Newsletter No. 257

Nobel Laureate Lectures on China and the Global Economy 3 rof. Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University and 2001 Nobel laureate in economic sciences, gave a lecture in the Chinese University titled 'China and the Global Economy: Challenges, Opportunities, Responsibilities' on 16th March. The lecture attracted an audience of around 400, including students and staff of the University, consuls-general, guests from financial and academic sectors. In the lecture, Prof. Stiglitz said that China's rapid economic growth has great impact on the global economy, but this is not a 'zero-sum' game as some may worry; rather, China's success can contribute to a more prosperous and stable global economy. He pointed out that China's accession to WTO creates opportunities including access to international markets, capital and technology inflows; but it also entails a need for change, such as the enhancement of domestic productivity, and the reorientation o f banks and financial institutions towards a market economy. According to Prof. Stiglitz, there is an increased perceived risk associated with the US dollar as a reserve asset, and a growing dissatisfaction in developing countries with the global reserve system. He believes that China w i ll have to play a central role in reforming these systems. Also, China should act as a role model for the developing world and help create a fairer global trading system by engaging in bilateral trade agreements. On the other hand, China should bear the responsibility o f po l l u t i on and depletion o f energy resources during her rapid growth. She should adopt conservation measures and help create a global agreement to reduce emissions. As a wo r ld renowned master in economics, Prof. Stiglitz is famous for his analysis on global economic policies. During the Clinton administration, he served as chairman o f the Council of Economic Advisors from 1995 to 1997. He then became chief economist and senior vice-president of the World Bank (1997-2000). He helped create a new branch of economics, 'The Economics of Information', exploring the consequences o f i n f o r m a t i on a s ymme t r i es and pioneering such p i vo t al concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not on ly o f theorists, but o f po l i cy analysts. In 2001, Prof. Stiglitz shared the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with Prof. A. Michael Spence and Prof. George Akerlof for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information. CUHK Students Launch Healthcare Products A group of CU graduate students, including full- time M B A students Carol Fan (left), Tony L i u ( r i g h t ) and A r i on Maniatis (middle), and Ph.D. candidate Yan Yongseng (seated) ma j o r i ng in biomedical engineering, have their eyes on the huge consumer market in China where both hypertension cases and health-consciousness are rapidly increasing. Their company, Golden Health, aims to manufacture and commercialize an innovative and inexpensive blood pressure measuring device to increase people's health awareness and improve their quality of life. The core technology was developed by a research team at CUHK ' s Joint Research Centre o f B i omed i c al Eng i nee r i ng o f the Depa r tment o f E l ec t r on ic Engineering. Kn own as 'QuickSense', the device continuously measures blood pressure electronically without the need for bulky, inflated cuffs. The start-up expenses of Golden Health w i l l amount to US$65,000. The company has been invited by the Un i ve r s i t y 's Centre for I nnova t i on and Technology to join its incubation programme with free office space for the first year. The company w i ll also apply for the incubation programme in the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park as well as the Small Entrepreneurship Research Assistance Programme, a matching fund load programme under the Innovation and Technology Fund to stimulate small companies to pursue research and development. Three CU Scholars Awarded Croucher Foundation Fellowships 2005 A total o f eight top research academics from four local universities were presented the prestigious Senior Research Fellowships of The Croucher Foundation on 16th March, in recognition of their outstanding research. Awards to these eight distinguished scientists were presented by Chief Justice Andrew K.N. L i of the Court of Final Appeal. The Croucher Senior Research Fellowships scheme was first introduced in the 1997-98 academic year. The value of each fellowship is about US$100,000. It is awarded to local academics who have excelled in scientific research. In recognition of their success and to encourage their further achievement in their given fields, funds w i l l be awarded to the respective institution for recruiting an academic to take over the awardee's duties for the period o f the fellowship. The awardee w i l l then be relieved from his teaching load for six months or one year and in turn may devote more o f his time and effort t o research. Each awardee w i ll also receive a cash award of HK$40,000. O f the eight recipients of the fellowships this year, three are from CUHK, two from HKU, two from UST, and one from the CityU. The three CUHK scholars are Prof. Zhou Xu n yu o f the Department o f Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, Prof. Wei Juncheng of the Department of Mathematics, and Prof. Xia Keqing of the Department of Physics. From left: Prof. Henry Wong, chairman of the Research Committee, Prof. Wei Juncheng, Prof. Xia Keqing, Prof. Zhou Xunyu, and Prof. Lau Ka-sing, chairman of Mathematics Department New Asia—Yale-in-China Chinese Language Centre Open Day T he open day of the Chinese Language Centre was held on 4th March at Fong Yun Wah Hall, we ll attended by students and staff as we ll as expatriates associated with the Chinese University. Visitors were briefed on the history, teaching facilities of the Language Centre and programmes offered. The summer Putonghua courses for undergraduates and sector-specific courses in Putonghua turned out to be the most appealing to visitors. Most of them attempted the Q-version of the Computerized Oral Proficiency Assessment (COPA) for Putonghua. They were assessed on the site by the well-trained instructors of the centre. Three lucky participants were granted free admission to the full Putonghua COPA and w i ll be awarded a formal certificate after taking the test. 1 No. 257 4th April 2005