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October 08, 2009

The Jack Austin Centre for Asia Pacific Business Studies Opens Today

The Jack Austin Centre for Asia Pacific Business Studies opens today at Simon Fraser University’s Segal Graduate School of Business in downtown Vancouver. The centre is a joint venture of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Simon Fraser University.

The goal of the centre is to carry out research, outreach and training activities on business issues that are relevant to Canada’s interests in the Asia Pacific region. The initial focus of the centre will be on corporate governance and Canada-Asia two way investment.

The centre was named to recognize Jack Austin’s exceptional contribution to Canada-Asia relations. Austin has championed stronger relations between Canada and Asia since 1971, when as deputy minister of Energy, Mines and Resources he was part of the first Canadian trade mission to China. He served as president of the Canada China Business Council for seven years and co-chair of the Canada China Legislative Association for five. He was instrumental in establishing the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in 1984 and in creating an endowment for the foundation in 2005. Austin was a member of the Senate of Canada for 32 years, representing British Columbia. He retired in March 2007.

Funding for the centre was raised from Jack Austin’s friends and supporters, and the provincial government. SFU has committed to matching private donations to the endowment.

Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada President and CEO Yuen Pau Woo noted, “Through a lifetime of work, Jack Austin has probably done more than any other Canadian to make Canadian business aware of the opportunities for this country in Asia. It is fitting that the work he pioneered will be continued in an academic centre dedicated to research, outreach, and focus on Canada-Asia business issues.”

SFU President Michael Stevenson added that, “As a major university located in Vancouver, Canada’s gateway to the Pacific, SFU has an important role to play in creating and providing the knowledge that will help Canadian businesses succeed in developing relationships in Asia. I am delighted that this new initiative recognizes Jack Austin’s great contributions to relations between Canada and Asia”

Source: Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada press release, October 8, 2009

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