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  Theme-based Research Scheme–Call for Proposal Chinese children

  Theme-based Research Scheme–Call for Preliminary Proposals

  Launch of New Joint Research Schemes

  Nanotherapeutics in Angiogenesis: Synthesis and in Vivo Assessment of Drug Efficacy and Biocompatibility in the Zebrafish Embryos

  Nimodipine suppresses chemokine release via inhibition of adenosine uptake in endothelial cells

  DNA-binding Activities of Some Alkaloids from Chinese Medicinal Herbs

  Development of a High Performance Liquid Chromatographic Method for the Quality Control of Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae and its Derived Products

  Interactions between UGT isoenzymes and MRP transporters during the oral absorption process of Baicalein

  Gender Differences in the Regulation of Endothelium-Dependent Contracting Factor

  Areas of Excellence Scheme Project: Introducing the Work of the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy

  Areas of Excellence of Scheme Project: Building excellence in plant and agricultural biotechnology research

  RGC Collaborative Research Fund – Layman Summaries of Projects Funded in 2009/10 Exercise


The Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy (HIEBS – 香港經濟及商業策略研究所) is a research center of the Faculty of Business and Economics at The University of Hong Kong. As an Area of Excellence (AoE) recipient it was principally funded by the University Grants Committee in the period 1999-2006. Since then it has raised its own funding to sustain and support its work. 

HIEBS has been active in initiating research projects and disseminating its findings through a variety of channels. During the UGC funded period it generated over 400 pieces of research output published as international journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, teaching cases and working papers. The Institute also held over 40 knowledge exchange events, including conferences, symposia, seminars and public lectures. It has worked with scholars from universities and research institutions within Hong Kong as well as from overseas. The Institute’s activities have earned it a reputation as the premier centre for economic policy and business strategy studies in Hong Kong, especially among policy makers. 

Policy research is critical to the formulation of sound economic policy, and articulation of novel alternatives is important for companies to adopt appropriate strategies. This is of particular importance due to the rapidly evolving business landscape. The Institute has played a pivotal role in providing research-based answers to important policy questions and business strategy issues.

Furthermore, the Institute has been developing
innovative educational programs to train researchers and practitioners for Hong Kong, China and the Asia-Pacific region. The research undertaken at the Institute has fed into the development of a large body of teaching cases that has brought excitement to the classroom and enriched the learning experience of students not only at HKU, but world-wide through the dissemination of these cases by the Harvard Business School and the European Case Clearing House.

Some of the recent research projects undertaken at the Institute include:

Rethinking Hong Kong’s Human
Resources and Competitiveness 

One of the key pillars o f Hong Kong’s competitiveness is its human resource pool. Yue-Chim Wong and Ka-Fu Wong examine in Hong Kong Mobile (edited by Helen Siu and Agnes Ku, HKU Press, 2009) the crucial role massive waves of immigration from China have played in shaping Hong Kong’s economic development over the past 60 years. This influx, together with the post-war baby boom and the onset of the demographic transition, triggered a huge demand for human capital investment. This has created a bulge in the stock of human capital of the population age group that will soon be going into retirement. The diagram below illustrates by cohort the percentage of first degree holders in each age group relative to the population of first degree holders. As we move across the population cohort from 1996 to 2031, the distribution and therefore the median age of these degree holders shifts upward.

Compared to leading economic cities like New York, London, Tokyo, Beijing, and Shanghai, Hong Kong’s stock of human capital is lagging.
The ageing of the human capital stock
suggests that the impact of human capital investment of sustaining economic growth will wane in coming decades. It is now too late to catch up and sustain future economic growth through investing in the human capital of the existing population alone.
Accordingly, Hong Kong needs to have an infusion of diverse and sophisticated
talents from abroad to sustain a knowledge-based future.
The projections of the ageing human capital stock of first degree holders
shown here implies that allowing a mild net inflow is not enough to replenish the talent pool in the working population; instead a massive infusion is required.
The inflow may take the form of immigrants and working visitors. To do so a set of viable policies has to be established to facilitate the circulation and flow of talents to add economic value to the Hong Kong population.

China Into the Future: Making Sense of
the World’s Most Dynamic Economy

Edited by W.J Hoffman and Michael
J Enright.
John Wiley, 2008  

The Institute has built up an enviable capacity to conduct competitiveness studies of the Asia-Pacific region. This edited volume bring together perspectives from the world’s leading China experts on the geopolitical, domestic political, social and economic forces that will drive China’s development going forward. The essays in the book:
Explain why China’s economic
competitiveness is overstated by those
who focus on “Made in China" products
and understated by those who fail to
understand China’s international linkages;
Discuss macroeconomic and national
conditions important to firms in China;
Cover how demographics, social imbalances, regional disparities, environmental degradation, and corruption are forcing the Chinese Government to depart from past policies in unanticipated ways;
Provide many scenarios for China’s future. None are pre-ordained, and all are filled with challenges and opportunities for companies and policy makers alike.

Hong Kong manufacturing and the economies of the Pearl River and Yangzi River Deltas

The Institute conducted two large scale surveys of businesses to determine the scale and scope of manufacturing activities. Alan K F Siu and Zhigang Tao led the development and analyses of these surveys. Both studies generated a wealth of new information on the extent and nature of interaction between Hong Kong, the Pearl River Delta, and the Yangzi River Delta regions. These studies have shaped the policy discussion of the future development of the two regions. The main findings have been adopted by official bodies and cited repeatedly in academic writings as well as the media.


The Pearl River Delta study was conducted in collaboration with the Hong Kong Federation of Industries.&nbps;
The Yangzi River Delta study was undertaken in partnership with the School of Management, Fudan University. 
Hong Kong High Frequency 
Macroeconomic Forecasting

Given its small open economy, it is difficult to provide good macroeconomic forecasts for Hong Kong because of the persistence of large and unanticipated external shocks. The research to apply Professor Lawrence Klein’s high frequency macroeconomic forecasting methodology was led by Alan K F Siu. The new method utilizes the most updated information available at high frequency and represents a novel approach to improving the forecast accuracy of short term macroeconomic performance. The results provide the community with timely information useful for tracking the short term fluctuations of the economy. The current quarter macro forecasts have been released on a quarterly basis since 1999 and are widely covered in the media. Through this project, the Institute has built on its research capacity to address economic policy issues in a timely manner. The tables on the right and below give recent forecasts of key economic variables and track the evolution of actual and forecasted GDP in the past decade.

New Studies in the Pipeline

Ongoing research being conducted at the Institute includes:

Hong Kong’s Role in a Networked Service Economy

At the center of the modern global economy of trade and investment flows is a networked service economy. Hong Kong’s ability to add value to the global networked economy is vital for its continued prosperity. This study critically examines the factors that would either foster or inhibit the creation of such a role for Hong Kong. The study will cover the financial services sector, professional services, education and health services, and business and trade services.

Understanding Income Inequality in Hong Kong

Measured income inequality has been on the
rise for almost two decades. This is a politically charged subject in policy debates. However, the causes of the apparent widening in income disparity are not clearly understood. This study attempts to deconstruct the inequality measures and examine the underlying causes. The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of what is happening before deciding whether policy initiatives are needed, and what form these policies should take.

Political Economy of the Decline of
Economic Liberalism and the Rise of
Populism in Hong Kong

In the last two decades public policy has become
much more about how to divide the economic pie as opposed to how to grow the pie. The old policy consensus built around economic liberalism has been increasingly weakened, giving way to sectional interests focused on distributive populism. This study explores why this is the case through an examination of Hong Kong’s economic transformation in the past 60 years, and its effects on various stakeholders and interest groups.

Rebuilding a Private Economy and
Enlightened Citizenry - Public Housing
Subsidized Home Ownership, and Private

A large fraction of Hong Kong’s population lives as renters in government-owned and subsidized public housing. Another considerable proportion lives as homeowners in government-provided subsidized housing with restricted transfer rights. This creates a society where half the population is tied down in a single location and community for a big part of the day, defining how inhabitants engage with their community throughout most of their lives. Such circumstances inevitably impact political, social and economic discourse in major ways and affect citizens’ personal aspirations and social demands. This study seeks to delineate all these aspects and explore whether creative alternatives exist to rebuild a private economy with enlightened citizenry.

Project Coordinator: 
Prof YC Richard Wong