Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Atlanta, USA, Atlas Liberty Forum

April 2008

Sometime in February 2008, when Jo Kwong, VP for Institute Relations of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation (www.atlasnetwork.org) and Yiquiao Xu, Jo's indefatiguable officer for Asian relations, invited me to join the 8th Atlas Liberty Forum in Atlanta, I immediately answered YES! Atlas would provide me a travel grant or scholarship.

Atlanta is famous for the Atlanta Olympics in the 1980s I think, and the headquarters of CNN and Coca Cola are in Atlanta. It is also the birthplace of Martin Luther King.

The Atlas conference was held at Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, a big and sprawling hotel. But I stayed at Wyndham Gardens, a smaller hotel 2 blocks from Sheraton Atlanta. I met plenty of old and new friends during the conference, friends mostly from Asia and the US. A few friends from Europe, Africa and Latin America was also there. It's really refreshing to see them, talk with them how things are going in their respective countries and institutes.

Among the guys in the pictures here are: Jo Kwong, Mr. You of Japanese for Tax Reforms (JTR) and Hiroshi Yoshida (in the Atlas ice sculpture). Also Cindy Cirquitella, Whitney and Nicki, along with Mr. You again. And Franklin Cudjoe (Imani, Ghana), Colleen Dyble (Atlas) and Wan Saiful Wan Jan (Malaysia Think Tank).

I am very privileged to be among the good friends of Atlas. The networking support that they provide me and our think tank is really priceless.

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