Head and Associate Professor, Department of Geography
University of Hong Kong
Dr. James Jixian WANG is associate professor of Department of Geography, the University of Hong Kong. Born in Beijing, he received his Bachelor in Economics from the People's University of China, M. Phil from the University of Hong Kong, and Ph.D. from University of Toronto. Currently he is council member of Hong Kong Society for Transport Studies, and Fellow of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT-HK). His research area is Transport Geography, with special interests in port development and port-city relations, and public transport in China. He has published widely in many internationally refereed journals and is editorial board member of Journal of Transport Geography, Transportmetrica A, Transportmetrica B, Transport and Society, Asian Geographer. He is chief editor of Ports, Cities, and Global Supply Chains published by Ashgate in 2007, and “Port-City Interplays in China” by Ashgate (2014) is his latest publication. As a portcity specialist, Dr Wang has participated in port-city planning projects and strategic studies for more than 30 Chinese and other Asian port cities and regions. His recent research interests include the impacts of high-speed train and airport on cities. Currently, he is advisor of various committees on transport or port area development for port city governments in China, including Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
The port regionalization has made Hong Kong no longer a single major hub in South China or its core - Pearl River Delta region. Ports and their cities, such as Shenzhen and Guangzhou have grown much faster and actually closer to the cargo sources for global market than Hong Kong. As a result, Hong Kong is experiencing a difficult time in transition from a regional gateway hub to something else. What is that? How and whether such a transition will be smooth and good for Hong Kong as a city rather than just for the port? Dr Wang’s presentation is to provide an explanation, based on his current research, how Hong Kong is moving on, smartly, towards a global supply chain (GSC) management center. The evidence in his presentation helps us to understand that in today’s global competition, the new role of government in facilitating GSC is critical, since the institutions built by the state need to change for a new environment, and the GSC should not be just an integration of market players alone. The smart move of Hong Kong towards a regional management center of GSC redefines the city itself and differentiates in a sustainable way from nearby port cities.
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