Chester professor shares expertise at China’s international think tank

Posted on 17th December 2014

A professor from the University of Chester was invited to attend, and has shared his expertise, at the prestigious Global International Think Tank, The Beijing Forum.

Professor Phil Harris presents at the conference.
Professor Phil Harris presents at the conference.

Professor Phil Harris, Executive Director of the Business Research Institute, who holds the Westminster Professorship in Marketing and Public Affairs, was one of only six academics and business figures invited from the UK to attend the influential Beijing Forum.

The Forum is organised annually by Peking University to promote the study of humanities and social sciences in the Asia-Pacific region, with a view to facilitating international academic exchanges and trans-cultural discussions and development. Core topic areas being discussed were economic and political relationships with Korea and Japan, Social Investment, Ocean Resources, Evolution of the Silk Road and the development and management of cities and urban areas. 

This conference aims to bring together leading thinkers in the world to explore ideas and insights which have gone on to produce important academic developments in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world. Many of the Chinese and world policy advisors attend, and contribute towards, the development of national and international trade and political policy. UNESCO, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, World Bank, various corporations, government officials, politicians and Nobel Prize Winners attended amongst others. 

Professor Harris was invited to attend by the Beijing Municipal Government, Korean Academy of Sciences and Peking University. The Forum is the largest academic/intellectual think tank in China and participation is by invitation only. This year it was held alongside the APEC summit, which Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping of China and various Asian Pacific world leaders, businesses and officials attended.    

He presented a paper entitled, ‘Crisis Management: Reflections from International Political Marketing and Public Affairs’, with his co-author also at Chester, Visiting Professor Henry Hong Sun, who is based in Florida. They work together on international research in political marketing and public affairs and the paper focused on resolving crisis and conflict situations in South East Asia.

Professor Harris said: “This was a leading-edge think tank symposium, bringing together some of the best thinkers, policy advisors and business decision makers in the world to reflect on the critical issues facing China and Asian markets culturally, socially and economically. South Korea and Japan are two of China’s greatest trading partners and their effective support for one another is critical to the development of the world economy and the UK’s growing trade and links with the region.

“It was a great privilege to attend and represent Chester and the UK.

“The Forum brings together world experts, opinion formers, politicians, academics, businesses and world funding agencies and governments, to look at critical factors shaping the world’s economy and society. This is the second time I have been invited, as I was also fortunate to have attended in 2011.”

Professor Harris has also been approached by journalist Yang Rui, an anchor commentator on economic and political affairs, to become a regular commentator on Public Affairs and Political Marketing for his programme “Dialogue” on Channel One, of the national Chinese TV network CCTV.

He added: “The Forum will help consolidate our linkages and initiatives to support our students, research and regional economy, alongside what is rapidly emerging as the major economy in the world.”