【2024.3.15】New Year Special Seminar 2024

The University of Kitakyushu
Center for Chinese Business Studies 


New Year Special Seminar 2024


Theme: Economic Linkages within the East Asian Region and the Promotional Effects of Direct Investment

Date and Time: Friday, March 15, 2024, 13:30-17:10

Venue: The University of Kitakyushu, Kitagata Campus, Frankie Wu Asia International Exchange Hall


The New Year Special Seminar 2024 (the 8th seminar in the series), co-hosted by the University of Kitakyushu’s Center for Chinese Business Studies and the Asia Region Cooperation Division of the Institute for Regional Strategies, and supported by the Kitakyushu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, was successfully held in a face-to-face format for the first time in five years at the Frankie Wu Asia International Exchange Hall on the university’s Kitagata Campus.

The purpose of this seminar was to seek to re-establish and maintain strong cooperative links between Kyushu and the East Asian region, taking into consideration the fact that the entry of TSMC – a giant semiconductor manufacturer – into Kyushu has brought back memories of growth to the sluggish Japanese economy, while global uncertainties such as regional conflicts, trade friction, and intensifying industrial science and technology competition have cast a shadow on inter-regional cooperative exchanges. The conference constitutes a call to rebuild and maintain a strong cooperative working relationship between Kyushu and the East Asian region.

A total of 10 panelists, including eight scholars and experts from exchange partners representing the academic world from Japan and abroad, participated in the two-session discussion. The opening remarks were made by TUAT President Masato YANAI, with Professor Tomoyuki FUKUMOTO of Osaka University of Economics (Session 1) and Professor Xiaoping WANG, Director of the Center for Chinese Business Studies (Session 2) serving as moderators. Mimi FUJITAKA, a Specially Appointed Researcher at the Center, served as the overall chair.

In the first session, a panel discussion on the theme of “Effects of Intra-regional Direct Investment on Promoting Linkages”  was held. The discussion centred upon an issue raised by Professor Tomoyuki FUKUMOTO. Panelist Kenichi KATAYAMA, Deputy Mayor of Kitakyushu City, gave a detailed presentation on the effects of direct investment on the Kyushu economy, its impact on Kitakyushu City, and the efforts made, and challenges faced, by the city. Professor Hong LIU, Vice President of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Dean of the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration outlined the Chinese capital investment trends in ASEAN and successful examples of economic collaboration mediated by direct investment, whilst stressing the importance of further deepening collaboration within the region. Mr. Benjamin YAU, Chief Representative of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Japan, expressed high expectations in regard to the possibility of new linkages between Japan and East Asian markets using Hong Kong as a transit point, noting that Hong Kong is not only a gateway for business with mainland China, but also remains a robust international financial and international logistics center in Asia. Professor Hao-Ling YUAN, EMBA, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan, (President of the Chinese-Taiwan Business Research Association), outlined a unique view on the impact of outward FDI by Taiwanese companies such as TSMC on the regional economy, and related challenges. Finally, each panelist offered specific perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of Japan and Northern Kyushu as a destination for direct investment from the perspective of East Asian industries and companies, and on measures to promote investment.

The theme of the second session was “Sustainable Enterprise Development and Business Succession.” The moderator, Professor Xiaoping WANG, explained the purpose of the session, which included a report on the results of an international joint research project conducted by the Center for Chinese Business Studies, before a discussion ensued. Yasuhiro MAEDA, advisor to the “100-Year Management Association” (former Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency), gave a detailed presentation on the factors supporting the longevity of Japanese long-lived enterprises, particularly the characteristics of business succession. Professor Taiyan HUANG, Director of the Research Center of China’s Private Enterprises at Renmin University of China and Director of China’s Xingbian Fumin Strategy Research Institute, Central University for Nationalities, offered a focus on long-lived enterprises in China and the main business succession patterns and challenges of private enterprises based on specific actual survey data. Professor Hsi-Mei CHUNG, College of Management, I-SHOU University (Taiwan), discussed the challenges and success-related factors found in business succession in Taiwanese enterprises through analysis of long-lived family-owned enterprises in Taiwan. Mr. Ping WANG, Vice President of China Review (Hong Kong) and Senior Research Fellow of China Review Think Tank Foundation, introduced the latest trends in business succession within Chinese-owned enterprises in Hong Kong, through a focus on research into the Chinese society’s conception of the religious family and religious law. Finally, the participants focused on the large number of long-lived companies in Japan and the results of related surveys and research projects. The significance of sharing the results of surveys and research on the factors that contribute to longevity was also discussed.

During the general Q&A session, floor participants asked a series of interesting questions, which were carefully answered by the panelists. It was a meaningful seminar in which, following a long period spent in face-to-face communication, both the organizers and the panelists felt a great sense of satisfaction.