2014 Tel Aviv University Economics Symposium: How to Build a Strong Economy

Academics and entrepreneurs discuss key ingredients for economic and social resilience
28 May 2014

The 2014 Board of Governors Meeting opened with a well-attended Economics Symposium titled How to Build a Strong Economy: Key Ingredients, and chaired by Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel, Chairman of the TAU Board of Governors and former Governor of the Bank of Israel.


Panelists included Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, professor of economics at TAU and Chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education; TAU Honorary Doctor Ronnie Chan, Chairman of the Hang Lung Group and Hang Lung Properties, Hong Kong; and TAU Honorary Doctor Gil Shwed, Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Check Point Software Technologies, Israel.


"Here we have today probably the best three individuals to shed light from different perspectives on what we mean by the strength of an economy," Prof. Frenkel said.


From left: Chairman of the TAU Board of Governors Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel, TAU Honorary Doctor Ronnie Chan, Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, and TAU Honorary Doctor Gil Shwed. 


One theme shared by all three panelists was the belief that economic growth must support political and social systems. Prof. Trajtenberg explained, “If economic resilience and sustained growth is not helpful to society, the political system will collapse, taking with it the economy.” Ronnie Chan agreed with this concept and referred to China’s commercial expansion as an example. “The rise of China is inevitable; it has been moving in the right direction by addressing a greater number of social concerns,” he said.


Gil Shwed added that a key ingredient to economic growth of a company is similar to that of a country, where institutions with different interests have to be developed in harmony. “Our ancestors, the founders of the state, had to develop everything here from scratch – the fundamentals of the economy, universities, the legal system and an array of industries,” he noted.


The audience was particularly responsive to the way in which Prof. Frenkel was able to bring together the points made by each panelist in a manner that was clear but that did not over-simplify the issues.


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