NUS launches Global Production Networks Centre

26 January 2015 | Research
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New centre will conduct research on global production and economic development in East Asia

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has launched a new Global Production Networks Centre (GPN@NUS) today. The first of its kind in Asia, the Centre will focus on global production and economic development, particularly in East Asia.

The new faculty-based research centre is established with a funding of S$4.95 million and it will leverage on the expertise of a multidisciplinary team comprising top researchers from Geography, Economics, Sociology, and Political Science. The Centre will look at how the complex production of goods and services is globally organised and what this means for economic development in different regions and national economies, particularly those in Northeast and Southeast Asia.

The new Centre will be headed by Professor Henry Yeung and Professor Neil Coe from the NUS Department of Geography, who are highly cited experts in global production networks and economic geography. Please refer to the annex for the biographies of Prof Yeung and Prof Coe.

New centre will benefit Singapore in coordinating and managing global production networks

The Centre will conduct novel empirical studies focusing on the changing nature and organisation of global production in East Asia. It will look at the impact of global production on, among other factors, economic development, technological innovation, economic and social upgrading, national competitiveness, industrial and corporate change, entrepreneurship and business strategy, investment patterns, global governance, shifting consumption patterns, and global environmental change.

Prof Yeung, Co-Director of the Centre, said, "Global production networks have now become the backbone of the world economy. As a major intermediary in global trade, producer services, and manufacturing, Singapore has been a key player in coordinating and managing evolving global production networks. Hence, it is indeed crucial for us in Singapore to understand and explain how they work."

Added Co-Director Prof Coe, "The establishment of our new centre and the research that we are aiming to embark on will benefit Singapore 's growing capacity in industrial and trade policy-making, business decisions, risk management, and regulatory regimes. Furthermore, it will provide crucial knowledge to decision makers in Singapore who can leverage on these production networks and move up the value chain."

The Centre consists of a standing committee, which includes nine faculty members of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. An International Advisory Committee, which is made up of eight internationally renowned researchers and practitioners working in the area of global production networks, will also be providing intellectual inputs to the Centre 's research programmes.

International experts discussed global production trends and opportunities

At the launch, four members from the Centre 's International Advisory Committee – namely Dr Patrick Low from Fung Global Institute; Professor Stefano Ponte from Copenhagen Business School; Professor Stephanie Barrientos from University of Manchester; and Professor Yuqing Xing from National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo – discussed the role of services in trade and global production networks; governance and institutional frameworks; future opportunities and challenges for labour; and the impact of global production networks on trade and investment.