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PAST CONFERENCES

EFN Asia 2015 Conference

23-24 November 2015, Thimphu, Bhutan

The philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) involves making a pivotal choice to focus on the goal of happiness over that of achieving wealth. This has allowed a country like Bhutan to adopt a balanced approach to development that places as much importance on the economy and environment as it does on culture and governance. The overarching goal is then to create an equal and enabling environment for all individuals to pursue happiness.

EFN Asia held its annual conference in Bhutan from the 23 – 24 November 2015. This provided a unique platform for discussions on economic freedom and happiness while brining together some of the world’s leading experts, advocates, and policy makers on the subject matter. Key challenges were identified for Bhutan and the Asian region in relation to the path to happiness through the promotion of economic freedom, equitable development, and resilience to changing global realities.

The theme of this year’s conference was: Economic Freedom as a Way to Happiness, and brought together over 200 delegates from the region. The conference was  hosted by QED Group, an independent think tank.

 

EFN ASIA 2014 CONFERENCE

6-7 November 2014, Hong Kong

LIBERALISM: PROMOTING GROWTH, REDUCING INEQUALITY

The EFN Asia 2014 Conference approached the question over what should be placed first, reduction of inequality or economic freedom. It examined the debate created by Thomas Piketty’s ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ and the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, putting these current issues in an Asian context and asking if a liberal economy is really to blame for increasing inequality. It also look at ways in which a liberal equality can help to reduce inequality, both national and international.

Keynote speakers included Dr. Parth Shah, President of the Centre for Civil Society (India), John Tsang, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, Markus Löning, Former German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Dr. Razeen Sally, Assoc. Prof of The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy and Emily Lau, Chairperson of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong, among others.

EFN Asia 2013 Conference

21-22 October 2013, Bangkok, Thailand

ASIA, THE MIDDLE INCOME TRAP AND ECONOMIC FREEDOM

The EFN Asia 2013 Conference looked at the term “middle income trap” – the difficulties many developing countries face in creating an advanced high-income economy. Sessions attempted to find the root causes of these problems, determine what constitutes a “middle-income country” and find policies and actions that help resolve them.

Keynote speakers included Abhisit Vejjajiva, former Prime Minister of Thailand, Adinda Tenriangke Muchtar, Program Director of The Indonesian Institute Centre for Public Policy Research, Barun Mitra, Director of the Liberty Institute India, Prof. Bibek Bebroy, professor at the Indian Centre for Policy Research, Dr. Chayodom Sabhasri, Dean of Faculty of Economics at Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Dr. Ken Schooland, Professor of the Hawaii Pacific University and Dr. Hiroshi Yoshida, Institute of Public Sector Accounting Japan, among others.

EFN Asia 2012 Conference

6-8 NOVEMBER 2012, HONG KONG

HOW WELFARE POPULISM DESTROYS PROSPERITY: THE POPULIST CHALLENGE TO ECONOMIC FREEDOM

The EFN Asia 2012 Conference addressed the risks that reckless populism can pose to political and economic freedom. Economically unsustainable policies in both Europe and Asia were examined, and participants were presented with the 2012 Economic Freedom of the World index.

Keynote speakers included Abhisit Vejjajiva, former Prime Minister of Thailand, Dr. Rainer Adam, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia, Dr. Wolf-Dieter Zumpfort, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Fred McMahon, Director of the Centre for Trade and Globalism at the Canadian Fraser Institute and John Tsang, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, among others.

EFN Asia 2011 Conference

10-13 October 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

COMPETITION: ENGINE FOR PROSPERITY

The EFN Asia 2011 Conference discussed the role of governmental competition policy and competition in public service delivery. The benefits of economic competition were laid out, debate over what extent the state should regulate market processes to ensure free and fair competition took place and the Malaysian version of the 2011 Economic Freedom of the World index was launched.

Keynote speakers included Florencio Abad, Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management in the Philippines, Dr. Jürgen Morlok, Head of the Board of Trustees of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Fred McMahon, Director of the Centre for Trade and Globalism at the Fraser Institute and Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Minister of the Department of the Prime Minister’s Office (Malaysia), among others.

EFN Asia 2010 Conference Resolution

7-8 October 2010, Jakarta, Indonesia

MIGRATION AND THE WEALTH OF NATIONS

The EFN Asia 2010 Conference looked at how migration has transformed countries and the global economy. Addressing the impacts of migration on economic growth and quality of life, the conference highlighted three key issues: the macroeconomic effects of migration, measures needed to safeguard migrants and policies required to facilitate migration.

Keynote speakers included Syariefuddin Hasan, Minister for Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (Indonesia), Dr. Rainer Adam of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Ken Schoolland, Professor of the Hawaii Pacific University, Dr. Arianto Patunru of the University of Indonesia Institute for Economic and Social Research, Tom Palmer, Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Braema Mathiaparanam from the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism and Rizal Mallarangeng, Executive Director of the Freedom Institute Indonesia, among others.

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