Leszek Balcerowicz, Polish economist and Professor at Warsaw School of Economics, said on February 25 that it was “a great honor” for him to be awarded Honorary Doctorate of TSU. He also noted that he was closely following Georgia’s modern history and the reforms being implemented in the country.
Following the Honorary Doctorate conferment ceremony, Leszek Balcerowicz delivered a public lecture on the topic “The Institutional Systems and the Quality of Life,” where he spoke about the importance of free market, less interference by the state in business activities and regulations. Balcerowiczalso assessed the current economic situation in Georgia, noting that according to the International Monetary Fund, the country’s economic policy is correct, but it is important to share international experience and make economy more private and competitive.
“Leszek Balcerowiczis not only a theoretician; he created modern, developed and very successful economy in Poland; for years, he had been providing recommendations to the Georgian government; he changed a lot of things in the post-Socialist space. Thus, it is a great honor for us to award Honorary Doctorate to him,” Rector of TSU, George Sharvashidze said and expressed the University’s readiness to further collaborate with Balcerowicz.
“We are proud to confer TSU Honorary Doctorate to Prof. Balcerowicz. By this, we confirm his high academic achievements as well as his contribution to public development,” Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli said.
The public lecture was followed by a Q&A session, where TSU students, professors and guests had an opportunity to ask questions.
In 1989, Leszek Balcerowicz, the author of “Shock Therapy,” was appointed Minister of Finance in the first non-communist government in Poland after the Second World War. He oversaw free market economic reforms; as a result, Poland’s economy took one of the leading positions in Europe. Leszek Balcerowicz is believed to be an architect of economic reforms launched in 1989. He projected and finalized radical stabilization and transformation of Poland’s economy after the collapse of communist regime. In 2001-2007, he was the President of the National Bank of Georgia. In 1989-1991 and 1997-2001, he twice served as Deputy Prime Minister. In 1997, Balcerowicz founded a non-governmental organization Civil Development Forum Foundation aimed to actively support the society in terms of strengthening individual and collective freedoms (especially economic freedom) and the rule of law in the country. He still chairs this organization.
Leszek Balcerowicz has been awarded Honorary Doctorate by over 20 universities throughout the world. In 1992, he was awarded the Ludwig Erhard Prize from the Ludwig Erhard Foundation, Germany. In 1999 European Institute of Washington granted him its “Transatlantic Leadership Award” for the most outstanding European personality, and he received the Central European Award for Finance Minister of the Year in 1998. In 2001, he was awarded the Friedrich von Hayek Prize, Germany. In that same year he received the Carl Bertelsmann Prize for his achievements during the process of transformation of the Polish economy. In 2002 the Fasel Foundation honored him with a prize for his merits for the social market economy. In January 2004 British monthly “The Banker” recognized Leszek Balcerowicz as Central Banker of the Year for Europe. In October 2004 he was granted the annual “Emerging Markets Award” for the best president of a central bank in Central and Eastern Europe.
Leszek Balcerowiczis the author of over 100 publications released in Poland and beyond its limits.