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International conference to focus on trade relations

June 11, 2007

KALAMAZOO--A three-year federal project at Western Michigan University designed to give southwest Michigan businesses, faculty and students an edge in international business will sponsor a June 15-16 conference aimed at exploring North America's business and trade relations with China and other Asian countries.

"The Fourth Facing East/Facing West Conference" will be held at WMU's Fetzer Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 15, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 16. Joining faculty and staff members from WMU as presenters for the multidisciplinary event will be faculty members from other universities in North America and Asia as well as several key Michigan business leaders in the international arena.

Highlights include the following.

Two keynote addresses during the 9 a.m. Friday plenary session featuring Jeffrey M. Boromisa, president of Asia-Pacific Operations for the Kellogg Co. and a member of that company's global leadership team, as well as James F. Hettinger, president and chief executive officer of the economic development group Battle Creek (Mich.) Unlimited;

A Friday luncheon address by David Hemmings, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Pacific Rim Alliance, which provides business analysis and support of Asian business options for U.S. companies; and

A Saturday luncheon address by Dr. David Shields, dean of the Haworth College of Business, who has expertise in oil and gas accounting and international business. In addition to the major addresses, the conference will include sessions on finance and investment issues, outsourcing, management considerations, trends in international education, trade and investment issues, Chinese language training, and foods and social issues. Individual presentation topics in the sessions range from "Islamic Banking" and "Offshore Outsourcing" to "MBA Programs in China" and "How Radical Tax Reforms will Improve U.S. International Trade."

The conference is a major event in the "South Asia and China Education Program," funded in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Education's Business and International Education Program. A $160,000 U.S. Department of Education grant awarded to the Haworth College of Business supports a Global Business Lecture Series; faulty research and travel; graduate and undergraduate curriculum development, and study programs that have taken students, faculty and local business people to China and other Asian countries.

Directing the program and the conference are Dr. Mushtaq Luqmani and Dr Zahir Quraeshi, both professors of marketing, and Dr. Roger Tang, the Upjohn Chair in Business Administration.

In addition to the U.S. Department of Education and WMU's Haworth College of Business, other sponsors are WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education, the Center for International Business Education and Research at Michigan State University, and the School of Business Administration of Oakland University.

The cost to attend the full event is $120 per person and includes receptions, two lunches, one dinner, cultural performances, refreshments, parking and a copy of the proceedings. The fee to attend only Friday's keynote speaker sessions and luncheon is $50 per person.

For more information, go online to www.hcob.wmich.edu/fefw/ or contact Dr. Roger Tang at
(269) 387-5247.

For conference registration, please contact Monique Haley at (269)-387-5050.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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(269) 387-8400