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Welcoming remarks by Governor György H Matolcsy

This year the Budapest Eurasia Forum will return for celebrating not only the fifth edition of this unique event series, but the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank, the central bank of Hungary. The world has changed significantly since Sándor Popovics, the first governor of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank took office in 1924 and we, central bankers did our best to keep up with the change. However, while our responsibilities and mandates have been augmented, our fundamental objective has not changed and hundred years past the Magyar Nemzeti Bank still stands to serve the betterment of our nation.

The events of recent years starting from climate change, financial crises, a global pandemic and increasing geopolitical tensions taught us that the most pressing issues of our times are intrinsically global and can only be solved by “joint thinking” and international cooperation. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank as one of the leading proponents of enhancing Eurasian cooperation, actively promotes international conversation and the sharing of best practices in relation to the constantly expanding mandate and role of central banks. As part of this effort, the Budapest Eurasia event series were born in 2019 and we are pleased to observe that it is reaching more and more people every year as a consequence of our efforts and adaptability.

The title of this year’s Forum “Keywords of success: talent, knowledge, technology and capital” reflects well on the changes which have occurred in our economies in the past hundred years, while also shows the path to the future. A century ago, capital was considered one of the most, if not the most important driver of economic growth. While still a major factor in our technologically advanced global society, talent and knowledge are taking the lead as the most important factors of economic success. Count István Széchenyi, one of the greatest statesman and reformer in Hungarian history has already recognized it in the 19th century as he wrote in 1830: the strength of a nation lies in the multitude of educated people. Indeed, talent is getting more and more important, and I am proud to say, Hungary has proven to be at the forefront of this trend. In 2023 we could celebrate two new Hungarian Nobel laureates, Katalin Karikó and Ferenc Krausz, whose achievements further showcased that Hungarian talent and knowledge are well connected to innovations.

Today, the most successful countries are those, who can build an advantageous mix of knowledge, technology and capital driven by talent, for which a supportive education system is a must. As Professor Eng Chye Tan, president of the National University of Singapore said at the Eurasia Forum in 2022: I see universities as talent generators, we produce the talents for the economy.

This year, our distinguished speakers will focus on the issue of what inescapable adjustments are required to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity in a talent based, technologically advanced global society. The Budapest Eurasia Forum 2024 will explore the ways to make the interconnected global financial system more reliable and effective, the changing global world order, the future of geopolitics, and the impact of technological breakthroughs. Furthermore, our speakers will assess the necessary reforms of multilateral organisations, the importance of well-being and prosperity in evaluating economic success, and the role of cooperation between the academic and entrepreneurial worlds in cultivating talents for the future. All of these subjects will undoubtedly be investigated with the core issues of sustainability, prosperity, digitalisation, and green transition in mind.

Innovative minds may wonder what will happen in the next hundred years. From my perspective, the answer lies with the global cooperation and the talents we build today. An essential requirement for this 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 reach professionals all around the world and integrate them into global discourse in order to lay the groundwork for a sustainable and prosperous 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.





PANEL 1. FINANCE: The financial system of the tomorrow – geopolitics, digitalization and cooperation in the 21st century


The global financial system is in the midst of vast/deep transformation. Cashless transactions are taking the center stage, new, unprecedented players are entering the market, central banks are taking up novel roles, while the financial system is becoming increasingly interconnected through the linkages of instant payment systems and CBDC schemes. With financial technology surging, sustainable efforts increasing and geopolitics getting heated people cannot help but wonder what lies ahead for the global financial system. The panel will discuss what form financial services and the financial system can take in the future, and what we can do to build a financial system for the future.


PANEL 2. GEOPOLITICS: The future of geopolitics, the geopolitics of the future


The world is undergoing radical changes, with economic and political power transitions. The newly emerging power hubs reshape the global order, and parallelly, with the technical achievements of Industrial Revolution 5.0 the nature of conflicts is transitioning towards sphere of influences, resources and supplies. Communication is key in boosting productivity and problem-solving, while it contributes to our future through logical decision making. How the dialogue of G2 could de-escalate or even prevent these conflicts while supporting the transition to sustainability? Are there other peace mediation options? The Geopolitics panel discussion aims to analyse the most definitive factors of the future through the lenses of geopolitics.


PANEL 3. TECHNOLOGY: What can fuel the future? A navigation to the next decades


How can we, as ecosystems, better encourage the translation of deeptech solutions into impactful outcomes? Many of the pressing challenges we face today, from climate change to competitiveness and aging populations, mainly require deeptech and also the new technological tools (such as AI, the metaverse, and new energy sources) to find solutions. In terms of adaptation and implementation, the fuel of the future is one of the most crucial questions that we face today. Will there be a new technological breakthrough that can have the same impact as the internet, digitalization, or metaverse, and if yes, what could it be, and could we implement it in the short run?


PANEL 4. ECONOMY: Sustainable prosperity: Unveiling the pillars of economic success


The panel reconsiders economic success by focusing on sustainable growth over traditional GDP metrics. Experts will discuss crafting an effective economic policy mix, identifying the foundational elements for a thriving economic strategy, emphasizing well-being and prosperity as crucial indicators. The panel explores the integration of knowledge-based economies for sustainability and how knowledge became an essential tool for fostering sustainable economic growth. The panel addresses reforming capitalism for a more sustainable redistribution of goods, challenging traditional growth paradigms for a new economic future.


PANEL 5. MULTILATERAL COOPERATION: Adapting to Change: The Next Chapter of Multilateralism in an Ever-Changing World


The panel aims to dissect the multifaceted dimensions of challenges facing global governance and the imperative for renewal in the face of a new world order. It will discuss strategies in enhancing the adaptability of multilateral frameworks to effectively address evolving geopolitical, economic, climate and technological changes. Experts will unpack the crises faced by international organisations, delve into the complexities of shifting power dynamics, the inclusion imperative, will make assessments on sustainable global governance and by doing so, will illuminate pathways in shaping the future of a resilient multilateral landscape.


PANEL 6. EDUCATION: The Talent Imperative: Bridging Knowledge, Technology and Entrepreneurship


The panel uniquely brings together luminaries from leading Eurasian universities, startup incubators, and innovation hubs, showcasing their exemplary practices in nurturing and developing talent for a technology-centric world. How are these institutions dedicating themselves to enhancing competitiveness and fostering innovation? The panel would explore the world of university startup projects and innovation hubs, understanding their pivotal role in talent development and discover how academic and entrepreneurial worlds intertwine to cultivate the next generation of leaders and innovators. 


Coming soon



Knowledge is the single, most important resource, it is a base for a win-win-win-win new world order. Mutual respect, appreciation of knowledge and the essence of knowledge will be instrumental to the final shape of the new world order. 

Györgyi Matolcsy
Governor, MNB

I believe that our geopolitical conditions are suitable for us to become a gateway of Asia in Europe.

Mihály Varga
Minister of Finance, Hungary

Peace and development are the worlds' two permanent objectives. We all know that without peace there will be no development, without development peace will not last long.

Hongbo Wu
Special Representative of the Chinese Government on European Affairs

Achieving sustainable development requires strengthening of investment cooperation on science, technology and innovation.

Xuejun Cai
President (CEO), Silk Road Fund

My basic recommendation is multipularity, mutual respect, keeping lines of communication open, and understanding that an interconnected world is a better world for everybody.

Jeffrey Sachs
Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University

For the sustainability and the net zero tagets to be achieved we need newer/more talent. We need more people with more passion to come out and build something and then we need an environment.

Nameer Khan
Chairman, MENA Fintech Association

There is a convergence of skills, network, capability happening between the various geographies.

Shadab Taiyabi
President, Singapore FinTech Association

It has to make economic sense for the change to be truly sustainable.

Kamran Khan
Head of ESG for Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank

Precisely, we need all the major players working together, and countries like Hungary […] can really connect everybody.

Wang Huiyao
Founder and President, Center for China and Globalization (CCG)

The new technological innovations are coming from cooperation and competition, but there is gonna be no winners coming from fragmentation.

Cyn-Young Park
Director for Regional Cooperation and Integration Department, Asian Development Bank

We are hearing about cooperation, about using available technology and about sharing our experience to try to make the world a better one. So make the world a better one!

Bernard Yeung
Emeritus President, Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research

Great power competition, derisking and decoupling are totally against the interests of our country [Hungary], the [Central and Eastern European] region, and […] even Europe.

Márton Schőberl
Chief Executive Officer, Hungarian Institute of International Affairs

We need to trust more younger people, we need to involve more women in our decision making and third and most important […], we need to replace fears with hopes. If we don't belive in our futureit's not going to be the one we like.

Bruno Lanvin
President, Smart City Observatory

We overuse the word teaching when we are talking about education, it's not about teaching it's about learning.

Sir John O'Reilly
President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology

Countries that have been successful, have not been successful because they did one single thing in one policy area that's so different from everyone else, but they were able to coherently develop strategies that combine different types of policy instruments in an effective way.

Christian Ketels
Principal Associate, Harvard Business School

Sustainability can be the force, the big push that pushes us toward a higher-level equilibrium.

Chong-En Bai Dean
School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University

A fairly balanced and opened and frank dialogue of competition and collaboration […] is a very vise way to meet the challenges and […] unlock the potential of the opportunities that we have together.

Lorenzo Tavazzi
Partner and Responsible for the International Department, The European House Ambrosetti

We are not just talking abstract concepts anymore, but actual results we need on the ground […] as ESG gets targeted around real-world impacts then, we have the chance to make real difference in this world.

Benjamin Cashore
Professor, Director, Institute of Environment and Sustainability, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

We have to change the mindset on the fight against climate change from burden-sharing to opportunity-sharing.

Raekwon Chung
Board Director, Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future

In the future everyone can be the transmitter and receiver of the knowledge.

Renhe Zhang
Vice President, Fudan University

There will be a need for continuous upskilling and reskilling in order for humans to be able to interact and leverage technology and to advance technology in a right way.

Ayham Fayyoumi
Education & Skills Director, PwC Middle East, Education & Skills Practice

The 4 C's - creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking - have been talked about a lot as the future competencies that need to be focused more, but in the same time in order to talk about sustainable future in the term of peace and prosperity obviously we need additional C's that I personally believe are compassion and commitment.

Paul Kim
Chief Technology Officer & Associate Dean, Stanford Graduate School of Education

AI should be used extensively for the benefit of the world and for the benefit of our ecosystem.

Deepak Ohri
Founder & CEO, lebua Hotels and Resorts

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