Open Trade Asia

A Simulation of Trade Negotiations among Asia-Pacific Countries

For University Students in Hong Kong

Organized by the Hong Kong America Center (HKAC)

Saturday March 18 and Saturday March 25, 2017

Venue: The Asia Society, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty

Supported by the Hinrich Foundation


Open Trade has been critical to Asia’s economic growth and closer integration in recent decades.  New trade relations in Asia and around the world are in the offing.  The people who know how to advocate and negotiate on trade are becoming ever more in demand by governments, corporations, universities, think tanks and public interest groups.  Trade in Asia is a field with a future!

We invite students from the universities in Hong Kong to sign up for a unique training opportunity that will sharpen their negotiation skills and yield insights about the hidden dynamics of trade relations.   Thanks to a generous grant from the Hinrich Foundation (, this simulation experience in the model-UN style is free for the first 50 students who register.  See the full program brochure below, including link to registration.

The venue will be in the beautifully renovated halls of the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre tucked away behind Admiralty.  Delegates must commit to two full Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm: on March 18 and a week later on March 25.  The six country teams in the simulation will be: China, Japan, USA, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.  Delegates will negotiate new agreements in trade in goods and services (TGS), and in intellectual property rights (IP). We’ll have great speakers and facilitators.   By joining this negotiation you will learn how this semi-secretive world of trade negotiations actually works.  Join us and get the best deal you can for your country team! You’ll learn a lot, meet other people interested in international trade in Asia, and get a certificate that will help your global job search in the future.

For inquiries, please contact or tel: 3943-8748.  Or:  

For full program brochure and the agenda, please click here.


Teach By Design

25 Feb 2017 – 10am to 2pm



The Swing States: America’s 2016 Election



The HKAC will conduct a program for university students from across HK about the election campaign in America, with special concentration on the “swing states” where the presidential vote will be decided.  The election creates a unique learning moment where Hong Kong students, coming together across the campuses, can understand the different regional cultures of the battleground states, and why they think and vote as they do.

The program will occur in two events.  The first will be held at the Lam Woo conference center of the HK Baptist University, in association with its Government and International Studies (GIS) Department.  Saturday, October 29 is about ten days before the actual election in the US on November 8.  We expect about 80 students to participate in up to fourteen teams, each for a swing state.

The second program will be on Election Day itself, which is November 9 in the morning HK time.  Participants in the October 29 program are welcome to attend a live reporting of the news coverage in a venue in Central (TBC). The students will compare the actual voting results on reported by the media that day with their predictions for their swing states.

The program will be designed as a model UN-style simulation.  Students will join teams, one for each swing states, whose votes in the Electoral College will make the difference in the national poll.  Each state team will have six students, half Republicans and half Democrats.  Together they will study and discuss the opinion polls and other data on the major issues and the anticipated voting behavior for their state.  They will focus on the contests for President, the Congress, and the Governor of the state, if they are up for election in 2016.

A major goal of this exercise is to learn deeply about polling data, public opinion surveys and the social science research methods that lie behind them.  As an exercise, each state team has to come to agreement on a projection of who will win the offices in play, and by what percentages.  The goal is to get as close as possible to the actual voting total reported on election day.

The major online resources on state and national polls in the 2016 election recommended to students to track the election campaigns are: (Nate Silver)

The morning of Saturday the 29th will start with presentations by experts on the American election process and the cultural geography of the swing states.  We will have presentations on the rhetoric of the presidential campaigns and an analysis of the polls used in the public opinion surveys in US and in HK.  See draft program rundown for specifics.

The state teams will meet separately and begin their discussions on which candidates have the best chances of winning, and by how much, of the vote for the major offices in play.  How are the major issues in the campaign (e.g. immigration, gun regulation, trade agreements, federal budget and economic policy, policing and law & order, foreign policy, especially on trade and relations toward East Asia, etc.) playing out in each swing state?  What are the demographic strengths and weaknesses of the candidates campaigning in the swing states?  What strategies are the candidates taking in these “battleground” states?

After lunch, the Republicans and the Democrats from the swing states will meet in caucus in two separate rooms to discuss their sense of the chances for their candidates to win their contests.  Someone playing the Republican and Democratic national committees will convene the caucus.  After status reports from the states, they will discuss what strategies they should use in the remaining ten days of the campaign to increase the vote for their candidates on the top (for President) and “down the ballot” in other contests.

For example, they should decide together what balance of resources they might use in TV ads, social media initiatives, get-out-the-vote campaigns (the so called “ground-game”), live debates among candidates, and the uses of “surrogates” and celebrities to campaign for their candidates.  How negative or positive should their tone be?  What should their candidates do in the final week to influence the outcome?

After the party caucuses, and a viewing of the major moments in the presidential debates, the state teams will re-assemble and work out their consensual projections about the expected vote for each candidate in the race.  The goal is to get one’s projection as close as possible to the actual result.  This shows in quantitative terms their understanding of the dynamics of voting behavior of Americans in these swing states. Each state will have five minutes to report their analysis and predictions for their state.

On Wednesday November 9, the students will be invited to view the live returns from the media in the USA.  The venue is TBA.  We will review the reported voting results and compare them with our projections.  Rewards will go to the teams whose projections get the closest to the actual vote.

For more information, please contact:   


1stEventDate: Saturday, October 29, 2016Time: 9:00am – 5:00pmVenue: HKBU- Dr. Wu Yee Sun Lecture Theatre (WLB109)Cost:  NO COST to all students 2ndEventDate: Wednesday, November 9, 2016Time: 9:00am – 11:00amVenue: To be confirmedCost: NO COST to all students (Optional)


NOTE: A REFUNDABLE deposit of HK$500 is needed to guarantee your commitment to the program from students who are successfully selected.

Program Schedule for Saturday, October 29, 2016
8:30am Registration
9:00am Welcome by Prof Jean Pierre Cabestan of HKBUGoals and Process for the Simulation by Glenn Shive HKAC
9:10am Why Swing States: Public Opinion and the Politics of the Electoral College by Mark Sheldon
9:30am A Rhetorical Analysis of the Clinton-Trump Campaigns by Dr. Herbert W. Simons
10:00am Break
10:15am Swing state delegations meet in teams (1)
11:30am Research on Public Opinion and Voter Behavior: the Art of Predicting Elections in US and in HK, by Prof Ronald T.Y. Chung, HKU
12:00nn Issues for the Republican Party in 2016 by Mark Michelson
12:15pm Issues for the Democratic Party in 2016 by Democrats Abroad TBA
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Democrat (DNC) and Republican (RNC) caucuses meet
2:30pm Analysis (with video excerpts) of the Clinton – Trump Debates, by Herbert W Simons
3:00pm Break
3:15pm Swing state teams meet (2) to decide on projections of voting for candidates in their states
4:00pm Plenary to report out the swing state projections by teams (5 min each)
5:15pm Reflections on the process and guidance for tracking last 10 days of the campaign
5:30pm Close

For inquiries, please contact Ms. Pauline Lau at

What Happened at the G-20 Summit?

A Model UN Style Symposium





Date: Saturday September 24, 2016 (9am – 5pm)

Venue: Centennial Campus, HKU

**This event is designed for university students and young working professionals in Hong Kong, free of charge.  If you are interested in the global economy and the evolving political order, come and share your ideas in this lively simulation format.**


8:30 Registration
9:00 Opening Venue: Social Sciences ChamberModerator: Dr. Glenn Shive

  • Welcome by Prof. John Kao, Vice President of HKU
  • Welcome by Mr. Bernard Auyang, Chairman of HKAC Board
  • Goals and Process for the Symposium, by Dr. Glenn Shive, HKAC
  • What is the G-20 and how did we get here?  Overview by Dr. Mark Michelson, Vice Chairman of HKAC Board
  • Significance for China in hosting the G-20, by Prof. Richard Hu, HKU

Photo session

10:00 G-20 country teams meetVenue: Breakout rooms on 11/F (see room assignment)Delegates meet in country teams to prepare their presentations (A and B) at 14:45
10:45 Plenary Panel I: the G-20 and the Global Economy
Venue: Social Sciences ChamberDid the G-20 in China do what was needed to stabilize, mitigate risks, and generally grow the global economy?Moderator: Prof. Richard Hu (invited)

  • Prof. Douglas W. Arner, Faculty of Law, HKU
  • Mr. Steve Schwartz, Senior Vice President, Moody’s Investors Services
12:00 Lunch with concurrent “regional” meetings: Europe, Asia-Pacific, the BRICS and MISTA
Delegates are free to join any of the four informal “regional” meetings.  A moderator in each of the luncheon meetings will open with general comments and invite discussion.  What relevance has the G-20 been (or could be) for the economic and political challenges facing this region or groups of states?  What is the future for inter-governmental coordination on economic policy and related concerns for this region or group of states?

  • Europe (Room 1103): Moderated by Dr. Roland Vogt (Invited)
  • Asia-Pacific (Function Room): Moderated by Dr. Mark Michelson
  • BRICS (Room 1104): Moderated by Prof. Alejandro T. Reyes
  • MISTA (Room 1110): Moderated by Dr. Glenn Shive
13:30 Plenary Panel II: G-20 and the future of inter-governmental coordination in dealing with major challenges facing the global community
Venue: Social Sciences ChamberIs the G20 creating a new global political order?Moderator: Dr. Mark Michelson

  • Prof. Alejandro T. Reyes,  The Department of Politics and Public Administration, HKU
  • Prof. Zhang Baohui, Director of Centre for Asian Pacific Studies, Lingnan University
  • Dr. Roland Vogt, The School of Modern Languages and Cultures, HKU
14:45            Country Perspectives on G-20 in 2016 and Beyond
This session will have two concurrent meetings (A and B).  Each country team should send at least one delegate to each meeting.Meeting Awill focus on the global economy and the role of the G-20.Venue: Social Sciences Chamber
Moderator: Dr. Glenn ShiveMeeting Bwill address the inter-governmental cooperation in the evolving global political order.Venue: Function RoomModerator: Dr. Roland Vogt/ Dr. Mark MichelsonEach country team will be given three (3) minutes, strictly timed, to present its view on how well the G-20 has served their interests, and what the G-20 and its working groups should do in the future.
15:45 Break
16:00 Plenary Panel III:  G-2 in the G-20: Taking Stock of the Sino-American Relationship in Global Context
Venue: Social Sciences ChamberWhat is the state of the US-China relationship within the G-20?  What has the G-20 meeting in China indicated about the state of Sino-American relations in the emerging global order?Moderator: Dr. Glenn Shive

  • Prof. Zhang Baohui, Director of Centre for Asian Pacific Studies, Lingnan University
  • TBA
17:00 Certificates Presentation and Close