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Welcoming remarks

Governor György H Matolcsy


This year the Budapest Eurasia Forum will return for celebrating not only the fifth edition of this unique event series, but the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank, the central bank of Hungary. The world has changed significantly since Sándor Popovics, the first governor of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank took office in 1924 and we, central bankers did our best to keep up with the change. However, while our responsibilities and mandates have been augmented, our fundamental objective has not changed and hundred years past the Magyar Nemzeti Bank still stands to serve the betterment of our nation.

The events of recent years starting from climate change, financial crises, a global pandemic and increasing geopolitical tensions taught us that the most pressing issues of our times are intrinsically global and can only be solved by “joint thinking” and international cooperation. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank as one of the leading proponents of enhancing Eurasian cooperation, actively promotes international conversation and the sharing of best practices in relation to the constantly expanding mandate and role of central banks. As part of this effort, the Budapest Eurasia event series were born in 2019 and we are pleased to observe that it is reaching more and more people every year as a consequence of our efforts and adaptability.

The title of this year’s Forum “Keywords of success: talent, knowledge, technology and capital” reflects well on the changes which have occurred in our economies in the past hundred years, while also shows the path to the future. A century ago, capital was considered one of the most, if not the most important driver of economic growth. While still a major factor in our technologically advanced global society, talent and knowledge are taking the lead as the most important factors of economic success. Count István Széchenyi, one of the greatest statesman and reformer in Hungarian history has already recognized it in the 19th century as he wrote in 1830: the strength of a nation lies in the multitude of educated people. Indeed, talent is getting more and more important, and I am proud to say, Hungary has proven to be at the forefront of this trend. In 2023 we could celebrate two new Hungarian Nobel laureates, Katalin Karikó and Ferenc Krausz, whose achievements further showcased that Hungarian talent and knowledge are well connected to innovations.

Today, the most successful countries are those, who can build an advantageous mix of knowledge, technology and capital driven by talent, for which a supportive education system is a must. As Professor Eng Chye Tan, president of the National University of Singapore said at the Eurasia Forum in 2022: I see universities as talent generators, we produce the talents for the economy.

This year, our distinguished speakers will focus on the issue of what inescapable adjustments are required to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity in a talent based, technologically advanced global society. The Budapest Eurasia Forum 2024 will explore the ways to make the interconnected global financial system more reliable and effective, the changing global world order, the future of geopolitics, and the impact of technological breakthroughs. Furthermore, our speakers will assess the necessary reforms of multilateral organisations, the importance of well-being and prosperity in evaluating economic success, and the role of cooperation between the academic and entrepreneurial worlds in cultivating talents for the future. All of these subjects will undoubtedly be investigated with the core issues of sustainability, prosperity, digitalisation, and green transition in mind.

Innovative minds may wonder what will happen in the next hundred years. From my perspective, the answer lies with the global cooperation and the talents we build today. An essential requirement for this is that the discourse be built on inclusivity and knowledge sharing. According to a Chinese proverb: “If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” Accordingly, the Forum’s main objective is to reach professionals all around the world and integrate them into global discourse in order to lay the groundwork for a sustainable and prosperous future.

I wish everyone stimulating conversations and sincerely hope that the event will continue to have a positive social impact in addition to influencing official channels.



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