IBJOpinion

CHEN: Indiana needs to become Asia-savvy

July 10, 2010
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

ChenThe world in which we live is quickly changing, with the centers of growth moving to the rapidly rising economies of Asia, such as China and India.

Both China and India have been growing yearly 6 percent or more for the last five years. China, by many measures, is now the second-largest economy in the world, with India now listed fourth. Japan is listed third, with the USA continuing to be the biggest single country in measurement of gross domestic product. Thus, three of the top four world economies are in Asia.

Due to these rapid changes, our state will need to learn how to effectively engage with the emerging economies of the 21st century in order to be successful. Other states in the Midwest, such as Michigan and Wisconsin, and elsewhere in the country, have recognized this challenge and are investing resources in their people and businesses to meet this need. While there are exceptions, most Indiana schools face a strong challenge to grow our people and resources to enable us to take part in the boom that will be ongoing in Asia for the next 25 years.

I see a need for Indiana to strive to meet these goals:

• All Indiana K-12 students will learn about Asian history, culture and how their working futures will be affected by Asia.

• Ten percent of Indiana students will learn Asian languages.

• One thousand Hoosier teachers will train to teach Asian culture.

• Five hundred teachers will be certified to teach the Chinese language.

• Twenty Asian business-development seminars will be conducted throughout Indiana annually, and at least 20 Asian trade groups will visit our state each year.

• Indiana’s Asian international trade will grow at least 5 percent per year.

Such ambitious goals will require assistance from many resources. As an Asian community leader with 31 years of residence in Indiana and as the CEO of a telecommunications company, I have a long history in Indiana’s cultural and business communities. I know the Indiana business community will agree we need to make these investments for its own growth.

At the university level, schools like IUPUI, Indiana, Butler and Indiana State are making efforts to prepare their students for success in the coming decades. Even now at the K-12 level, some programs are in place, such as an exchange program shepherded by Robey Elementary Principal Kyle Fessler. With the help of Global Indiana and the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, Robey has established a partnership with Tianchang Primary School in Hangzhou, China. Both principals visited each other’s schools last fall. This year, Robey will host 20 students and four teachers from Tianchang for five days. During that time, students will share cultural and educational experiences.

We need to replicate this example statewide so all of our students are exposed to Asia. Along these lines, I am pleased to see the International Center of Indianapolis has begun to address the changes necessary for Indiana to move forward with engaging with Asia. The center is exploring an Asian Learning Center, with my strong encouragement.

There is no better investment to be made than investing in ourselves. As a state, Indiana needs to start to train our own human resources, especially our younger students, regarding Asia as we continue to move through what many are calling “the Pacific Century.”•

__________

Chen is chairman and CEO of Telamon Corp., a Carmel-based telecommunications-services company.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Help Asian Studies Blossom in Indiana Schools
    Mr. Chen's comments highlight the need for Indiana schools to expose their students to the Asian world. Global Indiana helps schools match with partners in China and Thailand. As a result of our efforts nearly 70 Hoosier schools--public, private, and charter--have been paired with Chinese or Thai schools. We receive corporate support from EF Educational Tours, but the travel so necessary for developing relationships remains too expensive for many of our school districts and their educational leaders. Business support for our 501 (c) (3) organization will help us increase the number of schools with programs like Robey Elementary's. To learn about our mission and goals, visit our website at http://www.globalindianainc.org. Anyone is welcome to contact me via email at philipmb@comcast.net.

    Phil Boley
    Past President and Cofounder
    Global Indiana: A Consortium for International Exchange
    Superintendent
    Clinton Central School Corporation
  • I couldn't agree more
    Mr. Chen's perspective is right on point. I've spent the last 20+ years building management consulting businesses in Asia for A.T. Kearney and Arthur D. Little, and helping Global Fortune 1000 companies and large Asian groups establish strategic alliances and grow globally. Now I'm back in Indy and here to tell you that the business opportunities in Asia and with Asian companies are plentiful, but challenging. As Mr. Chen points out, there is a need for education and training to help prepare folks to effectively manage the crucial cross-cultural and communication challenges that can shape success or failure, and the quality of your cross-cultural working relationships

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. From the story: "The city of Indianapolis also will consider tax incentives and funding for infrastructure required for the project, according to IEDC." Why would the City need to consider additional tax incentives when Lowe's has already bought the land and reached an agreement with IEDC to bring the jobs? What that tells me is that the City has already pledged the incentives, unofficially, and they just haven't had time to push it through the MDC yet. Either way, subsidizing $10/hour jobs is going to do nothing toward furthering the Mayor's stated goal of attracting middle and upper-middle class residents to Marion County.

  2. Ron Spencer and the entire staff of Theater on the Square embraced IndyFringe when it came to Mass Ave in 2005. TOTS was not only a venue but Ron and his friends created, presented and appeared in shows which embraced the 'spirit of the fringe'. He's weathered all the storms and kept smiling ... bon voyage and thank you.

  3. Not sure how many sushi restaurants are enough, but there are three that I know of in various parts of downtown proper and all are pretty good.

  4. First off, it's "moron," not "moran." 2nd, YOU don't get to vote on someone else's rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the US Constitution. That's why this is not a state's rights issue...putting something like this to vote by, well, people like you who are quite clearly intellectually challenged isn't necessary since the 14th amendment has already decided the issue. Which is why Indiana's effort is a wasted one and a waste of money...and will be overturned just like this has in every other state.

  5. Rick, how does granting theright to marry to people choosing to marry same-sex partners harm the lives of those who choose not to? I cannot for the life of me see any harm to people who choose not to marry someone of the same sex. We understand your choice to take the parts of the bible literally in your life. That is fine but why force your religious beliefs on others? I'm hoping the judges do the right thing and declare the ban unconstitutional so all citizens of Wisconsin and Indiana have the same marriage rights and that those who chose someone of the same sex do not have less rights than others.

ADVERTISEMENT