Governor György Matolcsy
“Learning without thinking is a useless effort. Thinking without learning is dangerous.” These are the wise words of Confucius which we quoted during the closing remarks of the Budapest Eurasia Forum last year. And now, we are here again to learn and think – we are just about to host the next session of this unique event series, the Budapest Eurasia Forum 2022. Over the past months, the world has witnessed significant changes in the course of the pandemic again, and an inevitable shift to “living with” the COVID-19 has been taking place. The Forum also tries to keep pace with these developments as we strive to hold a hybrid event this autumn and bring back at least some of the personal exchanges to discuss the future of Eurasia together.
Although medical science, resilient healthcare systems and good governance might allow us to return to “normal life”, this will obviously never be the same as it was before 2020. The community of the Budapest Eurasia Forum is committed to finding new opportunities and solutions in this “new normal”, and this is again reflected in our core topics chosen for 2022: sustainability and competitiveness. The Forum is titled “Sustainable Growth and Cooperation”, and it poses the question: “How to Win the 21st Century?”. So, this year, our distinguished speakers will revolve around two key economic concepts which, although widely discussed, still need deeper understanding and fresh interpretations.
Why could not we extend our thinking about sustainability and competitiveness to include cooperation as a key ingredient? This sounds quite justified if we acknowledge that success depends as much on connectivity as on a country’s own features and capabilities. The Budapest Eurasia Forum 2022 will uncover many aspects of connectivity and linkages: we will discuss the possibility to create new financial hubs and enhance their networks, the elements of successful export and foreign investment strategies, as well as the role of megaregional integrations. Moreover, our speakers will take stock of the latest developments in supply chains and a special field of accumulating human capital: people-to-people exchanges. All these topics will obviously be examined against the background of digitalization, sustainability and circular economy as core concepts of our age.
Just a quick look at different economic and social policies is enough to ascertain that the agenda of the 2022 Forum resonates well with the initiatives of many Eurasian countries. Thus, I firmly believe that our event will contribute to forging new international partnerships and advancing existing ones. I wish you all a thoughtful discussion and please remember the Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”.
György H MATOLCSY