Advancing sustainable global trade
The Hinrich Foundation is a unique Asia-based philanthropic organization that works to advance mutually beneficial and sustainable global trade through research and educational programs.
Understanding global trade
Original research, strategic insights and quick analysis that offer a better understanding of key global trade trends and issues.
Master’s degree scholarships and short courses for trade business professionals, media and policymakers that provide the practical knowledge and tools to advance sustainable global trade.
We are offering 20 scholarships to professionals working across global value chains for our Oct 2021 intake. Find out how to become a global trade leader. Trade employers looking to bridge the talent gap with universities, learn how with our transforming trade education case study.For educational institutions working to enhance graduate employability, download a case exemplar of industry engagement in higher education.Philanthropies looking to amplify their own philanthropic outcomes via leadership development, get your copy of a case exemplar of philanthropic collaboration.
Despite initial disruptions and anxiety caused by uncertainties, trade marches on during COVID-19. Sponsored by the Hinrich Foundation, the National Press Foundation launched a webinar series on global trade – its past, present and future, what . . .
INSEAD shapes leaders who are equipped to tackle world-scale challenges and advance business as a force for good. Its values are aligned with those of the Hinrich Foundation. Scholars are up-and-coming executives looking to advance sustainable trade . . .
We established the Hinrich Foundation Alumni Association (HFAA) to stimulate regular exchanges between young trade leaders committed to advancing sustainable global trade. Led by the Alumni Leadership Committee, the HFAA is a community of people who . . .
Through this generous partial tuition scholarship, we aim to empower future leaders in government, business and civil society to advance trade in consideration of balancing economic, social and environmental implications. The campus in Washington, . . .
Media play a critical role in providing deeper perspectives on trade issues. Our 4-days training courses for media, organized by the National Press Foundation, provide deep knowledge on all aspects of international trade. The next course will be in . . .
Resources, support, and recognition for journalists
Objective analysis of trade trends and issues, short-courses, Masters in International Journalism Studies (MAIJS) scholarships and an award for distinguished reporting on trade.
Our experts are trusted by news organizations across the globe
In the news
Media come to us for fresh thinking and deep analysis into the issues impacting global trade outcomes. Read our recent experts’ commentaries. Drawn from a wide range of disciplines and sectors, our experts offer valuable views and opinions on achieving sustainable global trade.
Geopolitics is a long-drawn game. While India stumbled in its responses to the pandemic, it does not mean it is the weakest link in the Quad. For one, firms looking to reduce their dependency on supply chains centered on China might look to relocate to India, where the government have already ramped up initiatives to attract foreign investors. Our report published in March that investigated India's tech manufacturing capabilities are quoted in this Straits Times commentary, as it looks at India's role in countering China's growing influence.
As the US mulls a digital trade agreement to counter China, it faces a key problem: Many countries in Asia don’t want to join any deal seen as challenging Beijing, whose tech giants are deeply entrenched in the region. Still, the US has multiple reasons to take action on data rules. One of which, as explained by Research Fellow Alex Capri, is the clash of values on issues like data privacy, transparency and surveillance. "This could lead to a general splintering of the digital landscape,” said Capri.
China's extraordinary clampdown on Didi has centered on allegations that the ride-hailing company has mishandled sensitive data about its users in China. The focus on Didi and other US-listed Chinese firms indicates that China's tech crackdown has entered a "new stage," according to Research Fellow Alex Capri. "It will become increasingly difficult for Chinese platforms to operate in the world's liberal democratic markets on the one hand, while also trying to negotiate China's tightening domestic controls, on the other hand," Capri said.
Three years after the US and China began a tit-for-tat trade war, the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration remain in place on most Chinese goods, and bilateral tensions have extended beyond trade to encompass a range of geopolitical and human rights issues under US President Joe Biden. “At some point, the US will have no choice but to engage with China on the tough structural issues that have plagued the trade relationship,” said Research Fellow Stephen Olson.
The US and EU agreed to a truce in their near 17-year conflict over aircraft subsidies, but Research Fellow Stephen Olson says to South China Morning Post that there might be limitations on what can actually be accomplished. “What’s really needed is a substantially more stringent WTO subsidies agreement that can address the unique features of China’s economic system...However, there are still differences in opinion among EU member nations on how to deal with China’s trade policy, even though the US is ready for a much tougher stance."
US President Joe Biden's plan to unite Washington's closest allies and take on China was upfront at this year's G7 meeting. "Irreconcilable differences regarding values and growing frictions with China's mercantilist and authoritarian model will continue to drive polarization and competition," says Research Fellow Alex Capri. He added that "values-driven" frameworks from the West around infrastructure development, trade and supply chain networks are "clearly emerging."
A bill aimed at bolstering America’s technological power to counter China has singled out Huawei Technologies Co as a threat and prohibits the Commerce Department from removing it from a trade blacklist. "It has become impossible for US policymakers to separate companies like Huawei from Chinese state-driven initiatives and objectives. It is a paradigm shift…to a kind of selective mercantilism and techno-nationalism," says Research Fellow Alex Capri.
The Biden administration's announcement on the creation of a trade strike force, led by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, signals a more aggressive stance towards China. Research Fellow Stephen Olson noted the review envisions “a high degree of government involvement” in domestic manufacturing and massive subsidization to private companies.“ Although the US has traditionally had an aversion to industrial policy, many of the recommendations contained in the review certainly look a lot like industrial policy,” said Olson.
Beijing's heavy-handed approach on its global tech champions could backfire by stifling an entrepreneurial spirit that has proven vital to the country's rapid economic rise. "The atmosphere hovering over China's tech landscape has grown increasingly toxic," said Research Fellow Alex Capri. The stepping down of Zhang Yiming, the founder of ByteDance, as CEO of the company proves that "fear trumps ambition if the threat of public humiliation or some worse form of punishment awaits those who challenge the system."
US President Joe Biden has expanded a Trump-era ban on American investment in dozens of Chinese firms that Washington believes are linked to China's military. The new order "moves the world a step closer to strategic decoupling in the global financial sector," said Research Fellow Alex Capri. "It underscores the difficulty that American financial firms are going to have in the future, trying to sort out which of their investments have ties back to the Chinese state."
More American buyers are seeking out made-in-Vietnam goods in a bid to diversify their supply chains, as punitive tariffs placed on China by the US created a financial incentive for American buyers to source products from Vietnam which they might have previously sourced from China. However, the tariffs only accelerated a trend that was already underway, says Research Fellow Stephen Olson in this interview with Vietnam Investment Review.
India's size and tech talent base are a draw to US investors but structural economic shortcomings hold back its potential as an alternative to China. Our paper by Research Fellow Alex Capri on India's tech landscape was quoted in this Straits Times analysis on the country's potential to become the world's next technology hub.
Global Trade Virtual Week: From Survival Mode to Sustainability
Hinrich Foundation Senior Research Fellow Stephen Olson presented the key findings of the latest iteration of the biannual Sustainable Trade Index on July 1, during The Economist's Global Trade Virtual Week. Attended by over 4,000 individuals, the event was held from June 28th to July 2nd on the theme of "Prosperity powered by trust: technology, data and supply chain resilience".
Globinar featuring global trade leader Merle Hinrich
Hinrich Foundation Founder Merle Hinrich recently joined the Global Chamber for a dialogue on the evolution of trade in Asia. Watch a replay of the discussion to understand the key driving forces in Asia Pacific trade, and the importance of mutually beneficial trade for a sustainable future.
Advancing sustainable development with FDI: Why policy must be reset
In many countries, foreign direct investment, or FDI, outperforms aid, remittances, and portfolio investments as the largest source of external financing. FDI creates jobs, boosts productivity, and brings management expertise and technology. Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2009, however, annual inflows of FDI have been in decline. Given the increasing needs of developing economies following the Covid-19 pandemic, what can be done to reverse the decline and advance FDI as an engine for sustainable development?
Solving the microchip shortage
The ongoing microchip shortage are likely to extend into next year. The concentration of the semiconductor market in a few economies is the main culprit, but how did we get here? Featuring three speakers, this webinar explains the shortage's wider implications, and why the race to expand microchip production should be seen as the new moonshot.
In this book, Clyde Prestowitz describes the key challenges posed by China and the strategies America and other liberal democracies must adopt to meet them. He argues that these approaches must be more sophisticated and comprehensive than a narrowly targeted trade war, and that they don't have to contravene international or domestic law.
We supported the publication of “China, Trade and Power: Why the West’s Economic Engagement Has Failed” to promote reasoned and informed debate on the trade relationship between the West and China. This book, by Stewart Paterson, describes the unintended consequences of the policy of engagement that led to China's accession to the WTO in 2001, and aims to equip policymakers, business leaders and civil societies to contribute to the design of mutually beneficial approaches for sustainable global trade.
We commissioned Professor Michael J. Enright to lead a major research project identifying the impact of foreign direct investment on China’s economic development. The book provides a powerful analysis of China’s policies toward foreign investment and gives foreign companies tools to demonstrate their contributions to host countries, showing the tremendous power of foreign investment to help transform economies.