Regional Think Tank Summit

Outcomes of “Regional Think Tank Summit: Think Tank in the Age of New Economics and Geopolitics”

More than 80 participants from Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, USA, etc. took part in “Regional Think Tank Summit: Think Tanks in the Age of New Economics and Geopolitics” session that was held in the framework of the Astana Economic Forum on May 26, 2016.
The event was organized by the Economic Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania.
The summit, taking part along the Astana Economic Forum, was aimed at discussing the cooperation between the analytical centres and joint development of the most appropriate political and economic solutions for countries of the region in the new geo-economic conditions.
The summit was kicked off with opening remarks from Deputy Chairman of the Board of JSC “Economic Research Institute” Shakharbanu Zhakupova.
Opening the summit, Shakharbanu Zhakupova noted global and regional trends in development of analytical centres, as well as spoke about the activities of Economic Research Institute, having noted marked that in 2016 the Institute marks its 55th anniversary.
The opening remark was followed by award ceremony where the best analytical centres were commemorated. The Brookings Institution (USA), Brussels European and Global Economic Laboratory (Belgium), and Peterson Institute for International Economics (USA) were ranked among Top 3 International Economic Think Tanks in 2015-2016. Economic Research Institute (Kazakhstan), Center for Economic and Social Development (Azerbaijan), and Economic Researches Center (Azerbaijan) were ranked among Top 3 Regional Economic Think Tanks in 2015-2016.
The headliner and co-organizer of the event, Professor James McGann, author of the “Go To Global Think Tank” delivered keynote address on Global and Regional Trends in Think Tanks and Policy Advice: Rise of Think Tanks in Central Asia.
During the discussion, Erik Berglof, Director of the Institute of Global Affairs at LSE stated that to establish a think tank and Astana Financial Centre it is necessary to create conditions so that people with high human potential would be attracted”. The speaker also noted that one should not underestimate the importance of human capital.
Ariel Cohen, Director of the Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security, delivered on importance of conditions for analytical centres’ potential employees.
Presentations were also made by Naoyuki Yoshino, Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute; Richard Dobbs, Director of McKinsey Global Institute; Matthew Goodman, Senior Adviser for Asian Economics, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Erlan Karin, Director of Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan; William Tompson, Deputy Head of Regional Development Policy Division, Global Relations Secretariat, OECD; Vugar Bayramov, Chariman of Center for Economic and Social Development of Azerbaijan; Alexander Gabuev, Chair of the Russia in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
Within two panel sessions the summit participants discussed the key issues related to development and advancement of analytical centres activities, building capacity of regional think tanks and networking, the role of think tanks in the age of new economic and geopolitical reality.