Singapore Management University in Beijing to strengthen relationships and explore collaborations with Chinese Universities

The Renmin University of China-SMU Global Forum was held in Beijing with the theme "Green Finance and Governance: From Commitments to Actions"

Singapore Management University (SMU) Provost Timothy Clark led SMU faculty and staff to Beijing in November to reengage and dialogue with leading Chinese universities to explore collaborations in SMU strategic priority areas. He also met with SMU alumni and Singapore’s new ambassador to China to explore opportunities for SMU to bridge the academic, research and wider university communities of both countries.

Research and Academic Collaborations with Leading Chinese Universities

At separate meetings with the university leaders of Peking, Renmin and Tsinghua universities, SMU Provost, Vice President, Partnerships and Engagement Prof Lim Sun Sun and faculty explored research collaborations in Sustainability/Urban Economics, Successful Ageing and Green Finance/ESG Investing to deepen erstwhile partnerships. In addition, there were discussions with Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) that focused on academic and research collaborations in Finance and Family Businesses, including jointly organising a forum at SMU’s Overseas Centres. 


Engagements and Collaborations in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Space

The SMU delegation was briefed on Tsinghua U’s global network of innovation hubs and visited the Tsinghua University Science (TUS) Park. Both sides agreed to explore collaborations between our respective overseas centres, as between IIE and TUS Park’s Singapore Office. At the visit to Peking U Innovation and Enterprise Hub, the delegation learnt about the active involvement of industry in the Hub’s incubation and entrepreneurial initiatives.

SMU-Renmin U Global Forum on Green Finance and Governance

According to keynote speaker Lee Kong Chain School of Business (LKCSB) faculty and Singapore Green Finance Centre (SGFC) Co-Director Hao Liang, while Green finance was “growing exponentially around the world”, Asia accounted for less than 1% of the global market of assets under management. He asserted that “Asia could gain a bigger share with the approach of financing brown businesses instead of green businesses to help them become more energy efficient and decarbonise”. Further, green finance should “embrace new financing options” including transition, blended and nature/biodiversity finance.

During the panel discussion on measuring ESG and other government targets, LKCSB faculty Simon Schillebeeckx opined that “beyond the accurate measurement of negative impacts such as emissions and waste, more time and attention should be given to tangible actions that create positive impacts, both by governments and companies.” A spirited debate ensued between the panelists representing industry, national and international policy, and financial organisations. Many among the 150-strong audience found the Forum engaging, enriching and enjoyable. The Forum proceedings can be viewed here.

Reconnecting with SMU School Of Accountancy (SOA) Alumni and CKGSB-SMU DBA Alumnus

Provost officiated at the launch of the SOA Beijing Alumni Chapter, while the SMU delegation met with CKGSB-SMU DBA alumnus Shen Guojun, founder and chairman of China Yingtai Holdings Co. Ltd.  SMU alumni shared with the delegation insights and opportunities for SMU in China and were enthusiastic to support SMU initiatives in Beijing and beyond.

Calling on Singapore’s Ambassador to China

SMU Provost’s final activity in Beijing was an introductory meeting with Ambassador Peter Tan, who assumed the post in May this year. Ambassador expressed keen support for SMU’s priorities and plans for China and shared with the provost and the delegation his insights into China. He added that he looked forward to the opportunity to visit SMU.