Georgia State University MBA graduates who will be conducting business in Asia must be prepared to deal with the increasing complexities of the continent’s emerging markets, according to Robert Oxnam.

Dr. Oxnam, the first Robinson Global Scholar at Georgia State‘s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, alerted members of an executive MBA class to coming changes in Asia’s regulatory climate and continued growth of the continent’s “giants” – China, India and Japan – during a presentation last week.

A recognized authority on Asia, Dr. Oxnam introduced Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft Corp., and Warren Buffett, an investor, to China in 1995, and will prepare Georgia State MBA students for a trip to China and Thailand next year.

“There is a terrific time ahead for international business in Asia, but the environment will require a real wariness,” he said.

He pointed to recent developments that stand to have a major impact on the region, including the continued dominance of Japan over intra-Asia trade and the post-Cold War move of numerous countries in Asia toward the formation of a regional trading bloc.

China, in particular, represents both an enormous opportunity and challenge, he noted.

          New laws governing business structures and practices will make the country a safer environment for international business, but will also require increased awareness on the part of the international investor, he said.

          Likewise, China’s phenomenal growth rates of 8-9% annually have sped the country’s development, but now threaten its environmental stability and, in some cases, public health, he added.

          Still, Dr. Oxnam said he remains bullish about China, and its increasingly business-oriented government, for those foreign investors who understand the important role that language and culture play in business dealings in the country.

          He made the point that overseas Chinese are often the most successful foreign investors in China precisely because they understand the business environment so well.

          In the case of India, Dr. Oxnam said that growth rates in recent years of 5.5-7%, coupled with its Western-based law and business structures, make it an attractive prospect for investment, despite continuing social problems.

A group of countries Dr. Oxnam called “Asian tigers” will also continue on the road to economic recovery from the Asian crisis.

He named Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan as bright spots in this category, citing governmental stability and economic reform efforts.

Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam also make the “tiger” list, though economic recovery in these countries will be slower, Dr. Oxnam said.

Indonesia and the Philippines, he said, are the “turtles” of Asia, their development hampered by successively weak governments and political and social difficulties.

Dr. Oxnam is the former president of the Asia Society of New York.

For additional information, contact Tammy DeMel at (404) 651-2605.