International financial centres (IFCs) are an important subject of widespread interest. To become or to establish an indigenous international financial centre has traditionally had strong appeal for many countries and particularly, in more recent years, for more advanced emerging economies. At the same time, industrial countries with developed IFCs are attempting to protect or strengthen them. This course focuses on why IFCs are located geographically where they are, what institutions and infrastructure have been instrumental to their development, and the economic costs and benefits of being an IFC. Particular reference will be made to Hong Kong and emerging economies such as China in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, China's accession to the World Trade Organisation, and the 2007-08 global financial tsunami.