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Sir Ronald Trotter Lecture Stephen Jennings

Sir Ronald Trotter Lecture Stephen Jennings

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Published by bustedblonde
Sir ronald trotter, emerging economic convergence, russia, NZ business round table, New Zealand, Sir Douglas Meyers
Sir ronald trotter, emerging economic convergence, russia, NZ business round table, New Zealand, Sir Douglas Meyers

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Published by: bustedblonde on Apr 08, 2009
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01/31/2013

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EMBARGOED UNTIL 7.30 PM TUESDAY 7 APRIL 2009
SIR RONALD TROTTER LECTURE 2009
OPPORTUNITIES OF A LIFETIME: LESSONS FOR NEWZEALAND FROM NEW, HIGH-GROWTH ECONOMICS
STEPHEN JENNINGSCHIEF EXECUTIVERENAISSANCE GROUPMEMBER WELLINGTONNEW ZEALAND BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE 7 APRIL 2009
 
OPPORTUNITIES OF A LIFETIME:LESSONS FOR NEW ZEALAND FROM NEW, HIGH-GROWTHECONOMICS
1.0 IntroductionGood evening ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honour to begiven the opportunity to deliver the Trotter Lecture. This isprimarily because of the enormous mana Sir Ronald has as agreat business leader and contributor to our society. Sir Ronald and his lifetime of achievement embody the mindset,values and energy which, I will argue this evening, are criticalto our country achieving its potential in an age that will becharacterised by extreme levels of both opportunity anduncertainty.From rural Taranaki roots, Sir Ronald went on to run NewZealand’s largest corporation and in so doing embraced aglobal vision of industrial opportunity. I once overheard himsay, ‘if you can’t beat the Aussies it’s not worth getting out of bed in the morning’. I haven’t heard that one for a while. Hiscultural and community contribution has been a lifetimeendeavour. Perhaps most importantly, in the mid-80s when Sir Ronald recognised that New Zealand was overdue and readyfor a shift in economic direction, he bought the full force of hisexpertise and determination to bear in leading a number of our most critical reforms.Sir Ronald is not a man who easily gives way to obstacles,figuratively or literally! When Sir Ronald was Chairman of Telecom New Zealand I was fortunate to be part of a teamadvising the company on a range of regulatory matters. Onone occasion we were driving out of Telecom’s building en
 
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route to the Beehive when we found the exit blocked by anempty car. While the analysts looked at each other Ron jumped out and started physically moving the car out of thepath. Very soon we were on our way.This evening I am going to speak about the acceleratingeconomic convergence taking place globally as the livingstandards of the 5 billion people living outside the historicallyrich part of the world rapidly catch up with income levels in theWest. I am going to talk about why this process will be sotransformational and why its essential nature is oftenmisunderstood.The first draft of this speech was prepared before it was clear that the global economy is enduring the deepest and mostcoordinated recession since the 1930s. The crisis isdisorientating in its power and speed. A wit in Moscow recentlyasked me: what is the difference between a Gulfstreambusiness jet and Aeroflot economy class? In my case, he said,about 3 weeks!The crisis makes the concept of accelerating economicconvergence even more relevant now than six months ago.One of the primary underpinnings of the current turmoil is theenormous excess of savings in the major emerging marketsand oil producing nations which has effectively financed anequally enormous excess of consumption in the rich countriesof the world. This imbalance is in part a symptom of both therapid economic ascendance of the emerging markets and therelative decline of the West. I doubt that this is the last crisisthat will be rooted in this historic shift in economic power.

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