Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader and Advocate for the UN Sustainable Development Goals interacted with students, lecturers, staff and visitors at a forum held at Westminster International University in Tashkent (WIUT) on the morning of Wednesday 22 May. The office of Ms. Helena Fraser, United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Republic of Uzbekistan sponsored the visit and it was hosted by WIUT and its new Center for Policy Research and Outreach cpro.wiut.uz
Professor Sachs introduced the session with a discussion of the long history of civilizations and knowledge in Central Asia, and the Silk Road as the major center of trade and commerce until the advent of oceangoing vessels and marine routes to Asia and the Americas in the 16th Century.
In response to questions, he outlined four priorities for public and private investment in all countries: human capital, infrastructure, intellectual property, and mainstream business. Governments must not look to current jobs but create the jobs of the future to become relevant in a global economy. Sustainability is ultimately the result of a well-functioning mixed economy where public, private, and non-profit sectors play their part in measure.
Rather than depending on extractive industries that are not sustainable in the long term, he encourages countries to invest in renewable energy and a new Silk Road where it can again become a regional center for finance, information, transport, and tourism. The depletion of the Aral Sea is a difficult lesson for the region and it must prioritize climate-friendly development to avoid the devastation of a hotter and drier future.
Professor Sachs was twice named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and has received 28 honorary degrees. The New York Times called Sachs “probably the most important economist in the world,” and Time magazine called Sachs “the world’s best-known economist.” A survey by The Economist ranked Professor Sachs as among the three most influential living economists. To learn more see jeffsachs.org