Institution(s): Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, Institute for China and Global Development , Faculty of Business and Economics

Date: Apr 13, 2012 (Friday)

Time: 05:45 pm - 07:00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, 8/F., Meng Wah Complex, The University of Hong Kong     Venue Changed !

Cost: Free admission. Registration is required.

Medium: English

Enquiries: Miss Anna Yip, Tel: 2548 9300, Email:


The world is experiencing the most profound transformations since arguably as much as half-a-millennium ago. Driven by the amazing exponential developments in information-communication technology and the global market revolution, especially the "re-emergence" of China and the enhanced role of a number of "new" actors in the global arena, with changes occurring at lightning speed, institutions are having great difficulty adapting. Globalisation is surging, global governance is struggling with growing incapability and irrelevance. The International Economy Editor of the Financial Times, Alan Beattie, has described the G20, supposedly the top of the global governance totem-pole, as "a pantomime horse manned by a troupe of slapstick clowns". Thus the agendas of most pressing global policy issues are paralysed. This is emphatically the case with the World Trade Organisation and in good part explains the doldrums of the Doha Round. Negotiations are occurring on the basis of obsolete paradigms - yesterday's battlefields - seemingly oblivious to the tremendous transformations that have occurred in the "real world" - as opposed to the imagined negotiating world - of production and trade. Unfortunately this matters. Policy decisions are taken on the basis of policy processes and perspectives. Market and technology forces alone cannot determine outcomes. Globalisation does not operate on auto-pilot. The lecture will describe and explain the current state of global trade policy and current trends of the erosion of the multilateral rules-based trading system and the implications this could have. Steps will be identified for what needs to be done to reverse the trends and establish a 21st century global trade regime.


Jean-Pierre Lehmann is Professor of International Political Economy at IMD, Senior Fellow at the Fung Global Institute (FGI), and Visiting Professor of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Hong Kong. In 1995, Professor Lehmann founded the Evian Group, a coalition of global corporate, government and thought leaders committed to an open, equitable, robust, sustainable and dynamic rules-based global market economy. Jean-Pierre Lehmann is the author of several books and numerous articles and papers primarily dealing with globalization, modern East Asian history and East Asia and the international political economy. Information about his publications can be found at


To register, please fill in the registration form and send it to us by email to or by fax to 2548 3223.