Ever wondered why Home Depot struggled in China? Why Chinese companies sometimes have a hard time entering new markets? How telemedicine is being used in India?
Kennesaw State University is bringing together experts on these topics and more at the Southeast‘s largest Asia-focused business conference April 19.
Symposium on Asia-USA Partnership Opportunities, or SAUPO, will feature more than 40 speakers from business and academia in sessions on global health, investment challenges in Asia, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, managing a global workforce, banking and finance and many others.
Furniture giant Ethan Allen Global‘s chairman and CEO, Farooq Kathwari, is slated to deliver one of the keynote luncheon speeches.
Atlanta-based companies active in Asia, such as Portman Holdings, tvsdesign and East West Manufacturing, will present their experiences in Asia, while attendees will also hear from local representatives of international giants like India‘s Wipro and Infosys, as well as Taiwan‘s Maxxis International and Japan‘s Murata Electronics.
This is the second time the biennial conference is to be held. This year it is to be hosted at the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead by the Asian Studies Program within Kennesaw’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Spearheaded by May Gao, an associate professor of communication and Asian studies, the conference aims to give students a chance to interact with professionals and executives with important real-world perspectives about a region that will be vital to the global economy as they go into the working world, said Robin Dorff, dean of the humanities college.
“It’s an educational experience without a doubt, but at the same time it is very much a networking experience too,” Dr. Dorff said.
SAUPO aims to be a pacesetting event, sparking conversation on vital topics and including views of academics from a variety of institutions, Dr. Dorff said.
“We are happy to play a leading a role in planning and coordinating and executing it, but this goes well beyond an engaged Kennesaw State University to really an engaged Georgia,” he said.
The university’s interdisciplinary Asian studies program is growing quickly and is looking to add four new language and culture faculty this year.
While the first SAUPO focused on China, India, Japan and Korea, this year adds Vietnam, in recognition of the country’s rise as well as its difficulties, Dr. Gao told Global Atlanta.
Personally, Dr. Gao will present findings from six years of research on Home Depot’s operations in China. The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer announced last year that it would close all of its remaining big-box stores in the country, instead focusing on Internet sales and specialty stores after its do-it-yourself model failed to resonate with consumers.
Read Global Atlanta’s coverage of the 2011 SAUPO conference: Asian Growth Equals American Investment
Editor’s Note: Global Atlanta is a media sponsor of this event