Open Trade Asia

A Simulation of Negotiating Trade Agreements in Asia
for University Students in Hong Kong
Organized by the Hong Kong America Center (HKAC)
Supported by the Hinrich Foundation
Saturdays February 24 and March 3, 2018
Venue: Asia Society Hong Kong in Admiralty


Students in all universities in Hong Kong are invited to apply for a place in the 2018 Simulation of Asian Trade Negotiations.

The Hinrich Foundation is supporting the HKAC to organize a two-Saturday program at the elegant venue of the Asia Society of Hong Kong to simulate trade negotiations in Asia. Post-graduate and advanced undergraduate students from all programs and disciplines are welcome to register online at Additional information is also on the HKAC website ( and on our FB at Program fee has been waived, but places are limited. Join us to learn the dynamics of negotiating successful trade agreements among Asian nations.

The Future of Open Trade in Asia:

The open trade system has been a major part of the powerful globalization process that has accelerated economic growth and lifted the lives of millions of people in Asia, North America, and worldwide. But further progress in the open trade system appears stalled in many nations due to lackluster political support, and sometimes overt opposition, to the open trade agenda. It seems that a generation has grown up around the world assuming the benefits of expanding trade without understanding how global trade functions, or how to sustain and strengthen this open trading system.

Hong Kong is highly dependent on global trade. It is important that the educated public here understands how governments reach regional or bi-lateral trade agreements. Knowledge of trade agreements can lead to a career path for young professionals in business, government, law and the social sciences. Policy uncertainty in trade relations, stimulated by economic nationalism in our region, actually creates new needs for people who know the issues and can give professional advice to offices and interest groups that need to renegotiate on trade to new standards and priorities. For example, what will it take to re-negotiate NAFTA in North America, or to create a whole new set of trade agreements for the UK after Brexit? As more stakeholders become involved in trade relations, and the more complex these negotiations become, the more the need for young professionals in government, business and public policy centers who know the score on trade.

Since the American president Trump withdrew from the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), which the US did much to promote among 12 countries over a decade, the leaders of governments and businesses in the Asian region have been in much uncertainty about the future of trade policy. Will the United States introduce new bilateral trade negotiations with Asian countries? Will the eleven TPP nations, without America, join in a regional agreement that incorporates the main elements and high standards of the TPP? Will a new regional trade block in Asia emerge as a result?

Will China become the new leader in promoting global trade, as the United States creates a vacuum of leadership by succumbing to ideas of economic nationalism? Will the Belt and Road Initiative by China and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) lead to new trade agreements in the Eurasian region between Europe and China?

Could new barriers to trade slow growth in the global economy, to the detriment of all nations (but to some more than others)? Will the role of the WTO change in this context? What kinds of economic growth are not happening due to the absence of new trade agreements?

Build Your Negotiation Skills Through Simulation

The Hong Kong America Center, a consortium of universities in Hong Kong, develops active learning strategies related to trade that engage students across the disciplines. We believe simulations of real- world trade negotiations are powerful ways to introduce young people to how trade policies are made and to reveal the human factors that come into play in trans-national negotiations. Of course, the negotiation skills students learn in one sector will be of value in many other transnational work settings as well.

This project will enable students can explore trade issues and envision new areas of potential for trade agreements, whether bilateral or multilateral, in the Asian region. University students in Hong Kong, and in wider Asia, will interact and learn from one another about the trade system in transition.

Located at the rather hidden but stunningly beautiful venue in the Asia Society in Admiralty, this program will be on the Saturdays of February 24 and March 3, 2018. Participants must commit to attending the full program on both Saturdays.

Students are invited to register directly HERE. Please indicate your preference for country teams. They are: China, Japan, South Korea, United States, India, and Indonesia.

Each country team will have about six members. Participants may be post-graduate or advanced undergraduate students from any academic field. They may be from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, or international students studying in HK. We encourage gender balance and discipline diversity. The program will be in English.

The simulation will also include several journalists (not attached to country teams) to “cover” the simulation for the purpose of writing about their observations and interviews of the delegates in their roles. A Facebook page for the simulation will allow delegates to communicate with one another – in role – well before the first meeting on February 24th. This is consistent with the age of political tweets and social media.

Student teams will be expected to do research on their country’s economy, political system and current trade policies, as well as other countries in the simulation, before the first session on February 24.

Given a generous grant from the Hinrich Foundation, the program will be free of charge to students. Teams may include members who have participated in earlier simulations conducted by the HKAC. Selected students will be asked to make a deposit of HK$ 500 with the HKAC to reserve a place in the program. The places are in high demand, and we will have a waiting list to replace delegates who cannot take up their places. This amount will be reimbursed in full in cash at the conclusion of the program on March 3.

Awards and prizes will be given for the best negotiating team and the best individual contributors to the overall program. All students who complete the program will be awarded a certificate from the Hinrich Foundation and the HKAC. A program schedule is attached to this announcement.

Join us if you can for this unique simulation of global trade negotiations. Make trade negotiation one of your professional skills for an international career.

For more information, please contact Mr. Stephen Tong of HKAC at:




Saturday February 24 (Day 1)
08:30 Registration
09:00 Welcome remarks (Hinrich Foundation, Asia Society, and the HKAC)
09:15 Keynote speech by Kurt Tong, US Consul General in HK: Open Trade and US-East Asian Relations
10:00 Stephen Olson, HF Fellow, Introduction and Overview to the Simulation
10:30 Break
10:45 Country teams meet
11:30 Briefings on trade sectors A and B (concurrent sessions)
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Stephen Olson, Presentation on Trade Negotiation Process
14:15 Prepare country presentations
14:45 Plenary: Country presentations of opening positions with Q+A
15:45 Break
16:00 Trade sector negotiation meetings Part 1 (groups A and B)
17:00 Country teams meet: review Day 1 and prepare for Day 2
17:30 Adjourn


Saturday March 3 (Day 2)
08:30 Registration
09:00 Welcome remarks (Glenn Shive and Stephen Olson)
09:15 Keynote by David Dodwell on evolving regional trade architecture in Asia
10:00 Country teams meet
10:30 Break
10:45 Sector negotiations Part 2: A and B (concurrent sessions)
12:00 Presentation by Mark Michelson: Trade Agreements and Public Policy Challenges in Asia
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Country teams meet; informal cross-team meetings
14:00 Sector negotiations Part 3: A and B (concurrent sessions)
15:15 Break
15:30 Plenary: Concluding negotiation of trade agreements (A and B)
16:45 Plenary: Presentation of draft communique by communique team
17:00 Reflections, evaluations, certificates, vote of thanks
17:30 Adjourn



A Tale of Two American Cities:

New York and Washington DC

The Hong Kong America Center (HKAC) offers university students in HK two, back-to-back, study tours, each of two week’s length, in America’s northeast region, the early summer of 2018.

New York City: May 27 to June 9

Washington DC: June 10 to June 23

Students from any university in HK can sign up for: the NYC program only, the DC program only, or the combination of the two.  The HKAC invites students from all disciplines and levels of study.  Delegates may arrange their own onward travel in the US after the program at their own expense.    

New York

is the business/ financial, and arts/culture capital of America.  The program will have four units:  (1) Wall Street as America’s global financial center; (2) ethnic neighborhoods and the entrepreneurial culture of immigrant communities of NYC; (3) the arts, media and cultural industries in NYC; and (4) the United Nations and the international NGOs, based in NYC, that work on the UN agendas for sustainable development. We’ll have briefings by experts in each field, visits to start-up companies, tours of ethnic neighborhoods to learn about how immigrant communities brought entrepreneurial creativity to the City, and meetings with NGOs about policy advocacy and social entrepreneurship.  We’ll also help students to explore individual appointments with people in NYC related to ideas for projects they may envision.

Program fee for NYC is HK$21,000. 

Washington DC


is the epicenter of government in America. This program will focus on the role of the Congress in American politics. How does the legislative system work? How are Republicans and the Democrats preparing for the Congressional elections in November 2018?  Will the voters endorse Trump’s populist approach for change after two years as president?  Or will the Democrats come roaring back after losing majorities in both House and Senate in 2016?  We’ll zero in on key “swing districts” and study the roles of social media, polling groups, fundraising, local politics, and the key issues that animate the voters.  Our HK student delegation will live on the campus of George Washington University, only blocks from the White House and the World Bank/IMF.  We’ll visit the House and Senate of the Congress and receive briefings from senior staff in government agencies, national think tanks, political parties, and major media outlets.  We’ll also have time to visit museums on the famous Smithsonian Mall, and – after hours – enjoy cultural events and the spirited night life of America’s capital.

Program fee for Washington DC is HK$19,500. 

The HKAC will organize a pre-departure orientation in May and assist with securing your visa to America.  For more details about the HKAC’s Tale of Two Cities programs, please see: or contact: Vivian is also at: 3943-8755 or her mobile: 5597-2318. Program fee does not include airfare, visa fee, and some meals.  Students may qualify for subsidies from their universities for summer study abroad.  Places are limited; first come first served.  Apply Now!



Healthcare 2020:

Inside stories on medical careers in Hong Kong

The professional roles of medical, healthcare & pharmaceutical sectors have evolved significantly in the last decade due to technology advancement, new standards of care, and ageing populations. Gaps in the healthcare talent pipeline have challenged both the sector, and students who seek careers in it. It is essential for students to understand the latest trends in healthcare sector so they can focus on the skills and to make the transition from school to workplace. What will the healthcare careers look like in 2020 or 2030?

The Hong Kong America Center is organizing a Saturday morning program “Healthcare 2020: Inside Stories on Medical Careers in Hong Kong” with the HR Magazine. The event will take place at HKTDC SME Centre in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre on November 4, 2017. HR experts, current healthcare professionals and management will share employer advice and clear up common misconceptions about working in the healthcare sector in Hong Kong. Thanks to support of HKTDC, the program is free, but places are limited.

Please register HERE.

For inquiries, please contact Mr. Stephen Tong at

9:30 Registration
10:00 Opening remarks and photos for speaker/panelists
10:15 Keynote speaker: Mr. Stephen Leung, Country Manager, Pfizer Hong Kong
10:45 Q&A
10:55 Panel Discussion by:
  • Ms. Elaine Chan, Chief Health Officer, Zurich Insurance (Hong Kong)
  • Ms. Yuman Chan, Country Manager, Cigna Hong Kong
  • Ms. Rebecca Luk, Medical Director, Pfizer
  • Ms. Geraldine Wai, Head of HR, Pfizer
  • Prof. George Woo, Director, PolyVision
11:30 Breakout session by topics
12:15 Summary presentation from each group
12:30 Closing remarks



Smart Cities and Public Participation in Urban Planning:

Lessons from Los Angeles and Hong Kong

Forum Organized by Hong Kong America Center
Saturday Morning, September 16, 2017
Venue: Room 2105, 21/F, Edinburgh Tower,
The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong


As cities, Los Angeles and Hong Kong differ in many ways: city planning, transport policy, and economic development strategies, and more. Even so, in response to environmental challenges, both cities demonstrate that initiatives for policy change and environmental improvement can start from outside the government. Community groups, academics, business associations and other stakeholders have critical roles to play through research and civic action.

Government leadership in urban infrastructure and cost-effective delivery of services is in high demand in all cities.  But this does not contradict the imperative for a bottom-up approach to public policy. The HKSAR Government is currently consulting public views on a blueprint for smart city planning in Hong Kong through September, 2017. How can grass-roots action research inform urban policy on the emerging blueprint for smart city in Hong Kong? Welcome to join this important three-part conversation.

Dr. Robert Gottlieb and Mr. Simon Ng will share their experience in action research in Los Angeles and Hong Kong from their new book: Global Cities: Urban Environments in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and China. 

Dr. Albert Wong will present the PwC’s recommendations in its Consultancy Study on Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong to the HKSAR Government to drive Hong Kong towards a clearer vision for smart city functions and services.

Finally, participants will draw on themes from Gottlieb, Ng and Wong to formulate key points for input to the HKSAR Planning Department on HK as a smart city.  The program is free and open to the public.  University students are especially welcome to come and participate in this consultation exercise.


Speaker Bios:

    • Robert Gottlieb is Emeritus Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy, and founder and former Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College, Los Angeles.


    • Simon Ng is an environmental and transport consultant, and Fellow and former Chief Research Officer at Civic Exchange, a public policy think tank in Hong Kong.


    • Albert Wong is Director of Consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers specializing in policy formulation and review, stakeholder engagement and performance management.




9:00 Opening remarks by Dr. Glenn Shive, Executive Director, Hong Kong America Center
9:05 Panel of Robert Gottlieb and Simon Ng on LA-HK comparisons on urban planning and the public  (PowerPoint)
10:15 Tea break
10:30 Study on Smart City Blueprint by Dr. Albert Wong, Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers  (PowerPoint)
11:15 Small group discussions to formulate key points for the Smart City Blueprint consultation
11:45 Sharing group reports and summary remarks
12:00 Adjourn


Thanks to support of PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong, the program is free, but places are limited.

For inquiries, please contact Mr. Stephen Tong at