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Audience with the Pope for economics professor

* 28 April 2003 *

Audience with the Pope for economics professor

Economics professor L Alan Winters will be attending a prestigious gathering at the Vatican on May 2 to 6 to present his research on international trade and poverty to senior Vatican advisors and to meet Pope John Paul ll.

Professor Winters, who has worked at the University of Sussex since 1999, is one of 35 internationally renowned academics to be invited to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences ninth Plenary Session.

"This is a great honour for me," he said.  "I have been carrying out research on international trade and economic development for many years and it's gratifying to see my work reach such an influential audience."

The academy was founded by the Pope in 1994. Its aim is to promote the study and progress of social, economic, political and legal sciences, which could assist the church in studying and developing its social doctrine.  After tackling labour, employment and democracy, the academy is now examining globalisation.

This year academics from all over the world will be presenting viewpoints in political sciences, law, philosophy, sociology and economics.

In his paper Professor Winters will look at the relationship between the liberalisation of international trade (such as the lifting of tariffs), economic growth and the reduction of poverty in developing countries. He will examine the wide range of evidence relating trade openness to economic growth and present new results from his research on the links between the liberalisation of trade and poverty in Vietnam.

"I hope the Pope and my fellow academics will be interested in my findings that trade liberalisation is generally a strong force for the reduction of poverty in the third world, " said Professor Winters.   "The church has great influence over world attitudes towards globalisation and it is important that it be well informed."

Another speaker at the academy will Professor Joseph Weiler of New York University Law School, who received an honorary degree from the University of Sussex last year.

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