A three-year project grant is requested to launch a new scholarly conference and exchange project the Annual China-Latin America Program on Trade and Financial Relations in the Context of Changing Economic Structure in China and Latin America. This new program will be managed by the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a think tank at Columbia Business School led by Joseph Stiglitz and José Antonio Ocampo. The inaugural Annual China-Latin America Program will take place over two days in August 2015 in Chengdu, China, and will rotate to other locations in China in Years 2 and 3. Working in partnership with China’s Southwest University of Science and Technology, the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), and Columbia Global Centers, each year IPD will bring together a group of 100 researchers and students from the United States, Latin America, and China to generate greater understanding and engagement around China’s economic role in Latin America among policy makers and academic researchers.
Rising economic activity spanning Latin America and China is one of the fast-changing trends of the last decade. China’s increase in demand for primary resources has been a crucial driving force in Latin America’s growth, providing much optimism for the continent’s economic recovery. However, there have been much debate regarding the role China is playing in the continent’s economic inequality, social instability and political landscape. Many experts call for a more sustainable economic collaboration model between Latin America and China, namely, they warn that China should diversify its commodities in trade, and Latin America should increase volume of export to China to even the trade imbalances. In the face of the establishment of BRICS bank, some also advocate for a stronger political solidarity between China and Latin America in jointly addressing the issue of inequality in the age of global economic governance.
These issues are multi-disciplinary, understudied and call for rigorous academic research and active exchange between China and Latin America. The proposed project seeks to further the understanding of these issues by bringing together faculty and students from China, the US, and Latin America to develop research and formulate a robust academic network. Project findings, research agendas, project reports, academic conferences and publications will be widely distributed on Columbia, IPD and the equivalent Chinese website.
Launching the Annual China Latin-America Program will serve the Columbia community and Columbia Global Centers by: 1) providing the East Asia Center with important access to a broader network of relationships within China at a regional level, beyond its current focus in Beijing; 2) building on the collaborations already underway that align the East Asia and Latin America Global Centers in cross-regional exchange activities; 3) generating programming content for Columbia Global Centers, in particular Beijing; and 4) creating an opportunity for Columbia graduate and undergraduate students to learn from leading international scholars and network with Chinese peers in an intensive and exciting academic context.
Project deliverables include establishing an annual workshop and collaborative research agenda, the production of research papers, the creation of a platform for cross-region policy dialogue among scholars and policy-makers, and the engagement of 5 Columbia undergraduate students annually, as well as graduate students, as observers and participants.