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GES 2014: Developing economic and societal progress in sync

September 06, 2014

Opening Ceremony - Dennis SnowerWhat new ways are available to avoid growing imbalances in societies? And how can financial systems be stabilised on an international scale? Since Saturday, 700 experts from all over the world are developing proposals in order to resolve questions of this kind at the Global Economic Symposium (GES) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Participants include Nobel laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz, EU Commissioner Lazlo Andor, Victor Chu, Chairman and CEO of the First Eastern Investment Group, and Prince Turki AlFaisal, Chairman des King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia.

“We’re in a new societal and economic transformation period,” said Prof. Dennis J. Snower, President of the Kiel-based Institute for the World Economy (IfW), in Kuala Lumpur prior to the opening of the symposium. He indicated that increased networking within societies and beyond territorial boundaries was creating both new opportunities and problems. He said that it was necessary to identify the overlaps between economic and societal development and to ensure their mutual progress in harmony. The motto of the GES 2014 reflects this intention: “Restructuring Economies, Transforming Societies”. Until Monday evening the participants will be discussing the relevant issues in over 40 sessions.

The GES focuses on international questions, as is the case each year: How can agricultural production be rendered more climate-compatible? Will money only be exchanged in digital format in future? Is monetary policy intensifying income inequalities? How do free trade agreements generate the best value for the economy and society? And how can climate protection and competitiveness be harmonised to any degree? How can intelligent urban planning succeed in the growing number of mega cities worldwide?

The venue for the symposium alternates each year between the home location of the Kiel-based Institute for the World Economy and some other venue abroad. Experts from political circles, the business community and other organisations will be meeting in an Asian country for the very first time at this year’s GES.

The GES 2014 is organised by the IfW in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW). The host this year is the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), one of Malaysia’s leading universities.


The program is available for download at:


Please note the following additional sources of information available:
Twitter: @The_GES, Hashtag #ges2014