Economy back in focus for 54th Otago Foreign Policy School

Dennis Wesselbaum (2019)

Dr Dennis Wesselbaum.

Politicians, diplomats, and academics will come together to discuss the challenges of economics in the modern world, at the 54th University of Otago Foreign Policy School (OFPS).

The school will open next Friday night with a keynote address delivered by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Rt. Hon. Winston Peters.

A weekend of robust discussion on the topic Economic Policy in a 21st Century World: Challenges and Opportunities will follow.

An international team of high-profile scholars and policy practitioners has been brought together to explore five inter-related themes:

  • Trade and Global Imbalances
  • Inequality
  • Health
  • Environment and Energy
  • Financial Markets

OFPS Director Dr Dennis Wesselbaum says it is the first time since 1999 that the event will focus exclusively on economic policy.

“Economics has always played an important role in the debate about public policy: from trade agreements, via inequality and economic growth, to protecting the environment. Now, in an increasingly interrelated world, we are confronted by trade-offs between diverse interests and face problems that cannot be solved in isolation,” he says.

In recent years, the world has been through the Global Financial Crisis, a major recession, increased political uncertainty, the return of tariffs undermining the positive global growth effects of trade, and threats to multilateral co-operation.

Dr Wesselbaum says the global economy may be facing an uncertain and testing time, but opportunities exist which can strengthen policy co-operation and foster a new era of sustained global economic growth to benefit all.

“The School aims at providing a framework for thinking about the challenges that our society faces in the 21st century and which policy options are available to policy makers.”

Along with 13 speeches, two panel discussions will be held during the School. Speakers include the Secretary for the Environment, Vicky Robertson; Minister for Trade and Export Growth, the Hon. David Parker; Mark Rosenzweig, of Yale University; Professor Mark Howden, of Australian National University and the and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Dr Karen Eggleston, of Stanford University; Geoff Bascand, Reserve Bank of New Zealand; and Tova O’Brien, of Newshub, who will talk about economic policy and the role of communication.

The OFPS opens next Friday evening (28 June) and runs through to Sunday evening (30 June). The event will be held at St Margaret’s College, 333 Leith St, Dunedin.

A full programme of speakers and times can be found on the Otago Foreign Policy School website.

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