Gerard Lyons Glasgow

Our event in Glasgow with Dr. Gerard Lyons also marked the launch of the partnership between the Asia Scotland Institute and the University of Strathclyde Business School. The Strathclyde Business School has a significant number of international and Asian students, and an impressive international profile, making it a natural partner for the Institute. They were also voted Business School of the Year in the 2016 Time Higher Education awards only days before this inaugural event.

Speaking on the subject of “Britain, China, and Life after Brexit” Dr. Lyons addressed an audience of business representatives made up of ASI members and partners, as well as numerous guests from the business school’s own networks, and of course enthusiastic students from the school’s various programmes. The main items on the agenda were the impact of Brexit and Trump, and how these changes would play into the wider geopolitical and global economic picture, factoring in China and other key parts of Asia. Dr Lyons offered an encouraging outlook, suggesting that while we must become accustomed to uncertainty amid such challenges, if policy is pursued by governments favouring the “three I’s” of infrastructure, investment, and innovation, there is massive opportunity to grow the global economy while also ensuring the benefits of growth are distributed more equally among those most economically squeezed since 2007/08. He also touched on the concept of a fourth industrial revolution, arguing that the combined impact of green technologies, the internet and mobile communications, and other advancements will allow for the global economy to grow significantly over the next century.

Questions from the audience provided excellent discussion, and the engagement from students was particularly encouraging, many of whom raised challenging points about the possibility of “endless growth” in the global economy, and on challenges of rebuilding trade relations with European countries. The event also was marked by the collaboration of Strathclyde Business School’s Fraser of Allander Institute and its director Professor Graeme Roy, allowing for leading economists from one of Scotland’s top economic think tanks to challenge and debate one the leading economic thinkers of the Brexit campaign in Dr. Lyons.

Creating these opportunities for the exchange and debating of ideas is a crucial measure of the Institute’s work, particularly when young people, students, and businesses are able to engage with the discussion on a platform with true global leaders. We are excited about what lies in store for 2017, and the partnership the Asia Scotland Institute and the Strathclyde Business School will provide many more opportunities for such high-level discussion on the issues of the day and how they relate to Asia.