It was a very interesting evening hearing from The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid the UK Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills at the Sydney Institute’s 2016 Annual Dinner Lecture on Wednesday the 30 March. After a lively introduction from Premier Mike Baird (with some asides about the Rugby) Sajid Javid launched into a detailed dissertation on the global benefits of capitalism and by extension the opportunities already being realised through growing free trade and free trade agreements.
He pointed to the success of capitalism in lifting the living standards of peoples around the globe, highlighting in particular the Chinese experience, noting that China’s embrace of capitalism has lifted approximately 90% of its population out of poverty. In keeping with his interest in the Asian Tiger Economies, Javid also spoke about the stark contrast of capitalism versus isolationism in the case of North and South Korea.
There was also an element of warning in Javid’s speech, that the real threat to capitalism today continues to be protectionism and the popular scepticism that has followed the Gobal Financial Crisis. He concluded his thought-provoking lecture on the issue of the day in the UK, being the referendum to leave or stay in the European Union. His position aligned not surprisingly to that of the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, being that the deal they have struck to stay in the EU is a win for the UK. Relative independence through retaining control of a sovereign currency and immigration border issues, but still retaining the critical economic and defence links to the EU. In the context of his earlier comments regarding the threat to global growth and prosperity, his conclusion was timely, consistent and compelling. You can listen to the speech by the Rt Hon. Sajid Javid here:
As always I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this critical issue.
Thank you to the Sydney Institute, their Board, staff and Executive Director Gerard Henderson and Deputy Director Anne Henderson for continuing to provide a forum of such thought provoking ideas in our city. If you are interested you can join the Sydney Institute to be further involved www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au.