SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Asia Pacific Business

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3

“In the past decade, the United States’ economy grew by an average of 1.6% a year, the European Union’s by 1.7%, Latin America’s by 4.6%, East Asia's by 5.4% and South-East Asia's by 5.9%. The 21 economies of the largest trans-Pacific grouping, Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), account for nearly half of global trade. The region comprises not only the world’s ‘factory floor’ but also its most important sources of services, technology and investments, and final goods markets,” writes Peter Petri, an international trade economist. Yet despite the much celebrated economic progress of the region and the potential to be reaped from it, there are clear strains and risks resulting from geopolitical and economic trends which impact businesses that operate here.

This course consists of a set of core lectures which will introduce students to: (a) economic, political and socio-cultural theories and frameworks for understanding the context of business in the Asia Pacific region; and (b) the application of international business theories and frameworks to understand the decision-making processes of companies investing in the region. Course participants are expected to apply theories and frameworks to assess business environments of specific Asian economies. Participants are expected to analyse and make presentations about issues and challenges that are relevant to companies operating in large emerging economies such as China, India, Taiwan, and South Korea but also other economies such as Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Upon successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Identify motivations for companies to seek internationalization within the Asia Pacific region.
  • Describe/ or Explain socio-cultural, political and economic systems in the Asia Pacific region and the resultant risks.
  • Identify different international strategies of multinational firms in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Evaluate different market entry strategies, organisational structures and human resource approaches for Asia Pacific business.
  • Integrate other business and management courses into the international context.achieve a deep understanding of the background and content of the BRI.   

Method of assessment

The following is indicative only:

  • 30% two quizzes
  • 30% one team project
  • 20% one team country topic presentation
  • 20% individual class performance

Suggested reading



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