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October 4, 2011 Global Economic Symposium 2011 Begins

The fourth Global Economic Symposium (GES) began with an opening ceremony and reception at the Kiel Hotel Atlantic on Tuesday evening. During the next two days, more than 400 high ranking businesspeople, policymakers, scholars, and civil society representatives from five continents and 30 countries who have registered to attend the GES 2011 will seek to find solutions to urgent global problems under the patronage of José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.

The Global Economic Symposium 2011 is intended to provide new ideas for dealing with global challenges and to work out concrete proposals for strengthening global economic and business control mechanisms, international cooperation, and societal initiatives.

At the opening ceremony, Peter Harry Carstensen, Ministerpräsident of Schleswig-Holstein, called for governments, the business community, and the academic community to cooperate more closely, as this is the only way to find answers to the global challenges of our time. “No one alone can attempt to deal with climate change, resource scarcity, hunger, and poverty. This will require cooperation at the international level,” said Carstensen. “Seven billion people are seven billion good reasons to try to find answers to these challenges,” he continued, “and it is thus good that the participants at the symposium are not satisfied with merely discussing these challenges, but, rather, want to find answers.”

Dennis Snower, president of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, pointed out the difference between global economic policy and global integration: “We live in a time when individual countries cannot easily isolate themselves from the economic problems of other countries. Greece’s debt problem is just one example of this. The global economy is strongly integrated, but world economic policy is fractured, and it is increasingly less able to deal with global economic challenges. We will only be to able resolve this discrepancy if we can successfully strengthen international social cooperation. The GES 2011, under its theme ‘New Forces for Global Governance,’ is intended to help do this and to motivate decision makers in government, business, science and academia, and civil society to engage in a constructive dialogue.”

“We are happy to participate in working out solutions to global problems at the Global Economic Symposium,” said Gunter Thielen, chairman and CEO of the Bertelsmann Foundation. “We hope to come up with ideas and concepts that will network the various actors in globalization more effectively. Fair and sustainable development requires that many heads be involved,” he further said.

Torsten Albig, prime mayor of Kiel, had the following to say. “The fact the Global Economic Symposium is being held in Kiel will be very good for Kiel because the Global Economic Symposium not only poses questions that affect the whole world but also finds answers to these questions. This makes the Global Economic Symposium very different from other international meetings where economic and financial policy topics are only discussed. The Global Economic Symposium will be of great value for Kiel as a business and a university city.”

The fourth Global Economic Symposium (GES) is being jointly hosted by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics (ZBW) – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

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