conference is planned for the end of September in China, jointly organised by CEA (Europe) and Renmin University in Beijing.