The President of the Organizing Committee of the 7th Bolivian Conference on Development Economics (BCDE 2016), Boris Branisa, proclaimed that yet again, the BCDE 2016 was a success thanks to the participation of high level exhibitors and the motivation of attendees to discuss development issues. Furthermore, Branisa emphasized that he and the organizers are pleased to mention that the Conference, which has been held since 2009, is now solidified as the annual event of reflection on development economics in Bolivia.
The 7th Bolivian Conference on Development Economics took place on the 8th and 9th of December 2016 in the city of La Paz, on the campus of the Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB). The conference was coordinated and organized by the Society of Economists of Bolivia (Sebol), Foundation INESAD, the Bolivian Academy of Economics and the UPB.
The BCDE 2016 was attended by prominent Bolivian and visiting international economists alike. The two keynote speakers were David Bishai, professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Francisco H.G. Ferreira, senior adviser for the World Bank Development Research Group. In his presentation, Dr. Bishai emphasized the essentiality of public health in the pursuit of sustainable development, drawing the conclusion that advancing public health actually is sustainable development. In turn, Francisco Ferreira explained in detail how the monitoring of global poverty has been done, and is being done currently, reviewing the past, the present and the future of global poverty measures.
Tomás Serebrisky, Chief Economic Adviser of the Inter-American Development Bank, was invited and participated as a special guest speaker, delivering a lecture in which he discussed the importance of saving for the future development of Latin America and the Caribbean. Luis Arce Catacora, Minister of Economy and Public Finance of Bolivia, was also invited as a special guest, though due to health reasons was regrettably unable to attend this year’s conference.
Apart from the distinguished presentations held at BCDE 2016, to conclude the first day, a panel discussion was held, the theme for which was productivity in Bolivia. The panelists included: Fernando Peñarrieta, Deputy Minister of Internal Trade and Exports; Guillermo Pou Mont, President of the National Chamber of Exporters; and Beatriz Muriel, Senior Researcher of INESAD and Coordinator of the EMINPRO Network. Boris Branisa moderated the engaging discussion on the state of productivity in Bolivia.
The conference brought together a diverse group of approximately 300 people from 10 countries, each with diverse backgrounds, interests and areas of expertise. The participants included local economists, foreign internationals and professionals from an array of fields, whom engaged in the exchange of ideas and discussions on recent results within theoretical and applied research in development economics.
As noted by Carlos Gustavo Machicado, Executive Director of the Foundation INESAD, nearly fifty research papers were presented over the course of the conference on a wide breadth of topics in development economics including: health economics, inequality, political economy, infrastructure development, international economy, informal markets, labor markets, the environment, monetary policy, and fiscal and urban economies.
The Director of Foundation INESAD further expanded on the principal goal of the conference: “With this event, we want to support and contribute to scientific knowledge by hosting a high-quality academic conference that leaves behind speculation and instead focuses on data and facts, emphasized by the academic research papers selected for presentation.” The event also offered a didactic and friendly space for both new and experienced researchers to network and benefit from the hard work of their colleagues. The BCDE 2016 was indeed a great success.
The event was generously sponsored by the Latin American Development Bank (CAF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Danish Development Cooperation (DANIDA), the Swiss Cooperation in Bolivia (SDC), the Brazilian Embassy in Bolivia, Banco FIE SA, Boliviana de Bienes Raíces SA and the Think Tank Initiative.