In mid-November, 23 participants completed successfully the Qualification Programme "Strengthening Macroeconomic Policies" (MPS+) at ZEW in Mannheim. Commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, this programme has already been organized for the third time by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW). During the concluding event on November 18, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang Franz and Thomas Kohl – both ZEW’s executive directors – were pleased to hand the participants their certificates.

This year’s participants consist, among others, of employees at the State Bank of Vietnam, the Ministries of Finance of the different Chinese provinces, the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, and the China Development Bank. During ten weeks they attended over 40 lectures in the field of macroeconomics at ZEW. In cooperation with external experts, ZEW researchers imparted knowledge in the fields of fiscal and monetary policy, labour and international financial markets. Moreover, the programme focuses on trade theory and policy, as well as on development strategies for China and Vietnam. Lectures by experts with hands-on experience, for example from the German Federal Audit Office, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), and the European Central Bank (ECB), have been a new addition to the programme.

An important part of the programme was the imparting of theoretical basics on economic decisions and a critical consideration of the respective theoretical models. During the course, the participants wrote essays treating topics like "The Euro in Crisis: Reasons and Potential Solutions" and "Fiscal Policy in Times of Economic Turmoil": Besides the training, the participants have been introduced to German culture, for example by visiting the Mannheim Palace, a wine tasting or a guided tour around the banking capital Frankfurt. For the first time, a visit at the Federal Court of Justice was organized and received great interest.

The ZEW service department "Knowledge Transfer and Qualification Programmes" manages and supervises the MPS+ programme. Apart from such custom-tailored qualification measures for firms and institutions, it also offers open seminars. The ZEW Expert Seminars combine current research findings with experience from professional practice and regularly explore current questions and issues.