Economics add interest to foreign policy school

Dennis Wesselbaum.
Dennis Wesselbaum.
A strong focus on economics has added to the popularity of the University of Otago's latest Foreign Policy School, co-director Dennis Wesselbaum believes.

Dr Wesselbaum, of the Otago economics department, said that entries for the 54th annual school had just closed and the 160-strong attendance was up about 15 on last year.

For the first time since 1999, the school would focus exclusively on economic policy, and there was clearly a strong interest, he said.

The school will open tomorrow evening with a keynote address by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters at the St Margaret's College venue.

The school's programme partly reflected an acknowledgement that economics could play a key role in helping to achieve greater equality of various kinds within an individual society, and more equality between developed and developing countries, he said.

The strong international line-up of speakers includes a second Cabinet minister, Minister of Economic Development and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker.

World Bank Group East Asia and Pacific vice-president Dr Victoria Kwakwa and Economic Growth Centre director at Yale University Prof Mark Rosenzweig were also among the high-profile speakers who would take part in a weekend of discussion on ''Economic Policy in a 21st-Century World: Challenges and Opportunities''.

Since World War 2, the world had generally benefited from playing a ''co-operative game'', including over trade, and countries still faced ''problems that cannot be solved in isolation'', Dr Wesselbaum said.

Despite short-term disruption, he believed the co-operative, multilateral approach was likely to resume.


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