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Parami Holds its First Virtual Talk Series with a Pro-Chancellor of Bristol University, Professor Andrew Sheng

To broaden access to vital conversations and ideas, we host a monthly Parami Talk Series event that brings influential figures from across all sectors to our campus to share their work and experiences with the public at large. As the online webinar has gradually developed its role during the COVID-19,  we have managed to resume the Parami Talk Series on a virtual platform to provide the public with continuing knowledge and learning from the talk event.

On December 23, 2020, we have successfully held our first online Parami Talk Series with the presence of well-renowned Guest Speaker Professor Andrew Sheng, a Pro-Chancellor of Bristol University, who shared about Strategizing Finance in Economic Development. Prof. Sheng’s talk emphasized an approach to rethink development finance and finance in a larger sense to enable a new ecosystem where finance supports the economy.

A screenshot from Professor Sheng's presentation

In the current financial model which perpetuates rising inequality and debt bondage, a new strategy for finance in development is needed to help Myanmar to avoid the same mistakes made in other emerging markets.

Prof. Sheng shared his observations on Myanmar, saying that “Myanmar is a latecomer to the development and has a young population that is growing, which is known as a Demographic Dividend. To contribute to the global labor supply, Myanmar must get its Development Strategy and Finance Strategy right. That is all about how to think about national and business models to learn to adapt to lifelong learning and fast-changing age, but never worry about the crisis. Crises always bring opportunities, and those who can reform fastest will be the winner in today’s crisis.”

He also shared his very important message on the reason higher education needs to constantly elevate itself to meet the needs of people and for the people, not for itself even when it has to deal with financial related crises. 

“Universities must serve the people and community and it is extremely important why some of the world famous universities succeed and attract talented people from the lowest of social class, so that even the poorest village get a chance to get a degree at university. It is important that a person who gets a degree does not forget to give back to his/her people. Universities can grow because they cultivate exactly like a garden to tenderly protect, educate and further this garden to become big trees and create diversity from there. When people become self-sufficient, they are self-reliant, open-minded and they know how to help others. Then, your society will succeed. Your community will succeed. Success is not about the elite. Success is for the massive. This is the reason why I feel Parami University is a very good idea because [it] wants to give back to people,”  said Prof. Sheng. 

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Professor Andrew Sheng for the insightful talk and our special thanks to Dr. Sean Turnell for hosting our first virtual Parami Talk Series event. Dr. Sean Turnell is currently the special economic advisor to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and is also an advisor to Parami University.

About Professor Andrew Sheng

Professor Andrew Sheng is Pro-Chancellor of Bristol University and Distinguished Fellow, Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong, as well as Chairman, GeorgeTown Institute of Open and Advanced Studies, Wawasan Open University, Malaysia. He served as Chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) from 1998 to 2005. He has a First Class Honours in Economics from Bristol University, and Honorary Doctorates from University of Bristol and University of Malaya. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Tsinghua University and University of Malaya. A former central banker and financial regulator, he currently writes on financial and economic issues for AsiaNewsNet and Project Syndicate, as well as Caijing and Caixin magazines in China.

About Parami Talk Series

Parami has held more than 30 talk series events since 2017. We regularly co-host events and workshops in partnership with local and international mission-driven organizations and invite distinguished and recognized local and foreign guest speakers from different expertise and professions. Through our diverse array of public programs, Parami hopes to establish itself as a hub of intellectual thought within the larger Yangon community.

Click here to listen to Professor Sheng’ Talk on Strategizing Finance in Economic Development.

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