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At the evening plenary session of the 2013 Israeli Presidential Conference on Wednesday, a group of the world’s leading economists forecast a bright future for the U.S. and Chinese economies, while expressing caution about the European economy.

Larry Summers, Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of the Blackstone Group, Mr. Stephen Schwartzman headlined the session, presenting their vision for Tomorrow’s Global Economy.


The panel was moderated by Professor Stanley Fischer, Governor of the Bank of Israel and also featured Chief Economics Commentator for the Financial Times, Mr. Martin Wolf, Chairman of Hang Lung Group Limited and its subsidiary Hang Lung Properties Limited and the Co-Founder of the Morningside Group, Mr. Ronnie Chan.

The panelists each focused on their respective geographical areas of expertise and how those areas fit into the global economic picture.  Each of the speakers agreed on the importance of Asia, and China specifically, when talking about the global economy.

“If China catches a cold, it will be felt all over the world,” said Schwartzman.

Chan spoke specifically on Asia and China, emphasizing China’s tremendous growth in the past 20 years and its future projected growth. Due to urbanization, consumption and technology, China will be a future “twin engine” with the U.S. economy and an important economic ally with Israel.

“The assumption is that Israelis are better at technology and I think you may be right,” said Chan. “But you don’t have the market and we do, so let’s collaborate.”

The panelists were optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy. “The U.S. economy is coming back,” said Summers. “It is accelerating, and with it, its capacity for strength and global leadership that it has had for many years.” He cited the rise of housing prices and imminent energy production as driving forces of the rebound in the U.S.

In contrast, most panelists agreed the near-term outlook for the European economy is bleak. Wolf predicted stagnant to little growth for the Eurozone in the next 5-7 years. However, Schwartzman, in a more optimistic tone, stated that, “Europe may have hit bottom. We may have seen the worst of it.”

Facing Tomorrow 2013 takes place from June 18-20, 2013 at Jerusalem's International Convention Center. The conference is organized in partnership with Hebrew University.


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About Facing Tomorrow 2013

The Fifth Israeli Presidential Conference 'Facing Tomorrow' will be held from June 18-20, 2013. The first conference took place in May 2008, one week after Israel celebrated its 60th year of independence, and on the basis of its success became an annual event. The conference is centered around discussions, panels and plenary sessions aimed at answering one question: how can we foster a better tomorrow for the international community, Israel and the Jewish world. For more information, please visit www.presidentconf.org.il.