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Lecture on “Democracy and Economic Development: the Asian Experiences”

Publishing Date: 16/10/2014 (Last Update: 16/10/2014)

Edward K Y Chen Distinguished Lecture Series – 2014 Lecture
“Democracy and Economic Development: the Asian Experiences”

(October 16, 2014 – Hong Kong)  Four Asian experts - Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee (Thailand), Professor Yun-han Chu (Taiwan), Professor Simon S.C. Tay (Singapore), and Dr. Soogil Young (Korea) - will speak on the subject of "Democracy and Economic Development: the Asian Experiences" in general and from their country perspective in particular, at the Edward K Y Chen Distinguished Lecture (陳坤耀傑出學人講座) presented by the School of Economics and Finance, Faculty of Business and Economics of The University of Hong Kong.

You are cordially invited to attend and to report on the lecture with detail as follows:


October 31, 2014 (Friday)


5.30pm – 7.15pm

(Media registration starts at 5.00pm)


Loke Yew Hall, Main Building, The University of Hong Kong


Democracy and Economic Development: the Asian Experiences



  • Seats are limited, please make reservation by email to Mr. Derek Chan at or 3917 5800.

About the topic:
There has been a prolific literature on the relationship between democracy and economic development.   It is however not always clear whether democracy as a political institution is a necessary condition for economic taking off or the economic development of a country will give rise to favourable conditions for a democratic government.   It is likely that the direction of causation runs both ways.  Asian experiences seem to suggest, and there are theories to support, that a strong, non-democratic government or a ‘hard’ state is often needed for economic development to begin.  Four Asian experts (from Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand) will speak on this subject in general and from their country perspective in particular.

About the speakers
Narongchai Akrasanee is Minister of Energy and former Minister of Commerce and Senator of Thailand, with a long record of public services and extensive experiences in the private sector.  In the past, Dr. Narongchai acted as advisor to several Thai Prime Ministers and Governments.  He retired as Chairman of Export-Import Bank of Thailand in 2010, and also served as a Director of Securities and Exchanges Commission, National Economic and Social Development Board, and an Advisor to the Board of Investment.  Dr. Narongchai is a founding member and Director of Thailand Development Research Institute.

Yun-han Chu is Professor of Political Science at National Taiwan University and Distinguished Research Fellow of Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica.  Chu specializes in the politics of Greater China, East Asian political economy and democratization.  He served as Director of Programs of the Institute for National Policy Research, Taiwan’s leading independent think tank, from 1989 to 1999, and former president of Chinese Association of Political Science (Taipei) in 2002-2004.  He has been the Coordinator of Asian Barometer Survey, a regional network of survey on democracy, governance and development covering more than sixteen Asian countries.

Simon S.C. Tay is a public intellectual as well as private advisor to major corporations and policy-makers.  He is Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, the country’s oldest think tank and founding member of the ASEAN network of think-tanks.  He is concurrently Associate Professor, teaching international law at the National University of Singapore, and author of the well-received book on Asian regionalism and the role of America, Asia Alone (2010, Wiley).  Tay is also Senior Consultant at WongPartnership, a leading Asian law firm.

Soogil Young is Professor of Green Growth and Sustainable Development at the Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management in Seoul, and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Korea Chapter (‘SDSN-Korea’).  He has worked on various developmental and international challenges of Korea as a governmental economist since the late 1970s, including Korea’s unilateral trade liberalization, President Kim Young-sam’s financial transparency reform, and served as President of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, Korea’s Ambassador to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and President of the National Strategy Institute, an independent Korean think tank.

About the lecture:
The “Edward K Y Chen Distinguished Lecture Series” was initiated by a group of former HKU students of Professor Chen from the early 1970s.  Established through a fund set up in 2007, this Lecture Series represents a tribute to an honoured teacher and a distinguished scholar, and aspires to demonstrate the fine tradition of great respect and appreciation for Teachers and Mentors (“尊師重道”) to future generations.


For media enquiries, please contact:
Helen Wong
Assistant Director of Communications
Faculty of Business and Economics
The University of Hong Kong
Tel: +852 6199 6988 / +852 3917 4311

Cynthy Tang
Communications Manager
Tel: +852 3917 4488



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