Lahore School of Economics

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Lahore School at International Conference - Monash University, Malaysia

Mehreen Kamal and Aamir Saleem

MONASH University hosted an international conference on Business, Environment, International Competitiveness and Sustainable Development of the Asia Pacific Economies, held at Sunway Lagoon Resort, Malaysia on December 3-4, 2007.

Lahore School students presented their research papers in the conference. Aamir Saleem presented “Bankers’ Perception toward the Factors Affecting the Adoption of E-Banking Technology in Pakistan” whereas “Production of Thermo-electric Power from the Solid Wastes of LUMS” written by Dr. Muhammad Rafiq Khan (Senior Research Fellow), and Mehreen Kamal was presented by Mehreen Kamal.

The focus of the conference was on the effects of trade liberalization and stricter environmental regulations on the international competitiveness and sustainable development of the Asia Pacific Economies. The main question the conference addressed was whether the international competitiveness and hence sustainable development of enterprises and nations is compatible with stricter environmental regulations. It has been argued that trade liberalization and stricter environmental regulations will provide incentives for enterprises to join the “regulatory race to the top” to innovate so as to enhance their competitiveness.

However, the counter argument was that there may be a “regulatory race to the bottom” as countries compete to relax environmental standards to attract foreign investments and “dirty” industries.

The effect of new environmental regulations and standards, in the form of eco-labels and environmental and related health requirements (ERHRs), or Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) on the competitiveness of Asia Pacific Economies was also discussed. Multilateral mechanisms for resolving disputes arising from differences in environmental regulations and the imposition of non-tariff barriers within the context of the harmonization of environmental regulations across nations was highlighted in the conference.

The conference also focused on air, water and waste pollution, property rights and the use of market based instruments to enhance the international competitiveness of the following sectors of the economy: agriculture, energy , water and coastal resources, tourism, forestry, fisheries and manufacturing. A special session of the conference focused on climate change and capacity building for sustainable development in the Asia Pacific Economies.

Lahore School students were the youngest scholars at the conference representing Pakistan. Their papers will be published in the conference proceedings.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12/18/2007 11:20:00 AM,

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