China second economy in the world: opportunity or threat
One of the more distinguishing news items of the 2010 was that China has developed into the second economy in the world. Moreover, the continuing growth of the Chinese economy also made China lead the world out of the recent global recession. This economic growth can be felt far beyond its national borders. In particular in Europe, the rapidly increasing investment of Chinese companies in the region is the talk of they day. This is alternately described in terms of opportunity for European businesses and threat. Surely, when even institutions like Volvo are acquired by Chinese enterprises, that feeling of threat is understandable, though not necessarily justified. Perception of threat is usually caused by a lack of understanding, and the best way to mend such a lack of understanding is research.
VU China Research Centre
In the background of these developments, it makes sense that an academic entity like the School of Business and Economics (SBE) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has decided to make the study of the Chinese economy and Chinese enterprises into a core research theme. The mission of the VU China Research Centre is to combine the specific expertise of a number of researchers and focus it on studying the mechanisms that steer China’s economic development. Although in this stage it is still basically an effort of our School, contemporary China research conducted at the Faculty of Social Sciences is also included. More faculties may follow soon. Moreover, in the context of Greater Amsterdam, we maintain regular contacts with colleagues from the University of Amsterdam.