Connecting Global Cities: The U.S.-China Case Study

Apr 19, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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There are times when studying abroad that important global events occur and this provides the opportunity to examine them in a different culture.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2018_Shanghai_From Colin Speakman - Shanghai, the World’s Top Cargo Port by Value Photo: Shanghai, the world's top cargo port by value from Colin Speakman

In the second half of the 1980s I was teaching International Economics and International Finance at an American university in London—where there were more than 100 nationalities on the campus with a significant percentage of students from the U.S. There were some important events to use as case studies.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities

Connecting Global Cities: Economic Power of Global Cities

Mar 22, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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New York may have been unhappy at being knocked off the top spot on A.T. Kearney’s Global Cities Index by London, but they will be happier to note that a survey of global cities by “economic power,” compiled by Oxford Economics, puts them at number one.


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Photo: George Washington Bridge from public domain

Economic power here is measured by GDP of different cities when converted to U.S. dollars and Oxford Economics have produced an interesting list. However, there are some important caveats. Firstly, the survey is future focused to project the ranking by 2030, not the current state of play—and things can change.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities, Globalization

Connecting Global Cities: Celebrations and Tribulations of Chinese New Year

Feb 15, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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“Xīn Nián Kuài Lè” (Mandarin - Happy New Year) or “Kung Hei Fat Choy” (Cantonese - Happiness and Prosperity) were sayings echoing out around Asia and beyond, even as far as London’s Chinatown when the Chinese New Year celebrations got underway as a near global event from Friday, February 15 (New Year’s Eve and China National Holiday) ending by Thursday, February 22.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2018_Shanghai_From Colin Speakman - Chinese New Year Parade in London 2018.pngPhoto: Chinese New Year Parade in London by Colin Speakman

Of course, these holidays are found in other parts of Asia and, in 2017, I celebrated in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in the period of Vietnam’s Tet. This time I was in London and Western countries have no holidays for Chinese New Year (though China has National Holidays for January 1—three days this time). Thus, it was on Sunday February 18, a couple of days’ later, that London’s Chinatown held the famous parade and events in Trafalgar Square. I was there to celebrate the Year of the Dog even if with the help of a Snake (it was not the Year of the Frog!).

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities, Cultural Insights

Connecting Global Cities: Expats Away from Home

Jan 18, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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Happy 2018! The stimulus for this topic came partly from being sandwiched between the Western New Year and the Chinese New Year this month and partly from a contribution I was asked to make by China Daily on ex-pats’ reflections on being away from home for the holiday season, Christmas to some. You can read that article here.

Photo: December 25, 2017 in Shanghai by Colin Speakman

It shows that there are some celebrations that are quite hard to replicate in foreign parts for expats abroad. Even in cities ranked as global cities, it is not always possible to find authentic celebrations from back home.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities

CGCs - Review of 2017

Dec 21, 2017 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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We have nearly reached the end of an eventful year in the trends in globalization. The year started with the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the USA and we saw the implementation of campaign promises to “Make America Great Again”. The implications were that global trade agreements had disadvantaged the USA and benefited their trading partners - hence President Trump withdrew the USA from the proposed Transpacific Partnership, from the Paris Climate Accord and generally stated that he believes in fair trade by bilateral agreements rather than multilateral agreements. This step backwards on the long path of globalization has been countered by the actions of China in championing open trade and criticising protectionism and continuing to propose regional trade agreements in Asia.

This year we saw more flesh put on the Belt and Road Initiative to link Asia and Europe and the growth of membership of the Beijing headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which is supporting this. This last month of the year more countries joined it taking the total membership to 84 countries - with the USA remaining steadfastly outside.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities

CGCs: The Future of Globalization

Nov 16, 2017 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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Globalization has been a theme of this column on connecting global cities this year – and has featured more visibly in some months. This month seems to be the biggest one for this area because several globalization-related conferences have been happening and not at least one that is about to happen.

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Photo: Globalization in Action Day Conference to be held in CAPA London

CAPA is hosting a Globalization Conference in London tomorrow which our students there will attend and other students in our European time zones will also be involved with in real time. Yet our students in more distant time zones will not be left out – they have already prepared insightful reflections in videos to be shown on the day. That includes videos of interviews I did with five CAPA students in Shanghai. I am sure we will return to the output of the conference once it has taken place.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities

CGCs: World Skills

Oct 19, 2017 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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Now that sounds pretty Global—"World Skills." In fact Wordskills International is a global event that dates back to 1950, when it was first held in Madrid, Spain. It is a suitable event to bring together participants from global (and other) cities worldwide; almost 60 WorldSkills Member countries and regions typically enter teams to compete. WorldSkills promotes vocational skills through its membership, which represents two-thirds of the world’s population.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Shanghai_From Colin Speakman - WorldSkills_1.pngPhoto: WorldSkills Competition Media Release

The event is held every two years, and has been dubbed the "World Skill Olympics," as it displays world-class levels of vocational skills in various fields. It is topical to cover it here as the 2017 edition (the 44th) recently got underway this month in Abu Dhabi.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities

Analyzing and Exploring the Global Cities: Unpacking a City Through a Course

Oct 10, 2017 4:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

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Elizabeth is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Communication major at Lasell College, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Elizabeth introduces us to a course she's taking at CAPA and how her class went on a walk through the city of Dublin.

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I walked into my classroom at 10 a.m. this morning; except instead of a traditional room filled with tables and a whiteboard, my class met at a coffee shop in the center of Dublin. This semester I have the pleasure of taking CAPA’s ‘Global Cities’ course which allows the students to gain perspective and experience from the city of Dublin. The desks have been replaced with maps of the city allowing the students to indulge in the culture around them.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Dublin_From Elizabeth Leahy - Learning History and Walking Around St. Stephen's Green.pngA Walk Through the City: Learning history by walking through St. Stephen's Green

‘Analyzing and Exploring the Global Cities’ is a course offered by CAPA that provides students with the opportunity to learn about the history of their study abroad city and culture.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Academics Abroad, Global Cities

CGCs: The Sharing Economy in Global Cities

Sep 21, 2017 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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A key aspect of Globalization is the ability to find the same products and services that we value at home in cities overseas. It is clear that such Global products and services have grown in presence whether we are thinking of the iconic iPhone or Starbucks Coffee or uber-style taxi booking. Yet they are not totally seamlessly usable in different countries.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Shanghai_From Colin Speakman - Shanghai Starbucks Outlet.pngPhoto: Starbucks outlet in Shanghai by Colin Speakman

For example the iPhone that I wrote this article on in Shanghai is connected by ChinaUnicom to a China Apple Store where quite a few of the kind of apps I have readily installed in the USA or the UK are simply not available - indeed Apple have been in the news recently for removing a chunk of them at the request of the Chinese authorities.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities

CGCs: The Economics of Living in Global Cities

Jul 20, 2017 3:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

“Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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Global cities are usually not cheap places to live in, but it depends on where you are. Annual surveys of the comparative costs are undertaken by various consultancies to help Human Resources directors determine fair compensation packages for staff serving abroad for a period - to set the appropriate expat salaries. As I will explain further below, these surveys are not a perfect guide for comparing the costs faced by locals and long term expats in different cities but provide a useful first entry comparison and are often similar to costs faced by tourist visitors. 

This year's Economist Intelligence Unit survey of costs of living in global cities provides a wealth of information - The survey compares the prices of 160 goods and services in 133 cities around the world and, to re-emphasize, is primarily used by human resources managers to calculate compensation packages for overseas postings. 

Which global city is the most expensive? It is not in the top three global cities ranked by the A. T. Kearny Global Cities Index - London, New York, Paris - it is Asia's Singapore. This nation state has retained its title as the world’s most expensive city for a fourth consecutive year. The survey found that Singapore was 20% more expensive than  New York and 5% pricier than Hong Kong, which lies in second place.

A sustained recovery in the strength of the Japanese yen has led to rising costs in Osaka and Tokyo. Asia now hosts five out of the six most expensive cities in the world.

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Photo: Hong Kong by Colin Speakman 

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities

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