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North Country News

McGill Group Returns From Trip Touring Emerging Economic Region

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McGill University Desautels Faculty of Management
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Every year since 2007, a group of students, alumni and faculty from McGill University in Montreal travel to an emerging economic area of the world. The latest delegation has returned from this year’s “Hot Cities” tour assessing markets in Asia.

McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management, one of the top business colleges in the world, sponsors the annual Hot Cities tour to an area of the world considered an emerging economy.
This year, Hong Kong, Bali and Jakarta were on the itinerary.
While in Hong Kong the group had private tours and conversations with owners or managers of Fortune 500 companies, the Shangri-la luxury hotel, and global business consultants.
In Jakarta, the group met with bankers, business leaders, legal experts, and media companies. In Bali the students met a former Toronto resident who has created what has been tagged the “greenest” school in the world.
This is the eighth year that Associate Professor Karl Moore has led students on the trip. He is able to use McGill’s extensive alumni network to expose them to corporate, government and NGO leaders.   “We have connections that help us every year. The family that owns the Shangri-la. The chairman pf the company’s a McGill grad. Frank Sixt is number two the CFO at Hutchison Whampoa about 300,000 people, a McGill grad. So a fair number are McGill grads. The head of McKenzie for China until recently is a friend from Montreal. Also people that are friends of people that went to McGill. So we use that network.  But it’s fairly easy because it’s a bunch of undergraduates and most everybody likes to help out young people. We use our alumni network and they are spread around the world.”

The group spent its first couple days in Hong Kong to demonstrate the sharp contrast in economies from Jakarta and Bali according to Moore.   “Hong Kong is the gate of the world to China and other than the U.S. the most important economy in the world. It’s the density of the population there. It’s such an up-to-date,  with-it economy.  Driven, wound up people. And Jakarta very much more relaxed society. Horrific traffic. Unbelievable hours we’d spend to move a few kilometers. But what we saw there was enormous growth opportunity. Growth in Hong Kong because of the connection with China, but enormous growth occurring  in Indonesia. And it’s a wonderful place to be where you see growth at 14, 15 20 percent that we heard from so many of the business people.”

Before leaving on the trip, economics undergrad Sabrina Butt, originally from Philadelphia, hoped the trip would help broaden her future career opportunities.   “Southeast Asia is an emerging market in itself and being able to meet senior business executives there and seeing how they view business in a different cultural landscape, it would be a completely enriching experience for me. It is an opportunity for us young students to see the future, to see if we can have an impact in these fast growing markets.”

Moore is in the process of reading and grading the students’ reflection journals on the trip and believes the Hot Cities tour gives students a greater global perspective.   “When I was young I largely competed with fellow Canadians. They’re competing today with Indians and Chinese and Europeans and Americans. They realize the world is different and it’s good for many of them to become global citizens. Many of them are, but to go live in other parts of the world was one of the key take-aways.”

Moore is already planning the 2016 trip to Chile and Colombia.

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