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Jack Austin Centre for Asia Pacific Business Studies

Book Launch Webinar - The Connections World: The Future of Asian Capitalism

About the event

Dr. Simon Commander, Managing Partner of Altura Partners, and Dr. Saul Estrin, Professor Emeritus of Managerial Economics and Strategy at London School of Economics, will discuss their recent book “The Connections World: The Future of Asian Capitalism". The event will also feature two distinguished commentators on the book: Yuen Pau Woo, Senator of Canada, and Preet S. Aulakh, Professor of Strategy at York University. The event will be moderated by Jing Li, Director of the Jack Austin Centre for Asia Pacific Business Studies.

About the book

This book tackles some of the most important issues of modern times: How Asia has managed to grow and develop and what are its prospects in the coming decades? Will the 21st century belong to Asia – as some have argued – or will its economies falter as major fragilities are exposed? 

The authors argue that Asia is marked by the web of close relationships running between and within business and politics - the Connections World. These networks facilitate highly transactional interactions with many reciprocal benefits. Although the connections world has not, as yet, seriously impeded Asia’s economic renaissance, it increasingly comes with significant costs and fallibilities. They include the entrenchment of huge market power and the attenuation of competition. Growth in productivity and innovation that will be essential for further development is also held back. The connections world also breeds massive inequalities. 

The authors argue that if Asia’s claim to the 21st century is not to be derailed, major changes must be made to policy and behaviour to cut away the foundations of the connections world.

If you are interested in knowing deeper about this topic, please click here to download the event flyer, which offers anyone wanting to buy the book a 30% DISCOUNT.

Event details

Date: Friday, February 24, 2023

Time: 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. PST. Use this Time Zone Converter to find your local time


The event is free and open to anyone who is interested, but you must register to receive the link for attending. The link will be emailed to you 24 hours before the event. This session will be recorded to share with registrants who are not able to attend the live session.


About the speakers

Simon Commander

Simon Commander is Managing Partner of Altura Partners providing policy advice to governments and companies in emerging economies. He is also Visiting Professor of Economics at IE Business School in Madrid. From 1998 to 2011 he worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London and from 1988-1998 at the World Bank in Washington DC.

Saul Estrin

Saul Estrin was the founding Head of the Department of Management at London School of Economics and formerly Professor of Economics and Associate Dean at London Business School. He researches in international business and entrepreneurship, especially with reference to emerging economies. He is former President of the European Association for Comparative Economic Systems and a Fellow of the Academy of International Business.

About the commentators

Senator Yuen Pau Woo

Appointed to the Senate of Canada in November 2016, the Honourable Yuen Pau Woo sits as an independent representing British Columbia. He served as Facilitator of the Independent Senators Group from 2017 to 2021.

Senator Woo has worked on public policy issues related to Canada’s relations with Asian countries for more than 30 years. From 2005-2014, he was President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, during which he also served on the Standing Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and as Chair of PECC’s State of the Region Report. He is a Senior Fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Graduate School of Business, and a member of the Trilateral Commission. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Mosaic Institute, the Canadian Ditchley Foundation, and the York Centre for Asian Research.

Senator Woo is a member of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations, the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.

Preet S. Aulakh

Preet S. Aulakh is a Professor of Strategy and the Pierre Lassonde Chair in International Business at the Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada. He holds Ph.D. degrees in Law (Osgoode Hall Law School at York University) and Business (University of Texas at Austin), and BS (Mathematics) and MA (History) degrees from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. He has published more than 60 articles on topics that include international alliances, technology licensing, cross-border knowledge transfers, and internationalization paths of emerging market firms. His recent books include Mobilities of Labour and Capital in Asia (co-edited with Philip Kelly, Cambridge University Press, 2020), and Coping with Global Institutional Change: A Tale of India’s Textile and Pharmaceutical Industries (co-authored with Raveendra Chittoor, Cambridge University Press, 2022). He is currently undertaking two major projects, one on the evolution of land tenure institutions under the British Empire; and the second on the prospects and challenges of smallholder farms in the Global South in meeting the sustainable agriculture goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

This session will be moderated by Jing Li, who is a Professor of International Business and Director of the Jack Austin Center for Asia Pacific Business Studies at Simon Fraser University.

Speakers - The Connections World
From Left to Right: Professor Simon Commander, Professor Saul Estrin, Senator Yuen Pau Woo, Professor Preet S. Aulakh, and Professor Jing Li.

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