Outlook in age of austerity

| 09/12/2010

(CNS): Nest year’ annual Cayman Business Outlook conference will be examining the financial reality in a time of austerity organizers announced on Wednesday. Chairman of Fidelity Group, the conference’s main sponsor Anwer Sunderji, said that the topic for CBO reflected the general view that 2011 will be another difficult year for the global economy. With Asian successes reshaping the world business stage he warned of more deficits and “tapped out consumers.” Alongside an address from the Cayman premier there will be a range of diverse speakers including Clive Crook an economic journalist who spent more than 20-year’s on the Economist and now an FT commentator on economics and politics who will explain the meaning of the conference title.

“Economic growth will be uneven with emerging markets showing the most promise and with most of the industrialized nations grappling with the residual impact of the great recession,” Sunderji said about the theme. “The outperformance of the emerging markets in Asia, particularly in India and China, will reshape the world for decades to come resulting in a US with a diminished role on the world stage.”
He said China’s economy will be as large as that of the US by 2020 but the rest of the industrialized world will face sizeable headwinds from continuing high levels of unemployment, troubled banks, large deficits and a tapped out consumer.
“The change in financial strength of the major countries will reshape the geo-political landscape and diminish the role the US plays on the world stage.” He added that institutions such as the European Union, the IMF and the World Bank will have to change and adapt to the new reality. He said “It is possible that the EU may not survive in its present form and the role of the US as the global policeman will likely be curtailed”.
Attracting over 300 attendees from a broad cross-section of the professional and business community CBO is now in its 8th successive year. The 2011 event themed “Uncharted Waters – The New Economic, Political and Financial Reality in an Age of Austerity” takes place at the Ritz-Carlton, on 20 January.
Fidelity president Brett Hill said that the conference was expected to appeal to a broad cross section of the community as it addressed the impact the global financial restructuring was having on world order.
“There will likely be 5 years before employment levels in the industialized world return to their pre-recession levels. During this time, the US and many European countries will have to retool and reengineer their economies to become competitive and to restore economic growth. This will require enormous sacrifice from their citizens,” he added.
Rounding out the topic will be a local panel debate that will engage the attendees and the public at large. It will discuss the conflicting demands on the Caymanian Government for fiscal austerity without sacrifice, i.e. no taxes, no wage cuts, more free services, more jobs, less crime, etc.
McKeeva Bush the premier and minister of finance will open CBO in the morning and the popular ‘Local Debate’ will bring the afternoon sessions to a close prior to thecocktail reception. Aside from Crook, Michael Pettis an expert on China and emerging economies will reveal an insiders perspective on the Chinese economy. Senator Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, in the Bahamas will address tourism in the new normal and Professor Edward Kolodziej, Director of the Centre for Global Studies, University of Illinois will examine how Washington is coping with a World at Risk.
 

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