Honorary doctorate for professor and top economist Justin Yifu Lin

Yesterday evening, Vlerick Business School and KU Leuven jointly awarded an honorary doctorate to Professor Justin Yifu Lin in Brussels, in recognition of his role as one of China’s leading economists. The official opening of Vlerick Business School’s new academic year was held at the same time, with students and various guests in attendance. 361 Masters ad MBA students are beginning their studies this year.

Professor Justin Yifu Lin is a respected Chinese academic and top economist. He spent fifteen years as a Founding Director and professor at the China Centre for Economic Research (CCER) at Peking University, where Vlerick Business School offers both an Executive and full-time MBA course in China. Subsequently, he took on the role of Senior Vice President at the World Bank from 2008 to 2012, where he was also the first Chief Economist from an emerging economy. He played a central role in determining the economic research agenda of this institution.

Justin Yifu Lin is currently devoting his energies to an ambitious research project studying the industrialisation of rapidly developing countries. The research also sheds new light on the reasons why poor regions fail to grow. In his honorary doctorate acceptance speech, he spoke specifically about the Chinese economy and his vision of the role of the market and government in the economy. Since the transition from a planned economy to a market economy in 1979, China’s economic development has soared miraculously. China has transformed itself from a poor, agricultural, inward-looking country into an economic world power and world producer. However, the sustainability of the Chinese growth model is constantly questioned. In his speech, ‘Demystifying the Chinese Economy’, he explained why China has been able to support such dynamic growth, the price the country has paid for its growth and whether China will be able to sustain this growth in the years to come.

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