Invited Speakers

Dr. Alexander Wollenberg

Khalifa University, UAE

Dr. Alexander Wollenberg obtained his PhD from National University of Singapore in 2011 specialising in innovation-based productivity growth of high-tech companies in emerging economies and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, focusing on technology transfer of Japanese companies in East Asia. In addition to being a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of IGI Global Publishing and the technical committee of International Economics Development and Research Center, Alexander has held various appointments in academia and consultancy in Singapore, Indonesia, Colombia, México, the Middle East and the West Indies. He is also co-founder of a Singaporean start-up focused on smart-home solutions. His research interests include regional economic integration and effects on value chains, as well as the new economy in emerging markets.

Speech Title: The Importance of Maintaining Regional Economic Integration Efforts Despite Their Challenges
Abstract: The global economy has undergone rapid changes post-World War II marked by rapid technological change and projects towards regional economic integration in many parts of the world. The present-day European Union (EU) has evolved into the largest single most highly integrated bloc from what first started as an industrial cooperation and an economic union in the 1950s. Other areas of regional economic integration followed including ASEAN, GCC, CARICOM, and the Pacific Alliance. Regional integration has lowered the costs of doing business as and brought many people and cultures closer together transferring knowledge, technology, and skills. Based on recent empirical studies, I will discuss the rise of technological capabilities due to better allocation of industrial resources according to a country’s comparative advantage and discuss innovative business models resulting in lower costs to consumers, more opportunities for entrepreneurs and people in search of income streams, and changes in marketing strategies. Better allocation of comparative advantage has enabled countries to raise productivity and enhance incomes for their citizens. What are the implications of these developments from a academic and policy-making perspectives?