Message from the Founder, Richard Attias
Richard Attias, Founder of the New York Forum and Chairman of Richard Attias & Associates, opened the New York Forum on May 22. You can read the transcript of the speech in full below, or download here.
Welcome to the 3rd edition of the New York Forum. This 3rd edition, which we refer to as the ”NYF Express”, is a special one. More condensed, more focused on the issues that are currently being debated in the US presidential race, and were debated a few weeks ago in Europe – particularly in France.
Last year I made two commitments. One was to include Africa in our community and in our debates. I am now proud to announce than in two weeks, we will be hosting the first New York Forum AFRICA in Gabon.
During three days, more than 120 speakers, 600 participants from 50 countries, and several heads of state, will discuss business and investment opportunities for this continent; a continent that is three times more populated than America, but whose GDP is only about a tenth.
It is my strong conviction that Africa can be part of the solution for the global economy. Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach over 5.3% this year, and almost 6% in 2013.
The second commitment was to facilitate the dialogue between the United States and China.
Today, we will focus on two very important topics. During the G8 summit, which just ended, growth was at the heart of all discussions. But this time, the leaders added one word in their declarations: trust! As you all know, the New York Forum was conceived in 2010 as a platform to facilitate the dialogue between economic agents on how to recover Trust and Growth. We are proud to see that we have been on the right track for the past three years!
Few of your ideas on innovation and job creation have been taken into consideration by our political leaders. In the spirit of the New York Forum being a Call to Action, we should reiterate our efforts today.
Last year, we presented before the closing session a scenario for the fall of Greece and the Euro. I remember seeing the audience smiling and dismissing our pessimism. Since then, the European banking sector has written-off tens of billions of Euros on Greek debt, the Euro has conceded over 10 per cent to the dollar, and public anger has removed many European leaders from office. The possibility of Greece exiting the Eurozone has never been more real. We shouldn’t waste any more time and help avoid a double dip recession.
However, and contrary to last year, I am deeply convinced that we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. In the next few months, the US will play a central role in ending this four-year long recession. The world needs America to bounce back. Now is the time for leaders to implement the relevant actions to restore trust, spur growth, and restore competitiveness.
Today, we are honored to host a group of first class political and business leaders who will share their convictions and ideas, and join our call to action. I would like to thank you all for coming today, especially our friends from China and our partners China Alliance and CAIJING. Last but not least, I would like to thank our partners from the beginning: The Partnership for NYC, and The New York Times, which is hosting us today.
Now comes the time to give the floor to the doers, the leaders who have part of our destiny in their hands. So ladies and gentlemen please join me in welcoming the man who runs the financial capital of the world, and who has helped keep this city on top: the Mayor of the City of New York, the Honorable Michael Bloomberg. He is joined by one of the most outspoken voices of the Mexican business community, Ricardo Salinas.
I’d like to call on stage to join them: Matt Miller, columnist at the Washington Post, who will moderate the session, and Danny Lopez, Her Majesty’s Consul General in New York.