Conference Report: The World Economy and the Role of the State in Economic Growth (Beijing, China)
Columbia Global Centers | Beijing, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Center on Global Economic Governance of Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University National Institute for Fiscal Studies, Tsinghua University School of Public Policy & Management, and Columbia University Initiative for Policy Dialogue jointly organized the conference.
The conference convened dozens of Nobel Laureates, high-level academics, key policy makers and business leaders. Merit E. Janow, Dean of Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, QIAN Yingyi, Dean of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management and Columbia alumnus, and Jan Svejnar, Director of Columbia University Center on Global Economic Governance delivered opening remarks.
Session one in the morning was chaired by Jan Svejnar. The initial interventions were delivered by Peter Jungen, Chairman of the Peter Jungen Holding GmbH, Edmund Phelps, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and Director of Columbia University Center on Capitalism and Society, Kathy XU, CEO of the Capital Today China Growth Limited, and ZHANG Tao, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
Session two in the morning was chaired by Dean QIAN Yingyi. BAI Chong-en, Executive Associate Dean of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management and Mansfield Freeman Chair Professor, HUANG Haizhou, Managing Director of the China International Capital Corporation, David Daokui LI, Tsinghua University Mansfield Freeman Chair Professor of Economics, Director of Tsinghua University Center for China in the World Economy, and Dean of the Schwarzman Scholars, LI Zhen, Chairman of the GuoXuan High-Tech, Justin Yifu LIN, Professor and Director at Peking University National School of Development, and ZHU Yongqiang, Executive Chairman of the First Seafront Management made the initial addresses.
The first panel discussion in the afternoon was chaired by Dean Merit E. Janow. Panelists included Vincent Tianquan MO, Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Fang Holdings Ltd., Eric CHANG, Senior Director of Technology & Strategy of the Microsoft China, GAO Hongbing, Vice President of the Alibaba Group and Director of the AliResearch, Ronaldo Lemos, Director at the Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro (ITS Rio), Professor of Law and Innovation at Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), and Visiting Professor at Columbia University, LING Hai, Co-President of the MasterCard Asia Pacific, and Jeongmin SEONG, Senior Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute.
The second panel discussion in the afternoon was chaired by YANG Lan, Chairwoman of the Sun Media Enterprises and Columbia alumna. Panelists included Jacob J. Lew, Former United States Secretary of the Treasury, Martin Wolf, CBE, Chief Economics Commentator of the Financial Times, Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and University Professor at Columbia University, Gérard Roland, E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at University of California at Berkeley, YU Punhoi, Chairman of the Nan Hai Corporation, Lawrence J. LAU, Ralph and Claire Landau Professor of Economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and SUN Zhe, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar in the Faculty of International and Public Affairs and Co-Director of Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs China Initiative.
During the conference, when discussing the economic growth and the current situation of China's economy, Jungen said that considering the taking of angel money and venture capital per-capita, China’s economic performance had been in the forefront of the world and was even better than the EU economy for the first time in the history.
When discussing inequality and economic growth, Professor Stiglitz exclusively told Caixin that the current income inequality issue in China was due to the unbalanced development in urban and rural areas because China is still in its initial stage of development. He said that at the early stage of development, some people in some areas would take certain advantages and become rich first, while the rest can only become rich later on. Professor Stiglitz pointed out that the Chinese government had realized this to be a problem and is seeking solutions.
In the meantime, Professor Phelps stated that maintaining economic vitality will encourage economic development, and innovations will drive Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth. The country that is able to drive TFP will recover faster from the economic crisis.
The conference fostered an effective global dialogue around issues such as innovation and the internet, technological advancement and global economic integration, and the future of global economic relations in a rapidly changing world.