Back to news

World issues tackled at MSc economic summit

12 June 2013

All summits demand great preparation, and this was certainly true for MSc International Business delegates debating vital international trade issues at the programme's 2013 World Economic Forum.

The class met at a four-star hotel in Grange-over-Sands on Monday 20 May for a day of intensive negotiations on a series of resolutions, drawn up in advance by the delegations as potential solutions to current economic problems.

Among the issues brought to the table were international fiscal policy, a universal tax on carbon emissions, the establishment of an Asian Trade Association to promote trade and capital flows in the region, and measures to address currency misalignments.

The delegations represented a diverse group of interests, which included individual nations such as India, Brazil, China, Japan, the USA and the UK as well as Africa, the ASEAN member states, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

The World Economic Forum is an annual event on the International Business & Strategy MSc, and the stakes are high, as it forms an integral part of students' assessment. It draws together the learning from the programme's taught modules, explained Programme Director Dr Robert Read, and requires students to apply both practical skills and academic knowledge.

“It was a great experience,” said Wen Yuan Xue from China, part of the ASEAN delegation. “It’s a brilliant way of learning how to negotiate with other parties, and respond to different behaviours by different countries. The biggest challenge is the amount you have to prepare — looking through the research papers and the news to find out what is really going on right now, and coming up with your own solutions."

“The Forum is great preparation for our future careers,” added Kwabena Addo from Ghana, who led the African delegation. “Because we’ve been working year-round on this, everyone comes to the event really well-informed about what is going on in the global environment, and that makes the debate very interesting.”

That background preparation was key to the event’s success, said Dr Read. “The students had prepared well, and it showed - the standard of the debate was extremely high, and very thought-provoking.

“Just like a real-life summit, this event is a real test not only of how persuasively they can put across their views but also of how well they can think on their feet and respond to shifts in position as the discussion moves on. It's a capability that will be exceedingly useful in the leadership roles they will be taking on later in their careers.”