Sonipat (Haryana) [India], January 11 (ANI/OP Jindal University): The three-day Academy of International Business-South Asia Chapter (AIB-SAC) conference, on Environment, Sustainability, and Governance Issues in International Business and Trade, concluded at the O.P. Jindal Global University campus in Sonipat, Haryana, on Tuesday.
The conference was attended by around 100 scholars from not only across India but also abroad, including the USA, UK, New Zealand, Singapore, and Nepal, working in the fields of international business, trade, and related areas. In addition to paper presentations, the conference had many research workshops, paper development workshops, teaching workshops, and roundtable discussions.
The AIB is the leading association of scholars and specialists in international business. Established in 1959, the AIB has 3000+ members in around 80 different countries around the world. The AIB South Asia Conference provides AIB members in the region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) opportunities to exchange ideas, present their research, and create professional contacts.
The founding Vice Chancellor of O. P. Jindal Global University, Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, said, "The theme of this AIB 2023 conference, "Environment, Sustainability, and Governance Issues in International Business and Trade," is indeed timely. The global economy, industry, infrastructure development, and per capita income expanded rapidly during the twentieth century. However, this occurred at the expense of depleting the planet's resources and posing a threat to the very existence of numerous species. And amid all this environmental instability, our population is projected to increase enormously over the next few decades, while simultaneously depleting the natural resources surrounding us. A balanced approach to economic, social, and environmental development must be the way forward. As India's premier research driven university, JGU will keep supporting initiatives like this AIB conference on environment and sustainability in international business, for the greater good of society."
Professor (Dr.) Raghunath, Chair of the Academy of International Business-South Asia Chapter (AIB-SAC) Executive Board, speaking at this international conference, said, "The situation today is that nearly 80% of international business and trade contribute negatively to the Sustainable Development Goals. Too much world trade contributes negatively either to zero hunger (in other words, it potentially makes access to food worse) or to negative climate conditions such as affordable and clean energy, clean water, and sustainable cities. As multinational corporations as well as domestic business entities embrace the principles of a circular economy, their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals will gradually turn positive."
A keynote speech was delivered by Professor (Dr.) Farok J. Contractor (the immediate past president of the Academy of International Business and a distinguished professor in management and global business at Rutgers University, USA), focusing on the role of international business in India's aspirations to become a developed nation by the year 2047. Dr. Contractor's address was on how India can leverage itself for faster growth by harnessing the knowledge of multinational companies, with Indian company partners learning cutting-edge know-how to eventually become global players in their own right. This entails international collaboration and participation in global value chains (GVCs). Prof. Contractor gave examples of Asian "tigers"--for example, S. Korea, Taiwan, and China--whose companies began as contract manufacturers for global brands, initially with simple "screwdriver assembly" operations, but then, with clever learning, moved up the value chain to become global rivals to their former patrons. Today, these countries are developed nations in significant part because they have assimilated advanced technology from their European and US multinational partners.
Prof. Contractor also indicated the crucial need to provide jobs to more than 400 million people in India who, by his calculation, are only marginally employed or unemployed. For basic skills, Indian manufacturing wages are $ 1.10-1.50 per hour, compared with China's $ 5-6 per hour and Vietnam's $ 3 per hour. Given astute government policies, India can take over from China the title of "Factory for the World," not only to employ the approximately 400 million unemployed or underemployed persons, but more importantly for Indian companies, as supply chain partners, to learn technology, skills, and management practises from their multinational company partners.
Noting the importance of ESG-related issues, Professor (Dr.) Mayank Dhaundiyal, Dean, Jindal Global Business School (JGBS), said, "The rapid growth in business and trade across national borders over the last few decades has been a remarkable phenomenon, and it has enabled businesses to expand their markets and access resources from around the world, while driving unprecedented growth and prosperity. However, this development has also led to an increase in environmental and sustainability challenges, such as rising emissions and resource depletion. To guarantee that global economic growth is sustainable and fair, it is crucial to establish policies and practises that place a premium on sustainable development. In addition, it is necessary to guarantee that the advantages of economic growth are spread equitably and that the negative effects of global economic integration are reduced. By adopting a comprehensive and sustainable approach to global economic integration, it is feasible to ensure fair and sustainable growth for the benefit of everyone."
Prof. Snehal Awate, Vice Chair of the AIB-SAC Executive Board, who has written and published widely on aspects of international business, also emphasised the role of sustainability and environmental friendliness in global trade. She said "Multinational firms, given their presence in different countries and regions, and scale of operations, are very effective in spreading the sustainability message. Understanding their sustainable best practices, and proposing new sustainable strategies, is critical to today's international business. The conference achieved this goal very well."
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