IF the winners of this year's Business Awards were to list wisdom, sincerity, humanity, courage and strictness as the five most important qualities, it's highly likely they have been reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War . These are the essential attributes of a good commander, according to the classic which has become a management tool around the world. Few, however, know the work as well as Dr Wee Chow Hou. This Singapore management expert is likely to share his extensive knowledge of Sun Tzu's strategies when he gives the keynote speech at this year's Hong Kong Business Awards presentation dinner, to be held at the Marriott Hotel on December 8. Dr Wee is the dean of business administration and director of postgraduate management studies at the National University of Singapore. Dr Wee is also in high demand as a conference speaker. He has conducted executive training for more than 90 major global corporations. His clients include Singapore Airlines, Indonesia's Lippobank, DHL International, Standard Chartered Bank, Finland's MeCrastor Corp and Japan Airlines. Dr Wee has visited Hong Kong many times and describes the territory as 'an island of opportunities for those who dare to dream and venture'. Dr Wee also lectures regularly on applying The Art of War to strategic management and thinking, a subject on which he has written numerous articles. He is also the senior author of Sun Tzu: War & Management published by Addison-Wesley in July 1991. It is from this subject that Dr Wee draws his advice to the territory's businessmen. He says he likes to quote the seven basic principles that form the central theme of Sun Tzu's writing. He calls them the art of strategic management. They are: Begin everything with detailed planning, use market intelligence for all planning, choose battlegrounds carefully, be swift in executing plans, be adaptive in manoeuvring, create strategic advantages, and be pro-active and offensive in open competition. Of course, Hong Kong's businessmen probably do not need much advice on being offensive in open competition and Dr Wee admits to having a strong admiration for the territory's business community and businessmen. 'Their dynamism, opportunistic nature, networking skills, risk-taking capabilities, decisiveness and flexible approaches are all attributes that are worth learning,' he says. As to why Hong Kong has so many successful entrepreneurs, Dr Wee believes that as products of their environment, entrepreneurs have naturally emerged from the territory. He said the lack of a national identity and the inadequate social security and welfare system had created a strong sense of fending for oneself among the people of Hong Kong. In short, no one owes the people of the territory a living. 'This has probably created a strong fighting spirit, a willingness to take risks and a determination to rise above others in order to survive and move ahead in society - essential qualities in the emergence of entrepreneurship.' Dr Wee has written for numerous international and Singapore-based publications. Between 1985 and 1990, he was editor of the Singapore Marketing Review. He is a member of the editorial boards of Advances in International Marketing (in the United States), the Asia Pacific Journal of Management (Singapore) and the Journal of Strategic Marketing (Britain). He is also an associate editor of The International Executive (US) and a consulting editor for the Asia-Pacific series of Addison-Wesley. His business interests include directorships of the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore, Singapore Communication Investments and Apollo Enterprises. He also serves on various advisory bodies, including the board of trustees of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.