IEP faculty among youngest in China economics seminar

IEP faculty among youngest in China economics seminar

by Daryl Zamora, CCO on November 6, 2012 - 4:25 pm

Jonathan Ray Alforte (encircled) attends an international economics seminar in China. Photo courtesy of Alforte

In a crowd of middle-agers, 23-year-old Jonathan Ray Alforte was a standout.

The School of Economics faculty member turns out to be the second youngest participant in a three-week macroeconomics seminar in Beijing last September.

Alforte was among five Filipino participants selected for the event sponsored by the Chinese government for developing countries. His co-delegates were from the Department of Finance, National Economic Development Authority, and the Action for Economic Reforms.

Packed with lectures on how China gradually shifted from a “planned economy” to a “socialist market economy,” the seminar also included trips to two other cities.

In their three-day visit to Chongqing city, the participants toured a soybean sausage factory and an exhibit farm of genetically-modified fruits and vegetables. They also attended talks about the city’s development plans.

Next they attended an international forum on “Eco-City” in Tianjin, which Alforte described as “a very interesting exchange of ideas…about the trends in green technology.”

But Alforte remarked that the seminar enlightened him, above all, on the importance of planning.

“I learned that the Chinese government gives so much importance [to] their planning,” he said. “They carefully draft…development plans and implement learnings… from the previous development plan they implemented.”

He added that they also “learn well from their mistakes and make sure they will not commit [them] again.”

Alforte was UA&P’s class valedictorian in 2010, graduating cum laude with an MS in Industrial Economics. He was also among the University’s “merit scholars” during his student years.

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