When international relations meet business studies
On Thursday 7 November 2019, SolBridge hosted Mr Bruno Hellendorff, Joint Research Fellow at Egmont Institute, Belgium, for a lecture on EU - Asia connectivity. With wide expertise in international politics and strategic issues, Mr Hellendorff's visit was a fantastic opportunity to expose business students to a larger spectrum of political, security, governmental as well as economic considerations that are currently impacting today's business interactions between EU member states and Asian states.
Revolving around the role of the business relationships between the European Union (EU) and China as an economic powerhouse in Asia, the lecture addressed the increasing need for the EU to also develop sustainable and comprehensive connectivity strategies with intergovernmental organisations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for example, in an era prone to trade wars and sovereignty issues. In the lecture, Mr Hellendorff also highlights the growing economic interdependence between the EU and China that led the EU to refine its connectivity strategy in the light of China's recent strategic investments in Southern Europe, the UK and Germany.
Mr Hellendorf's research encompasses publications and media appearances on the China's Belt and Road Initiative, the multi-level relationships between the EU and Asia, as well as security in Southeast Asia. Mr Hellendorff previously initiated and coordinated the Peace and Security in Asia-Pacific Research Programme at the Brussels-based think tank Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security (GRIP), and is affiliated with leading Belgian universities.
In cooperation with the Belgian embassy in Korea, this visit was an opportunity for the Belgian student community at SolBridge to greet and interact with Ms Eva Morre, Second Secretary of the embassy.
The lecture perfectly fit in the growing importance for today's business students to shed light on the role of social sciences, international politics and economics as well as political science in order to become well-rounded business professionals. SolBridge provides each semester a series of elective courses on East Asian politics, arts, sociology and world history available to all students.