Monday, December 21, 2009

ESCAP brings Nobel Laureate Stiglitz to Myanmar to advise on economic policy and rural poverty reduction

Press Release
UNESCAP News Services
Date: 3 December 2009
Note to Editor No: N/42/2009

Meeting government ministers at ESCAP development forum on 15 December

Bangkok (UN/ESCAP Information Services) -- Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz will visit Myanmar at the invitation of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to advise on development policies and poverty reduction, especially in the rural area.

Prof. Stiglitz will speak at a round table and development forum organized by ESCAP with Myanmar’s Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development and Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation on 15 December in the capital, Napyitaw. The forum will bring together the two Ministers from Myanmar, U Soe Tha and U Htay Oo, in a dialogue with Prof. Stiglitz and other eminent experts to discuss strategies for poverty reduction in light of Asia’s regional and sub-regional experiences.

The event, Economic Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction: Lessons from the Region and Beyond, is part of a series launched by Noeleen Hezyer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, during her visit to Myanmar last July.

"Prof. Stiglitz will share his ideas on what kind of economic decision making is critical for growth in the rural economy and poverty reduction," says Dr. Heyzer. "I hope that this visit will be able to open up a new space in economic decision making and policy formulations. The focus is on how we reach the poorest people in Myanmar. We hope to bring the best thinking and lessons from the region and beyond."
“Growth that does not benefit all of society is not ultimately sustainable,” Prof. Stiglitz says ahead of his visit. “It’s important that government take policy measures that include all sectors of the population, especially in rural areas.”

As chief economist of the World Bank (1997-2000), Prof. Stiglitz played a key role in the publication “Rethinking the Asian Miracle,” which examined the reasons behind the dramatic growth of eight Asian economies. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001.

The seminar on 15 December will be organized in two segments. The first segment will be devoted to expert discussions on different facets of enhancing the rural economy of Myanmar. The second segment will be a High-level Roundtable on effecting change in Myanmar’s rural economy. Senior officials and experts from Myanmar will engage in a conversation with eminent experts. The focus is on “Economic Policies and Decision-making for Poverty Reduction: Reaching the Bottom Half”.

For more information, please contact:

UN/ESCAP Information Services:,
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Headquartered in Bangkok, United Nations ESCAP is the largest of the UN's five Regional Commissions in terms of its membership, population served and area covered. The only inter-governmental forum covering the entire Asia-Pacific region, ESCAP works to promote sustainable and inclusive economic and social progress. More information on ESCAP is available at

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