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Kickoff symposium held to mark establishment of Kobe University Hanoi Liaison Base (7 September 2015)

  • September 9, 2015
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On 7 September, an international symposium titled “Beyond AEC: Implications for ASEAN+6” was held at Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, Vietnam. This symposium, held 55 years after the founding of Foreign Trade University (FTU), commemorated the establishment of the new Kobe University Liaison Base in Hanoi.

Prior to the symposium, an inter-university agreement was concluded regarding a 3rd Year Transfer Double Degree Programme between the Kobe University School of Economics and Foreign Trade University. Under this new agreement, FTU students from all faculties are eligible to apply for study programs at Kobe University (previously only FTU students enrolled in the Faculty of Japanese could participate in these exchange programs).

Discussions were also held regarding the activities of the Kobe University Overseas Liaison Base in Hanoi. The Liaison Base was established with the aim of cultivating a network of universities within Vietnam, starting with FTU, and its activities are focused on the five following objectives: (1) Increasing the presence of Kobe University in Vietnam;(2) Organising collaborative research; (3) Encouraging foreign exchange students to study at Kobe University; (4) Dispatching Kobe University students to participate in overseas internships; and (5) Collaborating with Vietnamese overseas alumni associations. As a new Liaison Base initiative, it was decided to holdan international symposium every year, hosted alternately by Kobe University and FTU.

The afternoon session began with opening speech esfrom President of FTU Bui Anh Tuan and Executive Vice President of Kobe University INOUE Noriyuki. This was followed by an introduction to an explanation of the concept behind this symposium from Head ofthe FTU Faculty of International Economics Tu Thuy Anh, and a keynote speech from Kobe University Executive Vice President and Head of Education Professor FUJITA Seiichi. The event continued with academic reports from four FTU lecturers (Vice Head of the Faculty of International Economics Nguyen Thi Tuong Anh, and lecturers from the Faculty of International Economics Nguyen Thi Thuy Vinh, Le Minh Ngoc, and Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen) and three Kobe University researchers (Professor of International Cooperation Studies MATSUNAGA Nobuaki, Associate Professor of Economics KAMATA Isao, and Professor of System Informatics KOJIMA Fumio) regarding the potential impact of the AEC (Asian Economic Community) onthe Asian economy. These reports examined the AEC from diverse perspectives:zombie companies within the ASEAN region, fishing disputes, innovation and the introduction of cutting-edge technology, the expansion of free trade agreements, and the emergence of a new spirit of enterprise.

In response to these reports, the symposium attendees (numbering over 150 people) took part in a lively discussion chairedby Tran Thi Thu Thuy (Vice Head of the Faculty of Japanese at FTU) and OGATA Yasushi (Head of the Centre for Asian Studies).

This symposium has brought to light common links between FTU and Kobe University regarding important issues in the socialsciences. The international symposium held in the next fiscal year will be hosted by Kobe University, and the organisers will strive to create an event that facilitates further in-depth discussions related to this year’s topic.

(International Affairs Planning Division)