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The rise of the neoliberal economic dogmas has created a situation in which countries around the world could easily become highly dependent on transnational business interests as well as on international financial institutions. If a country is exposed to these dogmas, it will be used against her – it was emphasized in an event organized in the MCC Regional Center of Debrecen where Lénárd Sándor, Head of Center for International Law at the MCC asked the world-renowned professor of international law, Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah.

The Center for International Law organized a course on the relation between economic globalization and public interest regulation in the Debrecen Regional Center of MCC. Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah, world-renowned Professor of International Law from the National University of Singapore, and Lénárd Sándor, Head of Center for International Law gave lectures to MCC students. The course also included an evening conversation that was open to the public, and it was a full house. In the course of the conversation, Professor Sornarajah emphasized that as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the neoliberal economic concept survived without any alternatives in a unipolar world. In this era, the real source of U.S. global leadership is provided by the international economic institutions such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. However, this has led to a situation in which countries around the world have become highly dependent on these institutions as well as transnational business interests.

Lénárd Sándor pointed out that the flow of foreign investment is no longer a one-way street: it is not only going from West to East but also vice versa that set the stage for a multipolar world order in the past decades. Based on the moderator’s question, Professor Sornarajah emphasized that the rise of Asian economies and especially the rise of China, poses a challenge to the hegemony of the United States and to the American led global order. Investments from China significantly contribute to the development of obsolete infrastructure, such as railway lines, ports and roads in Central Asia, Central Europe or even in the West. These are vital investments in these regions. At the same time, Chinese investments also have drawbacks. They are financed by Chinese financial institutions and funds that led to bad experiences in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, for example. The Singaporean professor emphasized that the lesson of history is that every large country has hegemonic aspirations. It takes vigilant and strong political communities and leaders that national and local communities can enjoy the benefits of economic globalization.