Hudson Institute International Development Seminar featuring Hernando de Soto, president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Lima, Peru - Transcript Available
January 14, 2004, 12:00 p.m. - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
Hudson Institute will present an International Development Seminar featuring Hernando de Soto, president of the intenationally acclaimed Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Lima, Peru. De Soto, the author of such books as The Other Path and The Mystery of Capital, will discuss an Egyptian initiative to create a market economy governed by the rule of law in which Egypt's citizens, especially the poorest, can participate.
This initiative, to be unveiled in Egypt on January 18th, is a plan to create easy access to private property -- including city slums and rural dwellings -- and business organizational forms for enterprises of all sizes -- from street vendors to cottage industries. The plan will decrease the average cost of entering into a legal business by 90% and provide quick enforcement of contracts along with swift settlement of commercial disputes. If this plan is approved, Egypt will undertake perhaps the most far-reaching social transformation in the history of the Middle East -- an example for the rest of the region.
The seminar, a luncheon, will be held at noon on Wednesday, January 14, at Hudson Institute's Washington, DC office at 1015 18th Street, NW, Suite 300. Space is limited and reservations are required. Kindly respond via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone to 202-223-7770 to reserve your place.
Background to de Soto's efforts: De Soto notes that for the past 50 years, U.S. efforts in the Third World have been misguided. The West has not paid attention to what should be the biggest and most enthusiastic constituency for modernization: the settlers and small entrepreneurs, who, like the early pioneers of America, are producing and living in the extralegal wilderness of the shadow economy. Today, they operate a market system but without the rule of law that provides equal opportunity and access to property.
When the U.S. went into East Asia after World War II, the excluded and the poor of the feudal systems of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan were the main object of U.S. economic efforts. The result of American success was rapid growth, widespread capital ownership, prosperity, and an irresistible model for an entrepreneurial revolution that now has spread to mainland China and Vietnam.
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