Transitions from Socialism to Capitalism Focus of 35th Streich Lecture

Transitions from Socialism to Capitalism Focus of 35th Streich Lecture

As part of International Week at Midwestern State University's Dillard College of Business Administration, the 35rd Annual Streich Family Lecture Series on Free Enterprise will present two MSU professors who have personal experience in major economic transition in foreign countries. Dr. Pablo Garcia-Fuentes and Dr. Agim Kukeli will speak about "Experiences of Economic Transition from Socialism to Capitalism" at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in Dillard 101.

Garcia-Fuentes is Assistant Professor of Economics, Finance and General Business at MSU. Kukeli is Director of the Bureau of Business and Government Research and Assistant Professor at MSU. Their presentation will focus on the economic transitions of Nicaragua and Albania, specifically the relationship of the Washington Consensus and trade liberalization, openness and privatization.

Garcia-Fuentes will focus on how Nicaragua has promoted trade, foreign direct investments (FDI), and the privatization of state-owned enterprises, and the effect these three policies have had on the country's economy regarding its economic growth and development since 1990. This includes discussing economic growth, the growth of exports, the growth of FDI, poverty reduction, terms of trade, unemployment rate, and income inequality. Garcia-Fuentes earned his bachelor's degree from the Universidad Nacional Agraria in Managua, Nicaragua, during his country's transition.

Albania had been under communist rule for 45 years until revolts brought about change in the early 1990s. Its transition was hampered by corruption and pyramid schemes. Kukeli earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Korca in KorþÙ, Albania, in 1990, during his country's turbulent time.

The Washington Consensus is 10 policy reforms that international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the U.S. Treasury Department, considered necessary to promote development in Latin America in 1989. The policies are:

     — Reduce budget deficits.

— Conduct public expenditure in areas of higher economic return.

— Tax reform to broaden the tax rate and cut marginal tax rates.

— Financial liberalization to let the market determine interest rates.

— Exchange rate that promotes nontraditional exports.

— Promote trade by eliminating trade quotas and reducing tariff levels.

— Promote foreign direct investment (FDI).

— Privatization of state-owned enterprises.

— Eliminate barriers to entry of new firms to promote competition.

— Develop a legal system that guarantees secure property rights.

The Streich Family Lecture Series is named in honor of the Streich family, owners of former area Gibson's Discount Centers, and is designed to give MSU students, staff, and the public insight into the American free enterprise system in relation to today's economic status. Former speakers include author Robert Bryce, Bloomberg economist Richard Yamarone, Texas businessman T. Boone Pickens, Dr. Robert Z. Lawrence of the Brookings Institute, Lindley H. Clark Jr. of The Wall Street Journal, international economist Dr. John Marthinsen, and Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the Dillard College of Business Administration, the Mamie Raborn Center for Economic Education, and Delta Sigma Pi. Admission is free. Call 940-397-4379 for more information.

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