MDC and FIU Host Annual International Business Education Conference

Screenshot of speakers at the International Business Education Conference

Kimberly Aldunate / Contributing Writer

FIU and Miami-Dade College (MDC) recently came together, Wednesday, Sept. 23, to host their annual International Business Education Conference. Business experts from across the globe discussed the economic and social relationships between South Korea, Japan, and Latin America.

The conference was supported by the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea, Inter-American Dialogue, and Asian-American Advisory Board of Miami Dade County. 

The free virtual event was hosted by FIU’s Center for International Business and Research (CIBER) and The Idea Center at MDC.

Lenore Rodicio, Executive Vice President and Provost of MDC, organized the event to highlight the importance of these discussions.

“As we start to emerge from the pandemic and go back to normalcy, these conversations become more important,” said Rodicio. “The role of education to sustain business and help it to move forward is critically important.”

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council is an organization that promotes Miami-Dade County and helps companies grow.

This event included keynote speaker Jaap Donath, Senior Vice President of research & strategic planning at the Beacon Council of Miami-Dade County. 

“[The council makes up] entities in the community that help facilitate the flow [of economics] and investment,” said Donath.

He added that Miami is considered a central point in supporting the flow of business between Asian countries partnering with Latin America and the U.S.

“The number one question we get from companies is if we have the talent available [in Miami] to be successful as a company,” said Donath. “That is why our educational institutions FIU, MDC and UM are so important to train the right skills.”

In 2017, South Florida was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for new business startup activity, according to the Kauffman Foundation Index

Panelist, Margaret Myers is the director of the Asia and Latin America Program at the Inter-American Dialogue of Washington, D.C.

“Japan in recent years has sought to grow and reorient its approach to Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Myers. “This is, in part, due to geopolitical reconsiderations, including competitions with China in key sectors that we have seen.”

Another panelist was Won-Ho Kim, professor at the School of International and Area Studies of Hankuk University in South Korea.

Kim emphasized that there was no affinity between Korea and Latin America historically. However, Korean culture has recently become popular in Latin American countries.

“There are over 6,061 [Korean Pop] fan clubs in Latin America and it serves as a bridge between Korea and Latin America,” said Kim.

Panelist, Juan Felipe Lopez Aymes is a faculty member of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Regional Center for Multidisciplinary Research.

Aymes pointed out that the economies of Latin American countries support Korea’s financial development. “Korean companies invest the most in manufacturing and mining. Most of the manufacturing is in Brazil and Mexico and mining is in the rest of Latin America,” he said.

Closing remarks by Romi Bhatia, Executive Director of the Idea Center at MDC, refer back to Donath’s presentation about Miami leading the business industry.

He added, “It is important Miami’s diversity and background is our strength and [will enable] us to become problem solvers and we need that in the very uncertain world we live in.”

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