Governments must “resist the quest for unnecessary power” over companies and individuals, BHP chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie has declared, in a philosophical speech where he urged the East and West to work more closely together.
“The security and prosperity of economies, communities and countries demands that East and West work together freely and innovatively, with respect for all who contribute to shared progress.
“We have to mesh the best of our cultures together to drive globalisation forward. Right now there is a perception in the West that too few have benefited from globalisation and too many have been left behind,” he said.
In a speech to the Melbourne Mining Club, which marked the 100th luncheon of the organisation, BHP’s top executive said that the perception in the West that too few people had benefited from globalisation had left the West distracted, while creating opportunities for China and the East.
Mr Mackenzie also highlighted China’s massive Belt and Road initiative as a project with “astounding” ambition, adding that other nations would benefit most from it if they collaborated openly.
Mr Mackenzie told an audience of hundreds of people at the Melbourne Town Hall that the world was experiencing “transformational economic, social, technological and environmental change,” urging society to rise up to the challenges this posed.
“In order to succeed we must think in multi-generational terms, remain disciplined in the pursuit of our goals, bring a sense of entrepreneurism, and foster a culture of inquiry, ideas and innovation. We will do this best for the world if we combine the best of East and West,” he said.
The Melbourne-based BHP boss also lamented the erosion of trust in political leadership in many Western countries, as well as in public administration.
But Mr Mackenzie also issued a warning to “all governments”, that they not seek excessive power.
“All governments must…resist the quest for unnecessary power over individuals and companies that would stifle our self-development and rob us of the freedom to do what we do best on our own,” he said.
But the CEO of the world’s biggest miner and one of the biggest companies in Australia also sent a message to business; that it must address legitimate concerns in society about economic dislocation and the continued adoption of automation.
He also urged the business world to take measures to “regain trust and to argue the case for reform in vital areas such as education, research and development and investment”.
And he said that companies in the resources sector could do more.
“We must make the case that responsible resources companies make a positive contribution. We must work harder than ever to earn trust and to increase our social licence,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.