University to lead delegation to China for business conference

August 1 2008

Economic relations between China and the United States as well as regional development in Indiana and China's Liaoning province will be the subjects of a business conference in Shenyang, China, co-sponsored by Indiana State and Liaoning universities.

The "Bridging China and America" conference, scheduled for Sept. 14, is a follow-up to a January 2007 conference in Indianapolis hosted by Indiana State.

Michael Alley, president of the ISU Board of Trustees, will give a keynote address and will discuss the topic of "building bridges" between the two countries and the two universities.

"There are parallels between Indiana and Liaoning province. Both have had industry-based economies that fell on some hard times and have had to work their way out of those economic troubles," Alley said. "Industry continues to be important for Indiana, as it is for Liaoning, and agriculture is also important to both. Based on these commonalities, Indiana and Liaoning can share our experiences with each other and learn from each other as we seek to strengthen our industrial bases while also expanding beyond them."

China is Indiana's fifth largest export market and has been the state's fastest-growing export market for the past seven years. Exports of Hoosier products to China have grown faster than the overall rate of U.S. Exports. China is also one of the state's largest import markets.

The conference can help to build bridges between the two countries by bringing together business leaders and government officials from Indiana and Liaoning, Alley said.

"We can also build bridges between our two universities that will assist this process. ISU and Liaoning University are long-time partners, and we are working on a dual-degree bachelor's program in economics. We have also launched several areas of cooperation between Liaoning University and the ISU College of Business. As we expand student and faculty exchanges, we will come to know each other even better, and strengthen the spans of the bridge linking our two great universities and our great state and province," Alley said.

In just one example of university collaboration, ISU students in the MBA program completed a 19-day business tour of Liaoning province this summer, led by Wei He, associate professor of management.

During the conference, panels of business, education and government leaders from the U.S. and China will address such topics as promoting two-way investment between the two nations, Chinese-American trade balance issues and rejuvenation of regional economies in Liaoning and Indiana.

U.S. presenters scheduled to speak at the conference include Mark Miles, president and chief executive officer of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership; Nathan Feltman, Indiana secretary of commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.; Steven Chapman, group vice president for emerging markets and businesses, Cummins Inc.; Richard Mattoon, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; King Lin of ICF International; and Christofer Matney, air service director at Indianapolis International Airport.

In addition to Alley, university representatives will include Jack Tatom, associate professor of finance and director of research for Networks Financial Institute at ISU and John Conant, professor of economics at Indiana State.

In cooperation with Liaoning University in Shenyang and Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, Indiana State officials will be arranging opportunities to meet with business and government leaders.

"These meetings will provide an excellent opportunity for Indiana businesses to extend their network of contacts and explore business opportunities in these two booming cities in China's northeast region," said Nancy Merritt, dean of the ISU College of Business.

An ISU-led delegation will leave Indiana on Sept. 10 and is scheduled to return on Sept. 17. In addition to Liaoning and Indiana State universities, the legal and professional services firm Baker & Daniels is sponsoring the conference.

More information about the conference is available at www.indstate.edu/business.  

Business representatives interested in participating in the conference and/or the trip to China, or those interested in learning more about the events, should contact Michael Chambers, associate professor and chair of the ISU political science department, at 812-237-2515 or mchambers3@indstate.edu.  

Photo: Michel Alley

Contact: Michael Chambers, associate professor and chair, department of political science, Indiana State University, 812-237-2515 or mchambers3@indstate.edu  

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Economic relations between China and the United States as well as regional development in Indiana and China's Liaoning province will be the subjects of a business conference in Shenyang, China, co-sponsored by Indiana State and Liaoning universities. The

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