James Johnston

James Johnston, Faculty of Arts


I currently study at the University of British Columbia and plan to graduate in 2019. I am majoring in economics under the Faculty of Arts, fueled by my interest and curiosity of how and why society is the way it is. I am also studying under the UBC Bachelor + Master of Management Dual Degree Programme to add practicality to my skillset, allowing me to apply the theories I have learnt in economics.

Over the summer I had the opportunity to work with Harbour Times, a Hong Kong based publication and forum organiser. As a journalist I undertook research, wrote articles, went to events and conducted interviews regarding Hong Kong’s political, policy and diplomatic scenes. Additionally, I assisted with the organisation of Harbour Times forums where government and stakeholders of a particular industry come together to address local and current issues under Chatham House Rule, to encourage free, effective and civil discussion.

Richard Lancaster, CEO of CLP, addressing the topic of circular economy initiatives in Hong Kong

The experience I have gained has exposed me to the realities of politics, economics and business, further expanding my interest for these areas. I am eager to continue my academic journey at UBC, particularly in my major and masters programmes, where I now have a greater sense of direction. Additionally, I have been taking environmental and science-based elective courses to broaden my perspective and discover my passions so I can work towards a future career that I desire, in relation to economics.

Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC): Think tank: Arcadis and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce tackle and discuss current issues of rising labour costs within the construction industry

Despite being born and raised in Hong Kong, this opportunity has enlightened me to aspects of the city I otherwise would have been oblivious to, particularly in industries such as construction, finance and insurance, as well as the political and diplomatic scenes. I also experienced the Hong Kong work-life, with busy and long commutes and relatively long working hours. Though what I love about working in Hong Kong is the fast pace of activities, the interconnectivity of business, government and the public, and the sheer magnitude of economic activity in such a small area. I do prefer the crisp Vancouver climate, if I must say, yet Hong Kong’s natural beauties in the countryside are phenomenal.

Articles written by James:

Diversity and Transparency: Addressing Hong Kong bond market’s Achilles 

Getting Hong Kong’s construction enginge going: From a labour perspective

Young activists send strong message to Xi, stress UK’s role

La Vita è bella: The Consul General De Riu Job

Businesses take initiative in creating circular economy

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