IIM Rohtak co-organizes an international conference with AGBA in Istanbul

At the 18th World Congress of the Academy for Global Business Advancement (AGBA), co-organized by IIM Rohtak, scholars from several countries discussed the situation in Afghanistan while presenting more than 160 papers on topics related to globalization, trade and digitization. The 18th World Congress of the Academy for Global Business Advancement (AGBA) was held in Istanbul, Turkey, from July 2-4, with the participation of scholars from over 30 countries.

Delegates from USA, India, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Thailand, Kenya, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Bangladesh, Finland, Vietnam, Pakistan, Malaysia, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, South Africa, Egypt , New Zealand, Uganda, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, UK, Oman, Nigeria and others participated in the event. The conference began with the keynote address by Professor Dheeraj Sharma, Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak. He spoke about the interdependence of international trade with peace, politics and conflict. He highlighted the commonalities in the expectations of young people around the world and highlighted how this is the result of globalization.

He also said that while globalization has largely brought benefits to the world, it has negative externalities such as widening gaps between rich and poor, environmental changes and new diseases. He said that these must belong to the major economic powers. The conference featured two major roundtables — The first roundtable was themed “Is Globalization Helping or Harming the World? We Can’t Undo Globalization, But We Can Improve It.”

The panel was chaired by Prof. Dheeraj Sharma and included eminent panelists such as Prof. Dana-Nicoleta Lascu (Professor, University of Richmond, USA), Prof. Vincent Chang (President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Brac, Bangladesh), Dr Hamdan AL-Fazari (President and Vice-Chancellor, Sohar University, Oman), Prof. Fevzi Okumus (Professor, University of Central Florida, USA), Prof. Salem Al-Ghamdi (Professor, KFUPM, Saudi Arabia), Prof. Cihan Cobanoglu (Dean, University of South Florida) and Dr. Minh-Tri Ha (Vice Dean, School of Business, International University, Vietnam National University). The panel discussed in detail the various effects of globalization on the world economy. In addition, the panel discussed the various ways in which globalization has brought development to the world.

Discussion contributes to the exchange of goods, services and, most importantly, the dissemination of ideas across countries and societies. It forces companies to adapt to different strategies based on new ideas, trends and technologies. Additionally, it creates investment opportunities, developing stronger institutions, an educated workforce, and sound economic conditions globally. However, these opportunities are not without risks, in particular due to the volatility of capital movements.

The discussion also touched on various anti-globalization movements motivated by populist thoughts of protectionism. The rise of protectionism in the United States has impacted economic activities globally, both through direct and indirect trade. The result was a global crisis. Professor Dana-Nicoleta Lascu said customers have a responsibility to discourage protectionism and strengthen corporate social responsibility. Here, she emphatically insisted on delivering reasonably priced products to the needy.

Protectionism is holding back consumption, Professor Dana said. She then explained how monopolistic corporations began to control world politics. When corporations achieve a monopoly, they exercise public power and put their own interest above the public interest. The panel also discussed how globalization has been associated with growing inequality where the poor do not always share in the gains from trade. The discussion held underlined that less wealthy countries and organizations may not have very strong effects of globalization. It can also increase the risk of failure for small businesses and economies.

Professor Salem Al-Ghamdi mentioned that today’s global trade cannot be viewed in isolation. Countries examine economic and non-economic issues together to assess the performance of global trade. Finally, the panel reached consensus on the view that globalization is here to stay and grow. However, the world can reap its benefits more effectively and efficiently with better measures. The world needs more resilient, legitimate and beneficial systems on a global platform. More and more countries can integrate into the global economy by removing regulatory, cultural and societal barriers.

The international community must focus on strengthening the international financial system, through trade and aid that can help the poorest countries integrate into the global economy, ultimately aiming to grow rapidly and reduce poverty. This is the way to ensure that all sections of society around the world can benefit from the effects of globalization, AGBA said in a statement. Professor Dheeraj Sharma finally stated that protectionism should be discouraged but, at the same time, developed countries should bear a greater burden to equalize the results of trade among nations. Developed nations must be more magnanimous.

The theme of the second round table was “Non-standard approaches to peacebuilding and normalization of international trade in Afghanistan”. Panelists included Ms. Farkhanda Zahra Naderi (Afghan politician and women’s rights activist), Mr. Faiz Zaland (political commentator and professor at Kabul University, Afghanistan) and Mr. Wais Barmak (former Minister of Interior of the Afghanistan). Professor Dheeraj Sharma chaired the panel.

Naderi stressed the importance of including women in the peace process in Afghanistan. She added that the Taliban must bring women back into the public sector workforce. “They can do it in a phased way. To start with they can give women work from home opportunities for the next six months until then they have to work to create infrastructure in public sector offices for women to be able to working will only add to the economic activity of the Afghan state. Without it, society will remain in conflict,” the statement said.

Zaland gave information on Afghanistan’s human development index, poverty and acute food shortage. He mentioned that peace and trade (economic development) are indispensable requirements of any state or nation. Afghanistan’s peace and stability depend on domestic and international economic progress and investment. Therefore, we convince the international community to support economic development and investment in Afghanistan to bring peace to the region and the world.

“India is committed to a meaningful relationship with the people of Afghanistan. India is providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in the form of food grains, COVID vaccines and essential life-saving medicines. Over 12 million tons of wheat and 5 lakh of COVID vaccines have been sent to Afghanistan this year,” he added. Barmak kicked off the discussion by briefing the audience on the complex situation in Afghanistan. Community development through democratic practices and of development assistance has contributed to the consolidation of lasting peace in Afghanistan, which can be considered one of the non-standard approaches to peacebuilding in Afghanistan’s modern history.

It provided an interactive space for communities to collaborate with each other and resolve their differences through non-violent means. Consensual democracy is the political model by which Afghanistan would achieve lasting peace, security, stability and prosperity. Therefore, the discussion had a concurring view that democracy for Afghanistan is essential for its progress and Indian democracy can serve as a model in this direction.

Professor Sharma underlined the need for non-standard approaches to deal with the Afghan crisis in which the countries of the region must play a leading role. The dispensation in Afghanistan will need to make more accommodations to build trust with those who have invested in its development. In particular, Afghanistan must engage the well-trained human resources that have been developed over the past twenty years to capitalize on the infrastructure built over the past twenty years. The discussion concluded with the idea that the world has a responsibility to help Afghanistan become a better nation and that trade can become the necessary impetus in this direction.

Moreover, globalization will lead to an exchange of ideas, like democracy. It can allow Afghanistan to move towards assimilation into the world order. Additionally, the panel unanimously suggested that non-standard trade routes be explored. In particular, trade through the port of Chabahar could speed up the delivery of aid and increase the speed of trade throughout the region. Thus, trade through Chabahar may be the key to stability in South and Central Asia. In conclusion, India, Turkey and the United States can play an important role in bringing stability to Afghanistan.

The conference also held twenty faculty development workshops on various topics related to globalization research. A wide variety of research papers were presented during a three-day conference on topics including innovation management, IT capabilities, healthcare, cybersecurity, consumer behavior, sustainability , among others. The AGBA Board of Directors has awarded the Distinguished Global Thought Leader Award to Professor Dheeraj Sharma for his vision and efforts to make a positive contribution to the democratization of trade and nations. (ANI)

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