Business leaders meet the world shapers

More than fine New Zealand wine will be flowing this weekend at Apec.

The chief executives’ summit will bring together around 330 international delegates for four busy days of debate and discussion in a forum which aims to build relationships between business and politics and analyse the impact of globalisation.

After a full day of registration, guests will be welcomed at a Friday night ice-breaker by summit host and Business Roundtable chairman Ralph Norris, with help from the Mayor of Auckland, Christine Fletcher.

Saturday morning talks, heralded by a powhiri, centre around whether governments help or hinder companies conducting global business.

The featured speaker will be John Smith jun, chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors.

Other pre-lunch topics include “The Way Forward for Apec” by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and “Blueprint 2010” by New Zealand Herald business columnist Fran O’Sullivan.

Lunch with a South Pacific theme is followed by the first of a number of talks on the “information age” and an in-depth discussion of the three major Apec economies – Japan, China and the United States – by representatives of each country.

Republic of Korea president Kim Dae-jung speaks on his country’s response to the “borderless world market,” after which delegates split into four groups for discussions with the Apec Business Advisory Council.

The sessions are on e-commerce (Derek Williams, senior vice-president of Oracle), Apec and the World Trade Organisation (Gary Benanav, CEO, New York Life), capacity building (C.D. Tam, president, Motorola Asia-Pacific) and the Apec food system (Fran Wilde, CEO, New Zealand Trade Development Board).

The focus returns to China on Saturday night when President Jiang Zemin talks on his country’s role in building global prosperity.

On Sunday morning, US President Bill Clinton speaks on “Smart Technologies” at the Louis Vuitton Centre.

Brunei is the site of the next Apec meeting, and Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of the tiny oil-rich state will speak on shared prosperity before the “View from Latin America” is outlined by Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo.

In the final formal session, on Sunday evening, the Governor of the NZ Reserve Bank, Dr Don Brash, will chair a “back to basics” panel featuring the CEO of Russia’s United Energy System, Anatoly Chubais.

The dinner speaker will be Australian Treasurer Peter Costello.

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