RE Vietnam hosts successful conference

Words by Daniel Lapedus
On 22nd September 2017, Broaden Economics, the first pluralist economics research program in Vietnam , hosted its first annual gathering in Hanoi.  The conference named “Why should we study economics? From Vietnam’s to global problems” brought together senior policy makers, academic economists as well as more than 200 economics students from across Vietnam to discuss the use of economics in many aspects of life. The event is divided into four parts: “Economics in politics and international relations”, “Economics in policy-advising”, “Academic economics”, “Economics education and the young generation: challenges and opportunities”.  The event also introduced RE to the Vietnamese audience for the first time, as well as highlighting the importance of academic freedom and pluralist thinking.

Director and co-founder Hoang Nguyen said, ‘The event went well and was amazingly well-attended. Sessions one and two were most interesting because the speakers were former leaders of government who shared very interesting stories about how Vietnam managed to transition itself from a Soviet style command economy to an open, export-oriented market economy. They also agreed that Vietnam has to implement further political and economic reforms in order to avoid the middle income trap and develop further in the future, something that is not usually publicly discussed in Vietnam. The audience, comprising mostly of young people who are usually considered politically apathetic, were very intrigued and enthused by the frank discussions at the event, something that is sorely lacking in the classrooms.’

Congratulations to Broaden Economics for their brilliant conference!

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