Hong Kong companies must shed their 'make a quick buck' philosophy and invest for the longer term if the SAR is to stay ahead of its competitors, a shipping executive says. Speaking at the launch of a Master of Science in International Shipping and Transport Logistics course at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, IMC group chairman Frank W K Tsao said shipping people also had to become more professional. 'I think Hong Kong has its good points, which Shanghai does not have, but if Hong Kong does not leap forward the [mainland] city will be able to catch up quickly,' he said. He agreed with Swire Group chairman James Hughes-Hallet's call to Hong Kong people to improve their English-language capabilities and to boost links with the mainland. Mr Tsao said Hong Kong had a good legal system and corporatisation was faster than even in Singapore. But it had to change its philosophy and follow the steps of developed nations, linking even more strongly with the international community. The shipping executive said the Polytechnic programme, the first of its kind in the industry, aimed to produce good general managers and managers. 'This course will have a wider perspective, including management, maritime law and finance,' he said. He added that there also would be case studies to help the students, mostly working executives sponsored by their companies, to go back to the industry to solve problems instead of just having academic learning. Asked why he was assisting with the programme, Mr Tsao said: 'I am now 75 years old and have been in shipping for half a century.' Mr Tsao, who has passed his shipping company on to his sons to operate, said during the next few years he felt that he could contribute to the community through education. Professor Kevin Cullinane, head of the Department of Shipping and Transport Logistics, said the master of science programme was designed to meet the needs of both the industry and academics. In designing the programme, there had been close collaboration with the industry to decide on the contents, he said, adding that there were an unusual number of live case studies added to the course. Hong Kong Port and Maritime Board secretary Alex Fong said it would organise a chief executive officers' forum in shipping and logistics, which students could attend. In addition, students will make field trips to the Polytechnic University's mainland outpost where lecturers from the Jiaotung University and Shanghai Maritime University will be invited to give lectures on the mainland's transport logistics. Prof Cullinane said experts would be brought from Britain's Cranfield University, renown as the world leader in logistics, to lecture on air-transport logistics. Of 105 applicants, 38 students have been enrolled for the course, which will take two years and three months to complete. All students will study part-time and will be given flexibility to study at their own pace. Prof Cullinane said generally there would be mixed modes of delivery of learning materials to the students.