Today at 11:00 am in the Great Hall of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences a ceremony was held for the awarding of the honorary title "Doctor Honoris Causa" to the world-famous economist, Prof. Steve Hanke - Advisor to the President of Bulgaria for the introduction of the currency board. The title was awarded by the Executive Council of the Academy, with a decision dated 3 July 2013, Protocol ¹ 6, p.6.
Apart from the scientific community, the ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Plamen Oresharski, the Minister of Education Aneliya Klisarova, Evgeni Angelov - Advisor to the President, the BNB Governor Ivan Iskrov, ambassadors and other officials.
The ceremony was led by the Vice President of BAS, Corr. Member Nikolai Miloshev. He welcomed the participants and gave the floor to the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. Stefan Vodenicharov to present Prof. Hanke and to announce the decision of the Executive Council of the Academy of Sciences for the awarding of the title.
Acad. Vodenicharov pointed out the contribution of the professor for the economic and financial stability in the world, including Bulgaria. Acad. Vodenicharov noted that Prof. Hanke is co-director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health and the Study of Business Enterprise at the "John Hopkins" university in Baltimore, USA; senior member of the Cato Institute in Washington; a professor at the University "Pelita Harapan" in Jakarta, Indonesia; Senior Advisor to the University "Renmin" at the Chinese Institute of currency research- Beijing; Special Adviser to the Center for Financial Stability - New York; member of the International Council of the National Bank of Kuwait; a member of the Financial Council of the United Arab Emirates and others.
In his academic speech , Prof. Hanke thanked for the honor and expressed concern about the current situation in Bulgaria. He went back 15 years, to 1997, when the Bulgarian government turned to him for advice. Prof. Hanke said that then and now, the biggest problem of our country is corruption. The difference today, however, is that there is a serious shortage of hope. To get Bulgaria out of the crisis Prof. Hanke recommended the Singapore strategy to be implemented. He told the story of Singapore from the separation and independence from Britain in 1963 until today.
"Then (in 1963, editor's note) Singapore was ranked among the poorest countries in the world, much poorer than Bulgaria today.” - Prof. Hanke said. “But there the success is attributable to investment, Singapore took a few steps that revitalized the economy – a currency board was set up for financial stability and external borrowing was carefully monitored; the market and prices were liberalized; an emphasis was put on equitable justice and internal order and all the possibilities for corruption were eliminated. And today there's no corruption, unlike Bulgaria. "- Said Prof. Hanke.
The professor said that the crisis is an opportunity for progress. According to him Bulgaria should aim towards an economy based on knowledge and added value.
After the President of BAS Acad. Stefan Vodenicharov bestowed the honorary title to Prof. Hanke, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Plamen Oresharski, greeted him with an address. He expressed satisfaction with the decision of the Executive Council of BAS for the awarding of the title and said how much Prof. Hanke has contributed to financial stability in the country by describing the worst financial, economic and political crisis in the modern history of Bulgaria in 1997.
"For more than 15 years our monetary system has been praised and criticized, but it is a fact that it has contributed to the economic progress of our country. I want to thank Prof. Hanke for the periodic reviews - sometimes critical, sometimes encouraging, but always in a positive style. I hope that he will always be predisposed to Bulgaria," added the prime minister.
Academic lecture by Prof. Steve Hanke - audio file