Message from the Director


Donald Low

Since its inception in 2013 with the generous financial support of EY,  and thanks to the enormous efforts of our founding director Professor Albert Park, the HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS) has grown to become a recognised voice on the development of emerging markets in this part of the world.  

The institute was established not long after the global financial crisis. The crisis, and the resilience of emerging markets after the crisis, revealed that future growth in global GDP would come mostly from emerging markets, powered by a rising China and a fast growing Asia. Emerging markets have also transformed global economic relations, international politics, and the strategies of multinational companies. HKUST, as a top global university located at the door-step of China and other Asian economies, is well-positioned to become a thought leader on issues facing emerging markets. HKUST has over 40 Faculty Associates with research interests in emerging markets, mainly from the six Business School departments, the Division of Social Science, and the Division of Public Policy.

The US-China trade war of 2019 and especially the pandemic of 2020 have cast a shadow on the prospects of emerging markets. The pandemic has already highlighted, and amplified, a few key trends that were already in place after the global financial crisis. These include a slower rate of globalization and a slowdown of capital flows to many emerging markets; calls for the diversification of supply chains; de-carbonization as countries move to greener, more sustainable growth models; and the rise of digital technologies to combat the disease and drive future growth. These trends represent both a threat and opportunity to emerging markets. In a pandemic-disrupted world, emerging markets would need critical insights on their growth models and strategic choices more than ever.

To realise this larger objective, IEMS will focus on three workstreams. The first is to support high-quality faculty research and research collaboration on issues of practical importance to businesses and policymakers in emerging markets. The Institute will provide funding for faculty research projects and develop collaborations with research partners worldwide, including the network of research centres in key emerging markets being supported by EY. The second is to communicate relevant research findings by HKUST researchers to the business and public policy communities through reports, briefs, events and online content, so that they can have shape the policy and public discourse about emerging markets. Finally, the Institute plans to provide a platform through its events for increasing knowledge, awareness, and exchange of ideas about issues facing emerging markets among academics, the business community, government officials, and other interested parties.

I hope IEMS can continue to encourage and support HKUST faculty to produce world-class research on emerging markets that will have meaningful impacts, and provide a forum that will engage faculty, students, businessmen, public officials, civil society, and the broader public in learning about and discussing the issues affecting the world’s most dynamic economies. We hope you will join us in this endeavour.





Donald Low

Director, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies

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