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May 28, 1998

$750,000 CIDA grant creates finance and banking centre

Visit to China cements new academic links

by Barbara Black

A Concordia delegation went to China this month to strengthen old ties and explore new ones.

The trip included a visit with Hong Kong alumni who will help with the Capital Campaign, attendance at the centenary festivities of Beijing University, and active participation in a conference of university presidents in Nanjing.

In Beijing, the Concordia delegation included Rector Frederick Lowy and Mary Kay Lowy, and Director of the Centre for International Academic Cooperation Balbir Sahni.

In addition, Dean of Arts and Science Martin Singer, Dean of Commerce and Administration Mohsen Anvari, and Dale Doreen, Director of the Aviation Master's of Business Administration (AMBA), were in the Chinese capital.

At its present rate of growth, China's economy could be the largest in the world sometime in the first half of the next century, and its financial and banking sectors have potential for enormous growth. The country is also a huge market for educational services, particularly in the hitherto undeveloped field of management.

The Concordia delegation met with the president of Xiamen University, a partner with Commerce and Administration in a major educational project in the financial services sector to set up a centre for international finance and banking in Xiamen.

Just after the delegation returned to Montreal, they received word that $750,000 for three years of funding for the $1.7-million project will be provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Partners in the project are the Centre for Canada-Asia Business Relations, the Bank of Montreal, CIBC and the Canadian accountancy firm KPMG.

The proposal for the project was prepared in record time in the Faculty. A strong teaching and research record in international finance and banking, contacts with leading companies here and experience in China going back to the early 1980s combined to win Concordia the agreement.

Recruitment, industry linkages

Also on the trip, a general agreement of cooperation was signed with the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and talks were held with the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China.

Dean Anvari met with potential partners in recruiting students for the Faculty's undergraduate programs for international students. Anvari was also able to generate interest in offering not-for-credit courses in management to Chinese clients, and about a dozen potential students for the self-financing AMBA program were interviewed.

Existing linkages received attention on this visit, too. Contact was renewed with the Beijing Petroleum Managers Training Institute, which may undertake a project with our Department of Applied Human Sciences.

A new five-year agreement was signed with Southeast University (SEU), located in Xiamen. SEU is a partner with Concordia in a program funded by CIDA.

An agreement to continue to develop an existing linkage was signed with the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, where there are many admirers of our Journalism and Communication Studies programs.

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