News and Events

CITBA carries out research to provide the knowledge needed to ensure the development of sustainable international trade and business practices for Asian businesses, government institutions, and industry associations.

As part of these offerings, we are keen to engage with media regarding the types of research and consultancy services that we offer. If you are interested in finding out more about CITBA and our areas of specific expertise please refer to our media contacts list.


CITBA News – December

Happy festive season and best wishes for health, happiness, and continued success in the New Year.


We will be back in 2020, with exciting research activities, research training opportunities, and public and industry engagement activities. So stay tuned.

CITBA News – November

Urban Thinkers Campus
25-27 November 

A large number of community groups from academia, State High Schools, Cairns Regional Council, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Cairns Airport, business leaders, town planners, non-profit organisations, social enterprises, and other members of the public attended the Urban Thinkers Campus event organised by the Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA). The event entitled “Urban Design, Economic Growth, and the Jobs of the Future in the Tropics” was part of the United Nation’s Habitat program and it took place over three days between 25-27 November inclusive.

The event proved to be a catalyst to build consensus between participating constituencies for addressing urban and economic challenges in our city and proposing solutions to future challenges.

The event was the culmination of 9 months planning and preparation by a small army of people within CITBA, with special mention of and thanks to A/Prof Josephine Pryce, Dr Silvia Tavares, Ms Diana Castorina, Ms Trang Nguyen, Ms Jane Njaramba, Ms Dwi Sugiharti, Mr Andrew Dineen, Mr Emmanuel McCarthy, and Ms Suzie Pont for their generous contribution of time and expertise pre-during- and post-event.

Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia would also like to especially highlight the hard work of Dr Taha Chaiechi, the Australian Director of the Centre, for her continues engagement with the local community in the past several months in promoting the UN initiative in order to amplify the urban thinkers’ movement here in the tropics.

Post-event reports and evaluations are in progress and more details will be released and shared with the colleagues in due course.



CITBA News – October

Memorandum of Understanding signed between CITBA@JCU Singapore and CFE@VU
22 October

Based on shared interests and objectives, the Centre of International Trade and Business in Asia at James Cook University, Singapore, (CITBA@JCU) and the Center of Entrepreneurship at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (CFE@VU), the Netherlands, agreed to cooperate as per 22 October 2019.

With the aim of working together on teaching, research and consultancy projects in the area of entrepreneurship (including start-ups, scale-ups and small business development), management, and international trade), Dr Eijdenberg (Senior Lecturer, JCU Singapore – on behalf of CITBA@JCU Singapore) and Prof Masurel (Full Professor, VU – Director of CFE@VU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

Currently, Dr Eijdenberg and Prof Masurel – in collaboration with international colleagues – work together on four research projects about entrepreneurs in the tropical regions. One project is about the influence of environmental pollution and drought on life satisfaction of entrepreneurs within Zambia’s mining sector. Two other projects are about entrepreneurial motivations in Tanzania. Another project concerns the adoption of services and apps on mobiles phones by Sub-Saharan African micro entrepreneurs. All projects are based on primary data, collected the past three years.

Besides ongoing research projects, in the future collaboration will take in the form of exchange of faculty for seminars, teaching subjects (eg Entrepreneurship in International Emerging Economies, delivered in SP52) and workshops.

MOU Signing

The Launch of CITBA Flagship
15 October

We are proud to announce that the first CITBA flagship was launched on 15 October. The flagship around the important topic of “Community Empowerment, Transformative Cities, And Building a Climate-Resilient Economy” was ideated early August 2019, and Expressions of Interest from researchers interested in collaborating on the flagship was sought end of August. Subsequently, a multi-disciplinary team with the necessary and appropriate range of skills and expertise was assembled in early September, and the flagship was formally launched on 15 October. The launch of this flagship marks an important step for CITBA as the flagship team seeks to build a track record around the topic and apply for funding. We wish the team all the success in this significant  journey.

Taha Chaiechi, Flagship Lead

From left to right: Trang Nguyen, Silvia Tavares, Nikki Huddy, Jacob Wood, Taha Chaiechi, Emmanuel McCarthy

From left to right: Silvia Tavares, Nikki Huddy, Emmanuel McCarthy, Taha Chaiechi, Trang Nguyen, Jo Pryce

ON-Prime Innovation Program
11 October

We are delighted that a CITBA team has been successful in securing a place in this competitive program that is supported by the CSIRO. The CITBA team comprises of Dr Taha Chaiechi, A/Prof Jo Pryce, Dr Silvia Tavares, Dr Zsuzsa Banhalmizakar and Ms Diana Castorina (PhD candidate). The ON-Prime Innovation program is designed to empower researchers to attract the resources they need to create impact. It is a hands-on learning program that provides researchers with skills to take their projects and career forward, navigating the changing research landscape.

From left to right: Silvia Tavares, Jo Pryce, Taha Chaiechi, Trang Nguyen, and Diana Castorina

Working hard

From left to right: Trang Nguyen, Jo Pryce, Diana Castorina, and Taha Chaiechi

CITBA News – September

1st Sustainable Tropical Urbanism Symposium- 27 September

On September 27, JCU Singapore hosted the 1st Sustainable Tropical Urbanism Symposium: Tropical cities in a warming world. It was an insightful event that brought together more than 60 academics, researchers, practitioners, and students from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Australia, and the US. Delegates discussed contemporary pressing issues as methods for tropical urban research, how tropical cities respond to the climate in an era of climate change, creation and curation of tropical space and place, and new regulations and policies for the tropical city. After inspiring keynote talks and parallel sessions, the event ended with a workshop on design communication, a walking tour in the vibrant Geylang neighbourhood and a visit to first Singapore’s urban farm, Citizen Farm in Penjara.

From left to right A/P Lisa Law (TUD Lab Director); Keynote speakers Prof Jason Pomeroy (Pomeroy Studio) and A/P Im Sik Cho (NUS); Dr Jacob Wood (CITBA Director); Dr Simona Azzali (CITBA and TUD Lab member)
From left to right A/P Lisa Law (TUD Lab Director); Keynote speakers Prof Jason Pomeroy (Pomeroy Studio) and A/P Im Sik Cho (NUS); Dr Jacob Wood (CITBA Director); Dr Simona Azzali (CITBA and TUD Lab member)

Participates Listen and Sitting during Session

Participants during one of the symposium’ sessions

Prof Pomeroy Speaking with dramatic face

Prof Jason Pomeroy during his keynote speech at the symposium opening

Publication opportunity Springer, Call for Book Chapter Proposal 

The book intends to address ways in which businesses and communities adapt to constrained environments. Constrained environments are unique territories characterised by challenging man-made circumstances, or limited natural resources. These can be places with a small municipal boundary or cities in which policy decisions may have imposing limitations, which can also serve to limit capacity for business expansion and community survival. Click here  (PDF, 60 KB) to see the Call for Chapter.

Publication timeline

* Proposal Submission (max 600 words): 1 Nov 2019
* Notification of Acceptance of Proposals: 15 Nov 2019
* Full Chapter Submission (min 5000 - max 7000 words): 30 April 2020
* Review Results Returned: 30 May 2020
* Revised Chapter Submission: 15 July 2020
* Full Acceptance Notification: 15 Aug 2020
* Final Chapter Submission: 31 August 2020

Editors Simona Azzali, James Cook University Singapore, email:
K. Thirumaran, James Cook University Singapore, email:

CITBA News – August

Impacts of Australian firms’ overseas business activities
7 August 2019

Associate Professor Abhishek Bhati, Campus Dean and Head of Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement for James Cook University in Singapore, elaborates, “In situations where a firm expands operations overseas, it may well be due to its reduced or lost competitiveness in its home market. The reduced or lost competitiveness can lead to employment loss at home if the business significantly scales down or completely closes its operations.”

Report Launch: The Effects of Overseas Business Expansion
“The Effects of Overseas Business Expansion on Firm Performance: Evidence from Australia” report launch in #JCUSingapore provided insight into the impact that overseas business activities can have on business firms.

Prof A Bhati

Associate Professor Abhishek Bhati at the report launch of “The Effects of Overseas Business Expansion on Firm Performance: Evidence from Australia”

This economic discourse is examined in “The Effects of Overseas Business Expansion on Firm Performance: Evidence from Australia,” which saw its report launch on Friday 2 August 2019 at the Singapore campus of James Cook University.

CITBA panel

From left to right: Dr Jacob Wood, Associate Professor Riccardo Welters, Mr Ben Smith, His Excellency Bruce Gosper, Ms Ally Tehan

The report launch also included a panel discussion, moderated by Dr Jacob Wood, Senior Lecturer in Business in the Singapore campus of James Cook University, comprising of the following experts:

His Excellency Bruce Gosper - Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Associate Professor Riccardo Welters - Head, Economics and Marketing, College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University (Australia), Mr Ben Smith - Head of Australia New Zealand Desk, ANZ, Ms Ally Tehan - Co-Founder, Ally’s Basket

Read more about this event here.

Free Public Forum on Climate Change – 8 August

CITBA and the Cairns Institute held another collaborative public forum about “Climate change: risks and responses for the tropical north” on 8 August. We had 7 amazing James Cook University researchers who talked about their research and findings pertinent to climate change in our region. Our Australian Director, Dr Taha Chaiechi, talked about her research connection to a number of Sustainable Development Goals particularly , DSG 8 and SDG 13. In particular she unpacked the intricate relationship between Economic Growth and Climate change and the challenges faced by regulators.

Taha Chaiechi

Taha Chaiechi

Our deepest appreciation for our other speakers for their excellent contributions and dedication to expanding the conversation in climate change discourse:  Dr Nick Osbaldiston,  A/Prof Susan Laurance, Mr Gavin Singleton, A/Prof Felecia Watkin Lui, Prof Jon Nott, and Mrs Katie Chartrand.  Special thanks to our amazing MC Prof Allan Dale.

August news group

From left to right (back row): Katie Chartrand, Stephanie Folpp, Taha Chaiechi, Jon Nott, Felecia Watkin Lui, Nick Osbaldiston, Allan Dale. Front row: Gavin Singleton

Silvia and Taha

Silvia Tavares, Taha Chaiechi

ABC Radio- 15 August

On 15 August, at 3 pm, we tuned into ABC News Radio, Far North Drive, to hear Dr Taha Chaiechi, and Dr Silvia Tavares talk to host Mr Adam Stephen about their research on “the relationship between city temperatures and urban economics”. Adam recalled during North Queensland's record-breaking heatwave late last year, he had walked into a usually busy coffee shop with no customers. Taha reiterated the strong impact of extreme temperature on business activities and sales, she also mentioned that people living in the tropics should be alarmed, as the outcomes will worsen if no changes or preparations are made today. She adds the rural population is declining because of the lack of economic opportunities.

ABC News

Taha Chaiechi, Silvia Tavares, Adam Stephen @ ABC News station, Cairns

ABC News 2

Taha Chaiechi, Silvia Tavares @ ABC News station, Cairns

CITBA News - July

CITBA was delighted to support and contribute to "Inclusive and Sustainable Development" symposium organised by the Cairns Institute James Cook University. Special thanks to Prof Hurriyet Babacan for organising such a vibrant event. Also, thanks to all participants, particularly our keynote speakers Prof Biman Prasad, A/Prof Adrian Kuah, PhD, Prof Allan Dale, Mr Nick Trompf, Prof Stewart Lockie, and Prof Hurriyet Babacan.

CITBA July news

Left to right: A/Prof Riccardo Welters, A/Prof Adrian Kuah, Prof Hurriyet Babacan, Dr Taha Chaiechi, Ms Jane Njaramba, A/Prof Jo Pryce

July news

Keynote speech by A/prof Adrian Kuah about the Circular Economy

Prasad, Chaiechi, Kuah

Left to right: Prof Biman Prasad, Dr Taha Chaiechi, A/Prof Adrian Kuah

CITBA News - June

One of CITBA’s HDR members, Mrs Diana Castorina, organised a Writing Bootcamp for HDR students within the CBLG on Wednesday 5th June through to Friday 7th June. In total there were ten PhD candidates across Townsville and Cairns campuses who attended the bootcamp including our members Mrs Diana Castorina, Ms Trang Nguyen and Mrs Jane Njaramba. The two and half day writing program sponsored by CBLG consisted of writing sessions were broken up by breaks for morning tea, lunches, and afternoon teas. Our Australian Director Dr Taha Chaiechi and Senior CITBA Research Fellow A/Prof Josephine Pryce co-facilitated a workshop session on “The Smart Way to Manage your PhD” which was well received by attendees. Overall, the writing bootcamp received very positive feedback with the request for more events to occur in the near future.

Left to right (front row): Trang Nguyen, Diana Castorina, Jane Njaramba, Taha Chaiechi
Left to right (back row): Josephine Pryce, Graeme Cotter, Chung Thanh Phan, Suzie Pont

Left to right: Trang Nguyen, Graeme Cotter, Suzie Pont, Jane Njaramba

CITBA News - May

We are pleased to inform that you can now watch the CITBA Panel Discussion Event on The Relevance of Chambers in the 21st Century on the official YouTube channel of James Cook University Singapore. Special thanks to our amazing panellists: Mr Bill Tweddell, Chancellor, James Cook University, Mr K Barathan, CEO, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Azrulnizam Shah, Executive Director, Singapore Malay Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Er Dr Michael Teng, Assistant Secretary-General, Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Mr Victor Mills, CEO, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC), Mr John Dick, Partner in Dentons Rodyk’s Energy Practice, AustCham Singapore (Honorary Secretary, past President and Life Member).

1st Sustainable Tropical Urbanism Symposium: Tropical Cities in a Warming World

James Cook University’s Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab (TUDLab) and Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA) welcome contributions to an interdisciplinary symposium on tropical cities. Contributions are invited from academic researchers, practicing planners and architects, public artists, local government officers, students in urban planning and design and anyone interested in understanding tropical cities. Themes include but are not limited to:

  • How tropical cities respond to climate in an era of climate change
  • Creation/curation of tropical space and place
  • Methods for tropical urban research

For more information, please visit the conference homepage:

Organized by: James Cook University Singapore 
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 1st June 2019 
When: 27th to 27th September 2019 
Contact person: Dr Simona Azzali (

Publication opportunity with Academic Press/Elsevier, Call for Book Chapter Proposal

Dr Taha Chaiechi is editing a book with Elsevier titled: “Economic Effects of Natural Disasters”. The book aims to use multidisciplinary thinking to approach the socio-economic effects of natural hazards/disasters. In particular, the aim is to provide a practical guide for applied research in this area. There is no competing title of this nature in the market, and we believe that this book will provide a comprehensive collection of outstanding research to be used by other scholars and practitioners for years to come.

We invite academic researchers and practitioners to write a chapter on any of the listed topics or on a related topic of their choice that fits in with the title of the book. Please view the “call for chapter contribution” here. If you are interested in contributing to this collection, please submit a maximum 2-page chapter proposal by or before 20 June 2019 via email to Dr Taha Chaiechi (

The proposals should contain:

  • Title of chapter, author name/s and their institutional details,
  • Corresponding author’s email address
  • Abstract of maximum 500 words containing a brief summary of the chapter mission, theme and content,
  • 3-5 Keywords,
  • A short bio (maximum of 100 words).

CITBA News - April

CITBA Panel Discussion Event - The Relevance of Chambers in the 21st Century

In a hyper-competitive market, with a wide array of vested interests both domestic and foreign, Singaporean Chambers of Commerce are aggressively vying for members, re-evaluating their value propositions, and creatively evolving to meet future challenges in a market that has seen their traditional services eclipsed by technological disruption.

Left to right: Mr Bill Tweddell, Chancellor, James Cook University, Mr K Barathan, CEO, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Azrulnizam Shah, Executive Director, Singapore Malay Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Er Dr Michael Teng, Assistant Secretary-General, Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Mr Victor Mills, CEO, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC), Mr John Dick, Partner in Dentons Rodyk’s Energy Practice, AustCham Singapore (Honorary Secretary, past President and Life Member)

Left to right: Mr K Barathan, Dr Jacob Wood, Er Dr Michael Teng, Mr Bill Tweddell, Mr Victor Mills, Dr Kendall Wesley, Mr John Dick, Mr Azrulnizam Shah, and Professor Chris Rudd

CITBA News - March

New directorship within CITBA

The CITBA was proud to announce the inclusion of Dr. Taha Chaiechi as a co-director of the centre. This development reflects CITBAs objective of developing stronger research and industry engagement opportunities for its members in Australia. Taha brings a lot of great ideas, capability, and connections with both faculty and industry.

CITBA News - February

CITBA signs MOU with the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI)

JCU Singapore successfully completed the signing of its MOU with the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) at a recent SICCI event held at the Park Royal Hotel. Signed on behalf of the university and CITBA by Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor Associate Professor Abhishek Singh Bhati, the agreement marks another important step forward in the Centre’s efforts to engage more actively with members of the Singaporean business community. Read full article here

CITBA News - January

CITBA signs MOU with the Management and Economic Research Institute (MERI)

CITBA signs MOU with the Management and Economic Research Institute (MERI) Located in Daejeon, South Korea, MERI is a large Government backed research institute with significant research capabilities. It’s Director Prof. Hee-Cheol Moon, believes the partnership with CITBA and JCUS provides a great opportunity to extend its research and collaborative ties in the South East Asian region. The partnership between CITBA and MERI will provide additional research opportunities for JCUS scholars as well as potential access to Korean government grant projects through the Korean National Research Foundation (NRF).

Promotion for Dr. Pengji Wang

The CITBA team would like to congratulate Dr. Pengji Wang on her promotion to Associate Professor of Business. This is a reflection of her hard work and outstanding achievements at JCU Singapore.


CITBA News - December

Prof. Eddy Ng

CITBA is very happy to welcome Prof. Eddy Ng to our team. Eddy is a Visiting Professor of Organisational Behaviour at JCU Singapore. His research focuses on managing diversity for organisational competitiveness, the changing nature of work and organisations, and managing across generations.

CITBA News - September

Dr. Simona Azzali

We are very happy to welcome Dr. Azzali to our team. Dr. Azzali is a planner, designer, and urbanist who is passionately interested in working across traditional disciplinary boundaries to solve urban problems. Her research interests transcend scale and discipline and include all aspects of urbanism and sustainability of tropical cities with a strong emphasis on the impact of socio-cultural factors in shaping the built environment.

CITBA News - August

Publication Update: Thunderbird International Business Review

Kingkaew, S., & Dahms, S. Explaining autonomy variations across value‐chain activities in foreign‐owned subsidiaries. Thunderbird International Business Review.

Dr. Wesley Kendall joins CITBA

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Wesley Kendall to our research team. As an experienced educator and accomplished attorney with a strong background in commercial transactions, criminal and contract law Dr. Kendall has worked in universities in the US, China, Fiji and Vietnam. His experience will be vital as we look to continually develop the centre moving forward.

CITBA welcomes Dr. Caroline Wong

Dr. Wong has published widely in the field of knowledge management by taking a multidisciplinary approach and this field of research extends into knowledge-based cities, smart cities, creative cities, and creative industries with special focus on Singapore. This diverse array of research experience with a particular emphasis on Singapore will enhance our capabilities moving forward.

CITBA News - July

July 2018: Dr. Adam Wang joins CITBA

With a strong interest in social psychology and cognitive psychology we welcome Dr. Wang to the research team. His skills and knowledge in these areas will be important with the development of CITBA moving forward.

July 2018: CITBA welcomes Dr. Jonathan Ramsay

In keeping with the multidisciplinary aspect of CITBA, we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Jonathan Ramsay to the research team. With a background in psychology and research interests spanning the areas of personality psychology, social psychology, and organisational behavior Dr. Ramsay has much to offer the centre.

July 2018: Dr. Desti Kannaiah joins our team

CITBA welcomes Dr. Desti Kannaiah to the research team. Dr. Kannaiah has more than 35 years teaching and research experience and has been published in a range of leading international journals. His skills and depth of knowledge, particularly in the field of Accounting will be a value asset to the centre moving forward.

July 2018: Professor Emmanuel Adegbite joins CITBA

The centre welcomes Professor Adegbite to the research team at JCU SIngapore. As a prodigious researcher his widely cited research on corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and corporate finance, has been published in leading academic journals. We are excited to have him on board.

June/July 2018: Access Asia Magazine

Dr. Jacob Wood recently published an article "The new wave of protectionist trade policy in Asia". A digital copy of the magazine can be found here

May 2018: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

Guo, Ying, Wood, Jacob, Pan, Wei, and Meng, Quingchun (2018) Inventory optimization of airport perishable emergency supplies with replacement strategy facing stochastic occurrence time by CVaR approach. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 31. pp. 170-183.

The article can be found here