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Sunday, May 18, 2014

ASECU International Conference in Cluj-Napoca

For the past three days my time in Cluj has been spent attending the events of the 10th International Conference of ASECU, the Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region.

Academic conferences vary in their ability to hold my interest.  Some cause me to fall asleep.  At some I simply get bored and leave.  This conference, however, I truly enjoyed.

The president of the association is Prof. Dr. Yannis Tsekouras of the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece.  His keynote address was inspiring to me, as it frankly and courageously challenged all the developing countries and formerly communist states of the region to recognize that foreign direct investment is a key to their economic growth, that entrepreneurship is another, and that both are dependent on the ability of business-people to trust their governments to be transparent, free of corruption, supportive of property rights, and faithful to the rule of law.

The papers and talks presented at this conference were widely varying, often focused on their authors' homelands, which included, possibly among a few others, Albania, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey, and the U.S.A.

At the conference's Gala Dinner, held Friday evening at the BabeČ™-Bolyai University's downtown event center called "Pyramida," Prof. Tsekouras asked me privately if Plymouth State University might be interested in becoming an associate member of ASECU.  Though I am about to retire, and thus am unlikely to become a regular at the ASECU events, I consider that to be a very positive idea.

On our faculty are both a Croatian-born professor and a Romanian-born professor, either of whom might be an excellent representative from PSU to future ASECU International Conferences. 


  1. For some reason I was looking for the classic McDougall phrase, "there are no coincidences" in the last couple of paragraphs. There is still time.....

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