Location: Hong Kong
Date: 3-5 December 2020
Closing Date for Submission: 30 SEPTEMBER 2020
The 2020 Academy of International Business (AIB) Southeast Asia Regional Conference will now be held at The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong (HSUHK). Our original plan was to host this year’s conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia. However, due to the novel COVID-19 virus, we will stage the event in Hong Kong. The theme of the 2020 AIBSEAR Conference is “The Future of IB in Turbulent Times”. If the climate makes travel impossible, then you will have the opportunity to deliver your study via video conference through Zoom or Microsoft Teams. However, if conditions are favourable and safe, you will be able to attend the conference in-person.
The theme reflects the challenges faced by us all as we grapple with this problem in unpredictable and turbulent times. COVID-19 has spread to become a global pandemic at rapid pace. The implications to the business world have been unprecedented. The tourism industry took the first hit and financial markets have collapsed. Consequently, economic recession or depression is nothing but inevitable. The depth and breath of the impact has strengthened the fact that the world is interdependent and deeply connected. When parts of China were locked down, the supply chain of several multinational and local firms were severely interrupted. Companies have had to rewrite their strategies and crisis management became top priority. Several measures had to be implemented simultaneously, such as the scramble to source raw materials, the closure of stores and factories, as well as ensuring the safety of workers and employees.
ASEAN economies which have been powered by SMEs are particularly vulnerable, since they often do not have sufficient resources and capital to sustain the length of this crisis. When opportunities are limited, new business models have to be realised. Marketing, finance, human resources and operations have to adjust or completely be overhauled. For most countries where social distancing is required, online platforms for running business is no longer a choice, but a necessity for business survival. The academic world has no escape either from this pandemic. Similar to the world of business, online activities have become the norm, with the majority of lecturers and students struggling to adjust in such a short timeframe. Although doubts and questions about academic integrity and the achievement of learning outcomes are raised, lecturers are running out of options as their teaching has been tested. When we make this announcement call for this year’s conference, we have no idea when and how this pandemic will end. We don’t know how this will alter the business and academic world. One certainty is that the future of international business will definitely be influenced by COVID-19.