Welcoming remarks by Governor György H Matolcsy
Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by hybrid conferences, the next session of this unique event series, the Budapest Eurasia Forum 2023 will be held simultaneously in physical and online format this year again. As the saying goes, “every crisis holds opportunities.” If the pandemic has had any beneficial effects, it has made us more determined than ever to find practical ways to boost global connectivity, which is essential for the development of the Eurasia region despite the challenging circumstances. We are pleased to observe that the Budapest Eurasia Forum is reaching more and more people every year as a consequence of our efforts and adaptability. Due to the continuous development of the Forum, I am confident that this autumn’s event will give attendees a platform to discuss the most recent concerns affecting the future of Eurasia.
Just like how the pandemic provided us with opportunity for progress, we must consider climate change and its repercussions as circumstances opening up numerous new opportunities and pathways. We cannot prevent the changes, but we can affect their outcome through adaptation. This year’s topic of the Forum proceeds from the idea that adaptation itself constitutes the transition process, and one of the most fundamental requirements of adaptation is the search for solutions. It is advantageous to realise early on that we can only succeed in drawing benefits and positives from challenges by working together.
This mindset is reflected in the Forum’s title for 2023, “Transitions for Sustainability,” as the event will seek alternatives for carrying out the transition to sustainable development. This year, our distinguished speakers will focus on the issue of what inescapable adjustments are required to achieve sustainability. The Budapest Eurasia Forum 2023 will explore the ways to make the financial system more reliable and effective, the relationships between geopolitics and technology, and the opportunities of technological singularity. Furthermore, our speakers will assess the circumstances for the key economic sectors’ sustainable growth, the significance of international collaboration in the standardisation of ESG principles, and the state of the labour market and education system in relation to upcoming demands. All of these subjects will undoubtedly be investigated with the core issues of sustainability, digitalisation, and green transition in mind.
Innovative minds may wonder what will happen as a following step after adaptation and transition, in the future. From my perspective, the answer is controlling the direction of development and adjusting its pace to our own. An essential requirement for this, in addition to cooperation, is that the discourse be built on inclusivity and knowledge sharing. According to a Chinese proverb: “If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” Accordingly, the Forum’s main objective is to show new perspectives for professionals and more fully integrate them into global discourse in order to lay the groundwork for a sustainable future. I wish everyone stimulating conversations and sincerely hope that the event will continue to have a positive social impact in addition to influencing official channels.
György H MATOLCSY
PANEL 1. FINANCE: Recipe of sustainable finance
What kind of innovative solutions could ensure the prospect of a more efficient, accessible and less vulnerable financial system? There are plenty of green digital solutions and initiatives that could address challenges of the financial system nowadays. The ongoing energy transition, inflation, economic crises, the digital and green megatrends all call for changes in the financial system, therefore the panel would look for the recipe of a sustainable and stable financial system. The panelists would share their thoughts and experiences how new innovations and technologies can promote sustainability but keep up with the digital transformation as well.
PANEL 2. GEOPOLITICS: Geopolitics in technology
In the past years, the global power competition has had a deep impact on the global technology market, with a special effect on the chip manufacturing and other high-tech sectors. The panel would focus on where Eurasian nations are in this technological transition, what they could do to catch up in the tech-race and how their decisions are affected by their geopolitical objectives? The high-technology is reshaping our future and the business environment, but how high-tech is shaped by geopolitics?
PANEL 3. TECHNOLOGY: On the way to full digitization and technological singularity
Digitalization, which serves as the centre of technological development, can open a new era for humanity. Through its economic implementations and core effects, it can provide new tools for all layers of society, this is especially useful for governments in connection with the creation of the e-government or e-administration. It can be said without dispute that it takes a pioneering role in accelerating the green transition and stabilizing sustainability. However, it is worth examining several factors: what its catalysts and challenges are, what concrete examples of cooperation there are and needed at the international level to develop it. In addition, the panel would explore when the road to the technological singularity can really accelerate, when technology will be able to develop itself and react in real time to social and environmental events without external intervention.
PANEL 4. ECONOMY: Scaling up new economic sectors
This panel will focus on how key economic sectors can step on the path of sustainable growth. There are also several new emerging sectors, mostly technology-enabled industries, that are becoming the driving force of economic growth on national and regional levels as well. During this panel, participants could share their best practises and experiences how private and public actors can nurture these sectors and contribute to a prosperous and profitable transition in the regional economies.
PANEL 5. MULTILATERAL COOPERATION: The role of multilateral institutions in the transition to standardised ESG principles and guidelines
As a consequence of the pandemic, climate change and social inequalities, it is becoming more and more urgent for market players to achieve development in a more sustainable manner. However, the differing ESG principles across companies and regions create a complicated and contradictory environment for corporate actors which thereby hinders their growth. According to experts, multilateral institutions and development banks can play a key role in encouraging a sustainable transition and thus harmonisation of various ESG guidelines and rules through international cooperation.
PANEL 6. EDUCATION: Transition through education: How to design the future of work and education now?
How is technological advancement changing the labour market? What are the most important skills needed for the future? The panel would explore how these skills can be nurtured within and outside the higher education system. The panelists would discuss the characteristics of the education and training systems that can provide the in-demand skills and knowledge for the future of work and how educational institutions and employers can be improved to achieve this.
TOP QUOTES FROM THE BUDAPEST EURASIA FORUM 2022
We need, all of us, the whole global business community, the secret recipe for sustainable growth via cooperation.
We think about culture as a mindset, as a way of life, as a way of thinking, that nurtures and gives bases for the economy.
Minister for Culture and Innovation, Hungary
For a much more peaceful and ideal world, the neccesity is cooperation, as the Governor (MNB) and the Forum stands for.
Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Greater importance attached to ESG considerations have led to new standards and expectations – new global rules of the game – about how countries can participate in international trade.
Governor, Bank of Thailand
More investors recognize that with sustainable investment, they could help build a better future without compromising better returns.
Chairwoman, Silk Road Fund Co., Ltd.
Stock exchanges, capital markets and the wider financial sector are here to serve the real economy and to serve the real people.
CEO, Budapest Stock Exchange
Financial centers arise as national clusters and capital talent and experties in supportung economic activity, trade and demand.
Senior Representative for Europe and North America, DIFC
As a regulator we need to find where our mindset is about new technologies.
Chief Executive Officer, Astana Financial Services Authority
Export of culture is an important fact in becoming a successful financial center.
Yang Su Park
Director of Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea
To summarize the sources of China's success story: financial institutions and entrepreneurs need to meet the demand of population, need to try new things, and the regulators need to accomodate innovative behaviour.
Executive Dean and Professor, Fanhai International School of Finance, Fudan University
We are living in the sustainable connectivity of the complex Eurasian age.
President of the Board of Trustees, PADME
Each crisis creates new opportunities. Eurasia should use these opportunities in economics and trade.
Mehmet H. BILGIN
Chair, Euro-Asia Forum in, Politics, Economics and Business
The advantage of megacities and open talent policies ... is that you can create a real hub for service development.
Founder and Executive Director, Asian Trade Centre
Eurasia collectively will be an important factor to facilitate the fresh, new trend of regionalization in the future.
Dean, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University
China thinks ahead, and the key is functional digitalization and data.
Henry T. TILLMAN
Founder, Grisons Peak Services, China Investment Research
The only sustainable solution is that consumers have to be ready to pay for the extra cost.
Board Director of Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future, Professor Emeritus at Incheon National University
In my understanding, free market, competition is the best incentive to innovation.
Head of Center for Technology Futures, School of Economics, Mathias Corvinus Collegium
In the short run, I believe clean water and clean energy will still be the top priority. In the long run, smart, sustainable, green construction materials, as well as the use of AI, use of digitalisation, automation for construction will revolutionise the construction industry and the economy and the whole market related to construction.
Professor & Chair, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
We're looking for a new way of life, and also we're looking for a new way of modernisation by the best balance between economic growth, social development and environment rendering.
Executive Dean, Belt and Road School (BRS), Beijing Normal University
Innovation has been very much about doing more with less. Now we have to learn to do better with less, which is very different from the innovation equation we had before.
President, Smart City Observatory
I think also from Korean perspective, I think we are too much into technologies, I think we need to get out of the technology, and think about some like a big picture.
Professor, Graduate School of International Studies & College of International Studies, Korea University
What we should be having right now, is a true multilateral cooperation across major regions.
Jeffrey D. SACHS
Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
The Belt and Road concept is a historical one (…) and it is about collaboration, about bringing investment into areas which still reqiure development.
Deputy Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
We need to do business development through a full knowledge and understanding of the environment we are operating in and what consumers really want.
CEO, The European House – Ambrosetti (Middle East & Central Asia)
The new generation of customers want to see that when they buy a product or use a service they are contributing to make the world a better place.
Director, IMD World Competitiveness Center
China has to change the model of growth engine by building an economy that is more technology savvy, knowledge-intensive, greener and high value-added.
Head of China Research, Institute of International Finance
I propose a concept of G3 which is China, the EU and US really working together.
Founder and President, Center for China and Globalization
Increasing interest rates are a short-term burden on the economic actors, but they have to take this burden to keep the stability on the longer horizon.
Executive Director, MNB
Regional integration can be enhanced by financial integration, through development of the regional value chains, technology, and digital connectivity, and through environmental cooperation.
Former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Former Care Taker Finance Minister of Pakistan
We need a just and sustainable transition, and it is the just part that we should not forget. We need to make sure that it is inclusive.
Executive Director, EU-ASEAN Business Council
The transition of industries is in many regards an opportunity of actually investing in our future.
Associate Professor, Practice in Economics, Fudan University
For the future development of Eurasia, we need a secure and stable environment where diversity can be recognized, international rules are respected, and where barriers of trade and investment are reduced.
Chief Executive Officer, Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility
As long as we try to pursue stability and prosperity like this forum is doing, I tend to believe we have a strong chance of betting on small-scale multilateralism among like-minded people and like-minded countries.
President, Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies
I see universities as talent generators, we produce the talents for the economy.
Eng Chye Tan
President, National University of Singapore
I think the most important thing about education is that we want to make sure every student can develop a critical thinking, so they could be innovative enough to progress.
Deputy Director, Global Partnerships Office, Fudan University
The one thing we know about the future is that we know nothing about the future. So I think it is safe to say, resilience is going to be a really big challenge for all of us.
Séamus Ó Tuama
Chair, ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning
We are emphasizing the innovation of knowledge, technology and economy, but I would emphasize one more thing: innovation of the way of thinking.
Jung Cheol Shin
Professor of Higher Education, Seoul National University