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Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium

22-23 September 2022

Day 2 - 18 September

Session Timing: 1000 -1130 BST 

The Global Manufacturing and China (GMC) session has been a collaborative research theme between Zhejiang University Management School and Cambridge University IfM CIM for over 15 years. It aims to explore and understand the evolution of both global manufacturing and Chinese industrialisation, taking both industrial and academic perspectives on emerging challenges, opportunities and interdependencies.

Clear changes have been observed in global manufacturing led by multinational corporations (MNCs) from developed nations investing in Chinese manufacturing. This rapid emergence of China, as the ‘workshop of the world’ has led to dramatic power shifts, concerns and conflicts from multiple perspectives. Most recently, the trade war between the largest economies in the world, the revisiting of regionalisation as in the case of Brexit, and concerns regarding the resilience of global supply chains has led to calls for a rethink on the relationship between global manufacturing and China. Does the COVID disruption to manufacturing operations challenge the current dependence on distant global supply chains? Is the now established interdependency between Chinese manufacturing and global supply chains easily decoupled or even desirable? Will protectionism become a dominant driver in future developments? How should companies respond to these new global realities?

Keynote speakers

It is very timely to have the focused session in this year’s Cambridge Symposium to debate these issues and explore future scenarios.  In order to facilitate discussions, the focused session will have three introductory contributions from leading speakers to introduce their latest research in this area, and share their perspectives on the role of China within global manufacturing and supply networks. And we look forward to an engaging follow-on debate!


The changing nature of Trade and MNC foreign direct investment (FDI) in China from a global manufacturing perspective - How is China now being seen as an outward investment opportunity?

Professor Jeremy Clegg is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration & International Business Management at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. He currently serves as the President of the Academy of International Business (AIB), which is the premier international scholarly association for academics in the field of international business and international management. He is an area editor of the Journal of International Business Policy and has served as a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of International Business Studies. His research, employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, encompasses the determinants of foreign direct investment, FDI and regional integration, outward FDI by emerging economies, particularly China, and also human factors within international business. His research has been published in all of the major journals in International Business.


Developments in Chinese companies’ innovative strategies and how China is viewing globalisation in terms of international collaborations post COVID

Professor Xiaobo Wu, Professor of Innovation and Strategic Management, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Zhejiang University is also the Director of National Institute for Innovation Management (NIIM), Co-Director of Zhejiang University-Cambridge University Joint Research Center for Global Manufacturing and Innovation Management. He serves as Board member of China Economic and Social Council, Global Future Council of WEF, and Advisory Committee of Zhejiang Provincial Government of China.

His primary research interests centered in Managing Technological Innovation, Global Manufacturing and Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In the areas mentioned above, he has published over 200 academic papers and over 10 books. And he serves on the editorial boards of academic journals, including Asian Journal of Technological Innovation, Journal of Engineering Management and etc. His recent book “The Management Transformation of Huawei” has just been published by Cambridge University Press.














Examining the changing nature of global manufacturing value chains and the role of China in terms of reciprocity (future win-win or win-lose scenarios), and implications from recent reviews on essential national industries.

Dr Yongjiang Shi and Dr Jag Srai

Dr Yongjiang Shi is a University Lecturer in Industrial Systems in the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge and a Research Director at the Institute for Manufacturing’s Centre for International Manufacturing.

He has been teaching and studying management of international manufacturing network and supply chain for over twenty years and his research interests include global manufacturing networks, business ecosystem development, multinational corporations’ strategies in China, and sustainable industrial systems. He used to be the Guangbiao Visiting Professor in Chinese Zhejiang University Management School where he taught Global Manufacturing and China Development for the EMBA Programme.

Dr Shi has led or collaborated to a number of projects on business ecosystems and industrial sustainability, and has developed considerable experiences in industrial symbiosis and circular economy, business ecosystems’ strategic patterns and capabilities, value creation networks, best practices for sustainable supply chain management, carbon reduction strategies and resource exploitation during the Chinese industrialisation.


Dr Jag Srai is Head of the Centre for International Manufacturing, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge. He has Director/Investigator roles across several major multidisciplinary research projects, bringing an engineering and strategic operations management perspective to the design, analysis and operation of international supply chains. Research projects explore the disruptive impacts of new production and digital technologies on supply chains involving close collaborations with industry, academia, and public bodies. He also advises multinationals, governments and international institutions including UNCTAD, UNIDO, and World Economic Forum where he co-Chairs the Council on Advanced Manufacturing. Previous roles were in industry with Unilever working as a Supply Chain Director of a multinational regional business, Technical Director of a national business and other senior management positions. Jag holds a first-class honours degree in Chemical Engineering (Aston), and a PhD in International Supply Networks (Cambridge), is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers.

22-23 September 2022

Reconfiguring global supply chains in the face of continued disruption: towards new design rules and capabilities

The annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium is the chance to hear from world-leading business figures and thinkers on the challenges facing modern manufacturing. It is a unique event that brings together senior industrialists and leading academics to share approaches and experiences in this strategic domain.