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China and the West: The Role of the State in Economic Growth


On Thursday, March 21 and Friday, March 22,China and the West: The Role of the State in Economic Growth, a two-day conference jointly hosted by the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA),the Center on Global Economic Governance at Columbia University, the Institute of New Structural Economics (INSE) at Peking University and Columbia Global Center Beijing, was held at the Overseas Exchange Center of Peking University. The conference, set to take place after the 2019 NPC & CPPCC sessions and before the China Development Forum, brought together around 60 policy-makers, scholars and practitioners from home and abroad to address some of the most pressing issues facing China, U.S. and Europe.

Merit E. Janor, Dean and Professor of Professional Practice at International Economic Law & International Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University; Jan Svejnar, Director of Center on Global Economic Governance and James T. Shotwell Professor of Global Political Economy, Columbia SIPA; P.H. Yu, Chairman of the Development Council of Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University and Co-founder of China and the West Dialogue; Justin Yifu Lin, Dean of Institute of New Structural Economics and Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development at Peking University, and Chong-En Bai, Dean of School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, delivered welcome remarks at the opening session. Professor Svejnar and Professor Justin Yifu Lin were later joined by Edmund Phelps, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and Director of Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, and Patricia Mosser, Director of MPA Program in Economic Policy Management and Senior Research Scholar of International and Public Affairs, Columbia SIPA for a lively analysis on macroeconomic overview on China, U.S., and Europe.

Session I focused on the major differences in the economic systems of China, the U.S., the EU and elsewhere. Jacob J. Lew, Former United States Secretary of the Treasury and Visiting Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia SIPA, and Haizhou Huang, Managing Director at China International Capital Corporation, delivered opening brief keynotes, sparkling a discussion among panelists with particular emphasis on market access in terms of trade, foreign investment, services and intellectual property. 

The following session examined industrial policies, frontier innovation, new technologies, and entrepreneurship. Panelists exchanged their insights after two remarkable keynotes delivered by Professor Chong-En Bai and Professor Edmund Phelps.

In the afternoon, policy-makers and scholars came together to discuss the future of adjustment and global governance, in light of the above themes. The conference came to a close with a public session on the future of global economic relations, in which panelists discussed new perspectives for trade and investment and lessons could be learned from China, the EU, the U.S. and beyond.



Now in its fourth year, the conference aims to examine the role of the state in China and the West to determine how the different growth strategies and national policies, including industrial policies, being pursued by these three major economic blocs, are likely to evolve and develop on the world stage.