What is the Asian Forum on Business Education?
The Asian Forum on Business Education was established late in 1992 as a mutual self-help group of business schools in – or interested in Asia. These schools all wanted to improve the quality of business education they provide. They consider co-operation and collaboration with like-minded business schools in other countries to be critical, particularly in relation to international business.
The Forum was established largely at the initiative of Dr. Moejono Partosoedarso, then with the UN-ESCAP in Bangkok, in consultation with Dr. Manit Boonprasert, then Vice President of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Ruben C. Umaly, then Director of SEAMES in Bangkok. Others closely associated with the founding of the forum were Dr. Murray Frazer, then Dean of the Business Faculty at the (then) Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Om Huvanandana, then Director of the MBA Program at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Roger Baran, of De Paul University, Chicago, USA., and Dr. Brian Sheehan, then Dean of the Business School, Phillip Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. Subsequently, Dr. Frazer was appointed as the Founding Chair of AFBE, and Dr. Sheehan became AFBE Secretary. This group of academics believed that with the increasing internationalization of business, and the very rapid growth of many national economies in Asia, it was increasingly becoming essential for those involved in business education to develop an international perspective. Dr. Moejono and his colleagues invited a small number of individuals from a number of countries to a conference in Bangkok in December, 1992.
The purpose of this conference was to consider the need for, and possible establishment of, a group to assist in this internationalization of business education in Asia.
Objectives of AFBE
At the Forum’s first meeting, there was some discussion of the objectives of the group. A Draft Constitution was developed at and immediately after that meeting. In this draft constitution, the objectives of the Forum are described as:
(1) To encourage and support interaction between international business education and international business practice within the region in order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of both.
(2) To review and analyze business development trends in the region in order to encourage the up-dating of relevant international business education programs to meet the changing requirements of countries within the region for educated and competent human resources.
(3) To harness competent and experienced human resources that are available from education, government and industry in order to support appropriate human resource development and management that will result in greater efficiency and effectiveness in international business practice within the region.
(4) To support, through all available means, such as communication among members of the forum which will result in more effective student and lecturer exchange, and applied research and development as well as collaboration with relevant institutions, private enterprises and governments.
(5) To establish relations and co-operation with similar forums and organizations in non-member countries of the region and in other regions e.g. Europe, America and Africa.
(6) To collect and disseminate relevant information relating to recent developments in business schools to interested members of the Forum.
(7) To secure financial and other forms of assistance in support of the program/project and activities of the Forum, including when appropriate, the conduct of profit seeking activities.
Initially, the Forum was not open to all: there was a limit to the number of its members, to enhance networking between members and to assist members to form very close links, or strategic alliances, with other members. Over time, however, this aspect has been dropped and now the Forum is open to all interested persons.
First Conference: Bangkok, Thailand, 1992
The Inaugural Meeting of the Forum was held in Bangkok in December, 1992, in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary Celebrations of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. At this conference, the idea of an on-going Forum was tested with the attendees. The very positive response led to commitments to continue the activity. Twenty-two participants from 16 institutions in six countries attended. This conference developed a Draft Constitution of the group, but only as a general guideline to future AFBE activities.
Second Conference: Beijing, PRC, 1993
The Conference in Beijing in October, 1993 was hosted by the State Bureau of Foreign Experts and the University of International Business and Economics. Twenty-two participants from eight institutions in China attended all or part of the Conference, and 24 participants from 22 institutions in eight other countries were present.
Third Conference: Melbourne, Australia, 1994
This Conference was held in October, 1994, hosted by Swinburne University of Technology. Approximately 50 participants attended from a range of institutions and countries.
Fourth Conference: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnan, 1995
This Conference, held in 1995, was not successful in attracting many participants.
Fifth Conference: Phuket, Thailand, 1997
This Conference was held in June, 1997, with the theme “Business Ethics – An Asian Perspective”. One hundred and twenty delegates from 10 countries attended this most successful conference and 15 papers were presented. This conference was held in conjunction with the Association of Private Higher Education Institutions of Thailand and the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific.
A further conference was planned to be held in Darwin, Australia, in 1998, but this did not eventuate, mainly because of the Asian economic and financial crisis.
Sixth Conference: Hong Kong, 1999
This Conference was held in November, 1999, in conjunction with the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Wing Lung Bank International Institute for Business Development, Hong Kong Baptist University. The Conference theme was “Approaches to Multiple Management Styles in the 21st Century”. Over 100 delegates, both local and international, attended this Conference. At the conclusion of the Hong Kong Conference, Dr. Murray Frazer stepped down as Chair of AFBE and Dr. Manit Boonprasert took over as the new Chair.
Seventh Conference: Chiang Rai, Thailand, 2000
This Conference took place at Chiang Rai, Thailand, in November/December, 2000. The theme of the Conference was “Reform and Accountability: Economic Recovery, Corporate Governance and Business Success”. Approximately 100 delegates attended this Conference (from 10 countries and 20 universities).
Eighth Conference: Beijing, PRC, 2002
The Conference took place in June, 2002. Approximately 150 delegates attended this Conference which was hosted by Renmin University (The People’s University). The Conference was highly successful with almost 1,000 academics, participants, students and others invited guests attending the opening and closing sessions. The Conference Chairperson was Professor Xu Erming, Vice President and Dean of Business, at Renmin University, Approximately 40 international delegates from over 20 countries attended the Conference.
Ninth Conference: Shanghai, PRC, 2004
The Conference took place in Shanghai in May 2004. It was organized by the East China University of Science and Technology, the theme being “Business Management and Development: Theory and Practice”. Over 60 submitted papers were presented in panel sessions. Over 40 international delegates attended from over 40 countries. Total delegates numbered approximately 200.
Tenth Conference: Ubon Ratchatani, Thailand, 2005
The AFBE 2005 Conference was held at Ubon Ratchatani University, Faculty of Management Science, in north eastern Thailand, from 30 November to 2 December, 2005. The Conference was directly sponsored by this University and by Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia.
The conference attracted approximately 70 participants. Over 30 papers were submitted and were presented at the Conference by participants from 14 countries representing 12 Thai universities and 10 international universities. In addition, at this conference, for the first time, a group of International MBA students from one Thai University made a student presentation and a panel session was included to allow participants to discuss a topic related to the future of business/management education in Asia.
While this was certainly not one of our biggest conferences in terms of the number of participants, however, the quality of both the participants and presented papers was high and the conference was judged to be very successful.
Eleventh Conference: Vietnam, 2006
The AFBE 2006 Conference was held at The National Advanced Training Institute (Nati), a part of the Vietnamese Ministry of Trade, in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 4th – 5th December, 2006.
The theme of this conference was “Business Development in Asian Economics”. Approximately 80 delegates attended this conference, both local and international, and 25 papers were presented in three concurrent sessions. The main keynote address was presented by the Minister of Trade, Vietnam.
Twelfth Conference: Jakarta, Indonesia, 2007
The AFBE 2007 Conference was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in December, 2008, the first AFBE Conference to be held in Indonesia. Our partner institution was Universitas Negeri (UNJ), Jakarta.
The theme of the conference was “Business Ethics and Corruption in the Public and Private Sectors (in Asia)”. Approximately 150 delegates attended this conference, local and international, and over 30 submitted papers as well as a number of keynote addresses were presented. A major feature of this conference was the conference dinner at the Governor of Jakarta’s Mansion, where the Governor presented a keynote address and the delegates were treated not only to a fine cuisine but also to extensive entertainment.
Thirteenth Conference: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2008
The AFBE 2008 Conference was held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the first AFBE conference to be held in Malaysia, in early December, 2008. Our co-host was SEGi University College. Approximately 200 delegates attended this conference, again, both local and international. The conference theme was “Contemporary Issues in doing Business in Asia”, and almost 50 submitted papers were presented in four concurrent sessions, together with a number of keynote addresses.
Fourteenth Conference: Bogor, Indonesia, 2010
The co-host for this Conference was Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), and PERHEPI, the Indonesian Agricultural Economics Association.
The theme of the Conference was “The Effect of the Global Economic Crisis on Business in southeast Asia”.
Approximately 50 papers were presented in concurrent session, together with Keynote Addresses.
The Conference was held to be a most successful one.
Fifteenth Conference: Bangkok, Thailand, 2011
The theme of the conference was The Opportunities, Threats, and Future Trends in Business in China, India, and Asean Countries. The co-host for this conference was Mahasarakham Business School, Mahasarakham University, Thailand. The venue for the conference was The Landmark Hotel, Bangkok. The conference was most successful with over fifty high quality papers presented.
Sixteenth Conference: Putrajaya, Malaysia, 2012:
The conference was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, in July, 2012, in cooperation with the Business School of Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN). The theme of the Conference was “Emerging Trends for Sustainability in Global Business : Opportunities and Challenges”. In terms of the number of papers presented it was our largest Conference ever with approximately 90 papers presented. Most of these were presented by UNITEN academic staff and graduate students from the Business School but there were also a number of papers presented by international delegates. The Conference was judged to be most successful.
Seventeenth Conference: Calcutta, India, 2013:
Despite the fact that the Conference held in Calcutta in conjunction with the Calcutta Business School (CBS) was a smaller Conference than other recent AFBE Conferences, having only two Keynote Addresses (both presented by members of the AFBE Executive Committee) and approximately 20 other papers presented in concurrent session, the Conference, our first ever in India, was judged to be highly successful. Delegates from India, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia attended the Conference as well as approximately 20-25 MBA students from Calcutta Business School.
The students made a considerable contribution, not only by their attendance but by asking questions and by raising points in discussion, particularly in the highly successful panel discussion on the morning of the second day.
The panel discussion covered the theme of the Conference and the panel members were Professor Perryer, who presented a short power point presentation of the issues to be discussed, Professor Wahdi Yudhi from Indonesia, Professor Mookerjee from CBS, with Professor Brian Sheehan, moderator. The panel was supplemented by two orher Indian speakers, ProfessorSubbash Sharmafrom Indus Academy, Bangalore , and Professor Pinaki Ranjan Bhattacharyya of CBS.