Wong MNC Center Executive Director Jean-Marc F. Blanchard Gives Two Speeches at 2023 International Studies Association Annual Meeting

In mid-March, Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Founding Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations (Wong MNC Center), gave two speeches at the 2023 International Studies Association Annual Meeting, one of the largest global gatherings of international relations specialists, in Montreal, Canada. These speeches related to research being undertaken pursuant to ongoing Wong MNC Center initiatives on the effects of Chinese outward foreign direct investment in various regions of the world such as Southeast Asia and Latin America and China’s Digital Silk Road (DSR). Dr. Blanchard's first speech was entitled “Chinese Outward FDI (COFDI) Effects: Training in COFDI Technology Transfer (TT)” while his second speech was called “Deconstructing China's Digital Silk Road Initiative: Time to Modulate the Excesses.” The former speech gave an overview of the subject of TT, reviewed arguments about the extent and quality of TT by Chinese firms overseas, and presented a case study of the situation in Ethiopia. The speech highlighted that there was not much room, conceptually or empirically, to be optimistic about the prospects for notable TT by Chinese firms. The latter examined academic, business, and policy debates about China’s DSR, identified numerous shortcoming with existing studies and arguments, and presented studies about the extent and effects of the DSR in Hungary and Malaysia. It stressed that businesspeople and policymakers needed to be aware that proponents and skeptics were exaggerating what was transpiring as well as the DSR’s good and bad political, economic, and social effects.