Trade ties between the SAR, the mainland and Canada have been strengthened with the establishment of a business studies network at Canada's University of British Columbia (UBC). The network was launched by the Faculty of Commerce and Business as the first component of the Centre for Asia Pacific Business, a university representative said. 'It will provide a platform to strengthen and expand our relations with the academic and professional communities in the mainland and Hong Kong,' faculty associate dean Professor Stanley Hamilton said. 'The network will also stimulate the flow of information, ideas, people and business opportunities between Hong Kong, the mainland and Vancouver and draw attention to the long history of the faculty's work in Hong Kong and China and the significance of trading relations.' According to Professor Hamilton, the faculty has been committed to China as evidenced by its 20-year working relationship. The Vancouver-based university established academic links with China in 1980, beginning with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Other activities include academic associations with the University of International Economics and Business in Beijing, the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, and the Tianjin Institute of Foreign Trade, all of which were funded by the United Nations. More than 30 faculty members at the UBC have taught and conducted research in the mainland and UBC receives Chinese scholars each year in return.