New Dual Vocational Education Alliance

On 21 October 2017, organisations and enterprises of vocational education formally established a “Sino-German Alliance on Dual Vocational Education” in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province. Different from already existing bilateral VET associations, the new alliance will, according to its Chinese name, focus on the cooperation between enterprises and schools, and thus focus on truly “dual” vocational education.

The alliance was founded at the “International Summit for Vocational Education”, which was part of Education Plus 2017, an exhibition organized by Messe Stuttgart Nanjing Ltd. During the constituting session, founding members adopted by-laws and unanimously elected their chairman, Simon Zhao. He is CEO of the National Center for Open  & Distance Education in Beijing.

Simon Zhao pointed out the significance of founding this alliance at this time, as China formulates new goals for its economic development. “At present, speeding up the development of modern vocational education is a major strategic plan that the country has made. The plan demands to shift gears in economic growth, and requires structural adjustments and the transformation of old into new kinetic energy. It is also an inevitable requirement of China to achieve the goal of becoming an innovation-oriented country and to strengthen its human resources.”

Linking the German “Industry 4.0” approach to the “Made in China 2025” objectives, he further explained the connotation of internationalization in vocational education and said, “We should strive to explore the road of international cooperation in running schools, focus on the needs of regional economic and social development, regard international standards, employ international teachers, apply international management, and so develop a highly competitive, highly skilled workforce.”

Mark Ma, Vice General Manager of Open Education, referred to a 2016 study which estimated the vocational education market volume of China at 600 billion RMB (about 78 billion Euro) and further growing.  “In this market, the new alliance aims at developing the cooperation of enterprises and schools in vocational education, supporting the implementation of the Sino-German vocational education strategy, and establishing a new and sustainable type of cooperation.”

The new alliance is a branch organisation of the “China External Cooperative Alliance of Vocational  Education” in Beijing.

Objectives

The alliance aims to

  • Establish a benchmark of vocational education in China by localizing German curricula into the Chinese system.
  • Explore methods of developing vocational talents that are highly demanded by industry.
  • Research German philosophy of skills transfer in vocational education.
  • Apply the German quality assurance mechanism in China.
  • Set up a Qualification Assessment Center based on German qualification standards.
  • Train teachers by working closely with member enterprises and schools.
  • Develop a significant number of senior managers to apply German learning techniques in Chinese colleges.
  • Reduce the gap between vocational college graduates and industry needs.
  • Provide German employers in China with qualified workers.

For more details on the assocation, contact liw@mail.open.com.cn.

For more details on the exhibition Education Plus, see our related article.

Image source: National Center for Open and Distance Education (OPEN)

Jiangsu ranks second in GDP among Chinese provinces and takes position 2×2 on the G8x8 chess board. In 2015, the province produced 7,011.6 billion RMB worth of goods and services, contributing 9.7 percent to the total GDP of China. Depending on the exchange rate, this was almost as much as the GDP of Australia.

 

Adventure in Toscana

Toscana Promozione Turistica is a regional government agency responsible for promoting tourism. ATTA is the global leader in responsible adventure tourism development. The two agencies now established a two-year agreement to help Toscana enhance its tourism brand. They want to help trade and consumers to discover a deeper, adventurous side of the region.

One activity of collaboration in 2017 is to introduce “AdventureWeek-Tuscany” in September 2017. AdventureWeek is a specialized trade program designed to bring “A-list” international outbound tour operators, agents and travel journalists to Toscana. They will participate in an intensive familiarization journey to experience cultural and nature-based adventures.

Additionally, marketplace activities will be held in the region to connect visiting buyers, agents and journalists with local suppliers. Combining activities such as paragliding, road and mountain biking, white water sports, scuba and climbing with a rich array of cultural experiences make for powerful offerings for adventure tourism in Toscana.

Alberto Peruzzini, head of Toscana Promozione Turistica, explained that Toscana is the first Italian region to become an active member of ATTA. Also the first to develop such an initiative with the global adventure tourism trade. He said, “This is a strategic choice of ours. We will be involved with leaders of the sector of tourism most focused on responsible growth. In the field of Adventure tourism, we are not well known yet. But we have considerable room for growth, especially in rural communities throughout Toscana. We’ll work together for just the right positioning on the international stage”.

“At ATTA, our interests are in supporting communities worldwide to deliver travel experiences that protect natural and cultural capital and create shared economic value” said Chris Doyle, ATTA Executive Director-Europe. “For Tuscany, they have the chance to focus visitor attention on its exceptional adventure experiences. They will also help rural communities to realize the benefits of one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism”.

In terms of GDP, Toscana ranks 6th among Italian regions, and takes field 8×6 on the G8x8 chess board. With 110.4 billion € of goods and services produced in 2015, the region contributed 6.7 percent to the national GDP of Italy.

 

India Economic Freedom Index of 2017

The Public Affairs Centre is a non-profit NGO think tank of India. For the second year, they have now released their ranking of States of India in the Public Affairs Index on Governance. One of eleven themes they compared is economic freedom, which deals with the efforts made by each state to enhance economic growth. They took the number of filed industrial entrepreneurs memoranda, the World Bank ease of doing business index, and the value of MSMEs assets into account. As a result, the following eight states ranked on top:

  1. Gujarat
  2. Telangana
  3. Maharashtra
  4. Andhra Pradesh
  5. Rajasthan
  6. Madhya Pradesh
  7. Uttar Pradesh
  8. Tamil Nadu

Info and image source: Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore.

Six of these eight states are also members of the GDP based G8x8. Only Karnataka and Kerala, ranking 4th and 8th in GDP, are listed much lower in the Economic Freedom Index: 10th and 16th.

CNBC Ranking of USA States 2017

CNBC have been publishing their economic climate ranking of all 50 states of the USA for eleven years. Now they issued their new ranking for 2017. Workforce and infrastructure are at the top of the list among 10 major categories and 66 metrics used in crowning the Top State for Business 2017. Key messages this year: (1) The skills gap across the labor market is big and getting bigger. (2) As President Trump talks up a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, states are talking more about the strength of their roads, rails, ports and utilities.

Check out the 2017 data table, sortable for all criteria, a chart and maps at CNBC Top States for Business.

Their overall ranking lists the following eight on top:

  • Washington
  • Georgia
  • Minnesota
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • Colorado
  • Virginia
  • Utah

Interesting enough: only one of their top eight business climate states is also a top eight GDP state, and thus listed among our G8x8. Try to find out which one it is!

Info and image source: CNBC

Texas Tops US Exports

Texas has been the top exporting state in the USA for 14 consecutive years. With over $251 billion in exports for 2015, this state continues to be the USA leader in international trade. It combines the following advantages:

  • a strategic location
  • the largest US rail and road infrastructure
  • the most US ports of entry
  • a multilingual workforce twice the national average
  • a vibrant international banking center
  • a diplomatic hub with a Consular Corps representing some 90 nations
  • and a concentration of corporate and financial resources

Many international firms base facilities such as warehousing, distribution, and manufacturing here to take advantage of excellent access to global markets.

From Texas, small, medium, and large businesses alike have found great success in doing business globally. Far from being the exclusive domain of large corporations, export trade here is driven by its most innovate, nimble, and oftentimes small firms. In fact, more than 90 percent of exporters are small businesses – and their numbers continue to grow. With its extensive global ties, Texas has a natural advantage in exporting knowledge-intensive services. It has become a major global exporter of high value-added services, including

  • accounting
  • communications
  • consulting
  • engineering
  • financial services
  • legal services
  • medical services
  • transportation services

With the slogan “Go Big in Texas”, the Department of Business Assistance (DBA) serves businesses and communities. It works to strengthen their competitiveness by promoting international trade, foreign direct investment, business retention and expansion. It also provides small business advocacy and entrepreneurial support. See their website at https://businessintexas.com/. For an overview of Texas trade and foreign direct investment, see especially this 2016 Report.

Image source: Texas Department of Business Assistance.

In terms of GDP, Texas ranks 2nd in the USA after California, contributing 8.8 percent to the national GDP of the United States. The “Lone Star State” occupies the 1×2 field of the G8x8 chess board. 2016 GDP stood at $1,616.8 billion, which was more than the national GDP of Canada or Russia.

 

G8x8 from 2008 to 2017

One major change in composition of the G8x8 from 2008 to 2017 is the new appearance of India↑ to country rank 7, and the fall of Russia↓ from rank 8 out of the chess board. Japan↓ and China↑ switched positions 2 and 3, and the UK↑ surpassed France↓ for rank 5 with France dropping to rank 6. Italy↓ dropped from rank 7 to 8. Only the USA maintained their position at rank 1, and Germany at rank 4.

There are also some rank changes within countries. Here is a summary of developments for each country:

  1. USA: Texas↑ and New York↓ switched postions 2 and 3; Ohio↑ and New Jersey↓ switched positions 7 and 8.
  2. China: Shandong↓ and Jiangsu↑ switched positions 2 and 3; Hebei↓ dropped from rank 6 to 7; Sichuan↑ newly appeared in the top 8 at rank 6; Hunan↑ appeared at rank 8; Shanghai↓ and Liaoning↓ dropped out of the top eight.
  3. Japan: Osaka↑ rose from rank 4 to 2; Kanagawa↓ dropped from 2 to 4.
  4. Germany: Berlin↑ and Sachsen↓ switched ranks 7 and 8.
  5. UK: No change within the country.
  6. France: In 2016, names and territories were changed, which make the 2008 and 2017 chess boards incompatible.
  7. India: New on the chess board.
  8. Italy: No change within the country.

In 2008, we also compared GDP growth rates between territories. Number one growth territory was Liaoning province of China with a growth rate of 13.1 percent. The fact that this most promising province of 2008 later fell off the chess board convinced us to discontinue the publication of short-lived growth indicators.

Florida Evacuates Seven Cities

According to the Florida Department of Emergency Management, Governor Rick Scott ordered an estimated 6.3 million Floridians to evacuate in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The governor ordered mandatory evacuations in the cities surrounding the southern half of Lake Okeechobee from Lake Port to Canal Point in Hendry, Palm Beach and Glades counties. He made this decision due to his focus on life safety as the hurricane approached. The seven cities affected by these orders are as follows:

  • South Bay
  • Lake Harbor
  • Pahokee
  • Moore Haven
  • Clewiston
  • Belle Glade
  • Canal Point

The National Hurricane Center re-classified Irma as a category 4 cyclone before it reached the Everglade State. Category 4 is the second highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale and includes maximum sustained winds of 200 to 250 km per hour. Irma had the strength of category 5 twice before. It is the only tropical cyclone on record with sustained winds of 295 km per hour for 37 hours.

Source and more information at http://www.flgov.com/. Image source: ABC News.

Florida ranks 4th in GDP among US states and is thus located on the 1×4 field of the G8x8 chess board. The state’s 2016 GDP amounted to $ 926.8 billion. This was 5.0 percent of the USA total, and more than the national production of countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, or Turkey.

 

Education Plus in Jiangsu

Education Plus is the international summit and exhibition for vocational education. The fair will be held in Jiangsu’s capital Nanjing from 19 to 21 October 2017. Exhibition topics include

  • Information Communication Technology
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Modern Agriculture
  • Modern Service Industry
  • Vocational Education Training Providers
  • School Pavilion

More information at http://en.educationplus.com.cn/

Jiangsu ranks second in GDP among Chinese provinces and takes position 2×2 on the G8x8 chess board. In 2015, the province produced 7,011.6 billion RMB worth of goods and services, contributing 9.7 percent to the total GDP of China. Depending on the exchange rate, this was almost as much as the GDP of Australia.

 

Côte d’Azur Innovation

Since April 2014, the Regional Agency for Innovation and Internationalization of Companies Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (ARII PACA) is the agency in charge of economic development, attractiveness and innovation in that French region.

It provides assistance to facilitate the emergence, acceleration and deployment of structuring projects and  high-potential business growth.

The ARII website aims to enhance the range of services daily developed to meet regional challenges.

ARII
General Manager Mr. Jean-Yves Longere
22 rue Sainte Barbe
CS 30394
13217 Marseille Cedex 02
France

Telephone: +33 4 96 17 07 40
E-Mail: contact@arii-paca.fr

The GDP of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur ranks 6th among French top-level regions, to sit at the 6×6 spot of the global G8x8. In 2014, the GDP was 151.0 billion €, about 7.1 percent of the French total. Comparing the economic power of this French territory with whole countries, it would rank higher than Iraq, but lower than New Zealand.

 

Financial Center Hessen

Frankfurt is the seat of the European Central Bank and the German Bundesbank. It is the location of a major stock exchange in Europe. Frankfurt is not the capital, but the largest city in the state of Hessen, which has distinguished itself as an attractive location for foreign direct investment.

No other German territorial state receives as much foreign investment relative to the number of jobs. Hessen is one of Germany’s and Europe’s most attractive locations for international investors.

The federal state has used Hessen’s central location in Germany to build a transportation infrastructure that is unparalleled in Europe. The Rhine-Main area in particular occupies a top position in Europe for its status as an international hub for air, road and rail traffic.

For more information, try https://english.hessen.de/economy.

Hessen ranks fourth in GDP among the German laender, and is positioned at the 4×4 slot within the G8x8. In 2016, it achieved a GDP of 269.4 billion € and a share of 8.6 percent of the German total. Its GDP was higher than that of Israel and Hong Kong, but slightly lower than that of Egypt.