Keynote Speakers
Name: Prof. Matthias Thüre
Title: Professor
Unit: Jinan University, Zhuhai (P.R. China)
Topic: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): Implications for Global Supply Chain Management
Abstract:   China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is one of the world’s largest infrastructure projects, with its potential political and economic impact being widely discussed since its inception in 2013. Yet the phenomenon has received only limited attention in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) literature. In response, we first present the results of a broad systematic review of the literature to assess how China’s BRI is portrayed in the literature. Using this as a backdrop, we then distill the likely impact of the BRI on location decisions and supply chain flows. Finally, in a broader discussion of the SCM literature, we explore the implications of the BRI for future research in four key areas: supply chain configuration, supply chain resilience, sustainable SCM, and cross border SCM. While these areas are not new, the BRI presents a unique context that can be used to enhance theory and understanding in each area. The BRI reduces time distance independent of geographical distance by diverting supply chain flows from established routes to new routes via far less accessible regions. This introduces new risks and sustainability issues that call for multi-criteria decision support systems. Another important issue is the adoption and diffusion of the BRI since this will ultimately determine project success.



Matthias Thürer is Distinguished Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Jinan University, Zhuhai (P.R. China). He holds a Master from the Technical University Berlin (Germany) and a Ph.D. from the University of Coimbra (Portugal). In 2018 Matthias received a Pearl River (PR) scholar award. He maintains a broad research network, regularly visiting Universities such as Lancaster University (UK), the University of Clemson (US), Michigan State University (US), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (US), the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), Hong Kong University (HK), the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan) and the Federal University of São Carlos (Brazil). Simple control for complex shops is one of Matthias’ main research interests. He has published widely on production control systems – in journals such as the International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, European Journal of Operational Research, Production Planning & Control and Production & Operations Management – and is a leading expert on Workload Control, COBACABANA (Control of Balance by Card Based Navigation) and Lean Work Design. He is also an author of the Shingo Research Award winning book Card-based Control Systems for a Lean Work Design: The Fundamentals of Kanban, ConWIP, POLCA and COBACABANA published with Productivity Press. Matthias obtained individual and general funds from institutions such as the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). He executed several company projects and constantly seeks to improve the way Operation Management is taught. Apart from Operations Management, Matthias is interested in social and philosophical issues including system theory, cybernetics, causality and the philosophy of science.