A Family That Should Meet More Often

Posted on: Sunday, 2 July 2017 at 4:40:41 PM

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Article from the AICC(WA) 2017 Annual Geo Political Event featuring His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia and Gregory R.Copley AM, President & Chief Analytical Officer, The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA, speaking on "Is Australia Ready to be at the Centre of the New World?"

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From L to R - Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Mr Tony Joyner, Managing Partner, Perth, Herbert Smith Freehills, Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President & Chief Analytical Officer, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA, Ms Pamela Copley, Executive Director, ISSA - International Strategic Studies Association and President, Argonaut Water, Dr Harold Clough AO, OBE, Chairman Emeritus, McRae Investments Pty Ltd, His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President, Crown Council of Ethiopia, Mr Graham Laitt, President, AICC(WA) and Managing Director, Milne AgriGroup Pty Ltd and Mr Stephen Quantrill, Executive Chairman, McRae Investments Pty Ltd

 

Strategic geopolitical context underpins business in many ways.  The macro economic environment, trade opportunities, risk assessment, security of supply, and competitive strength are all influenced by a rapidly changing world of political alliances and shifting cultural norms.  Providing insight and perspective on these dynamics, and combining them with the most humble and noble of addresses by His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie provided an afternoon of contemplation, inspiration, and awe.

His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President, Crown Council of Ethiopia, Mr Stephen Quantrill, Executive Chairman, McRae Investments Pty Ltd and His Excellency the Honourable Justice Rene, Le Miere, deputy of the Governor of Western Australia, Government House Western Australia

Introductory remarks by Mr Stephen Quantrill, Executive Chairman of McRae Investments, drew on his recent return from an AICC(WA) Investors delegation to Israel led by Mr John Poynton and Mr Larry Lopez.  It was acknowledged that the “new world” of socio-economic alliances pivot Israel towards the centre of the world markets, complementing its geographic centrality to three major trade blocs.

Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President & Chief Analytical Officer, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

Mr Copley spoke of a second “sea change” that was occurring in Australia’s geopolitical alliances.  The first, he posed, was around 1962 when trade and interests drove a shift of dependency from the UK to the US.   The sea change is defined as a de-facto drift away from the US, but whether this is represented by enhanced relationships with other trading partners, or a greater level of economic autonomy (or a combination thereof) requires further analysis.

Australia’s defence relationship with the US “based on 100 years of mateship” is likely to remain strong.  However the US perception of the ANZUS alliance is changing and is less important now than it has been historically. 

It was further posed by Mr Copley that economic uncertainty in Australia is partly driven by trade patterns with China and other Asian markets which is less optimistic than it has been in the recent past, and also impacted by shifts in US foreign policy. 

Mr Copley expertly described the arteries of a new Silk Road.  A Japanese-Russian alliance that invokes a new trade route to Europe, its potential impact on Taiwan, Korea, and surrounding countries will create new logistical pathways.  Some of these may supplement existing maritime routes with overland infrastructure.

Should this eventuate, China itself may look towards new markets, inclusive of African trade.  Other issues, inclusive of the quality and quantity of China’s water supply, the impact of this on agricultural production, and the resulting demand for greater imports are all considerations that will impact on Australian productivity and demand.

 

His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President, Crown Council of Ethiopia, Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA) and Dr Harold Clough AO, OBE, Chairman Emeritus, McRae Investments Pty Ltd

Linking back to Australia’s sea change to a new world, Mr Copley drew on the cultural and societal shifts in Australia, challenging that we may be “beset both by the humility that we are too small to count, and yet too rich to worry.”  He asserted that whilst China and India remained important, they would not grow in strategic importance.  Global population transformations, identity politics inclusive of nationalism, and technology were the key influencing factors.  For example, cyber warfare has replaced nuclear warfare as the principal strategic threat.  He concluded that historical trends will reoccur, and in the midst of this uncertainty, Australia’s emergence into the new world may be messy and imprecise.  To overcome this, strong national identification of who we are and what we want, combined with national self-reliance will need to be at the forefront of strategic policy. 

Mr Copley introduced His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, the grandson of the late Emperor.  He provided an overview of His Imperial Highness’ meetings in Canberra, describing the visit as having “all the trappings of a State visit”.  Noting a comfortable compatibility, the keynote speaker was welcomed with an acknowledgement of his pursuit of stability in global relations, a commonality shared by Australia. 

 

His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President, Crown Council of Ethiopia

It was 50 years ago that the Grandfather of His Imperial Highness visited Perth and was hosted by Sir Charles Court.  On that occasion relations between Australia and Ethiopia were developed and cemented.  His Imperial Highness spoke of the “historical importance of the seaways that bind us.”

“It is clear that Australia’s maritime links across the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea and Suez Canal have vital trade and security implications for Australia.  The Indian Ocean will always remain the crucial strategic zone – the dynamic arena- for both our Countries. My Grandfather saw in Australian’s a population he admired, with an easy-going and good-humoured sprit to defend a tradition of civilizational values.   He saw an Australia committed to the principles of collective security; of participation in the defence of rights of many peoples.”

Recounting the history of world war, and noting how the long ties between Australia and Ethiopia were tragically interrupted by the 1974 Ethiopian coup, he noted the restoration and rebuilding of relations.  He noted that both our peoples had consistently fought on the same side of history and that the ANZAC spirit can still be seen in the terrain of Ethiopia.

His Imperial Highness noted that both Australian and Ethiopian culture was inevitably the product of a common Abrahamic ethos. 

“There is an unbroken Solomonic line which began for Ethiopia from a union between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.  This produced an historical line that represents the timeline and bloodline of Western civilisation.  When you think of Israel, think also of the Second Zion, the descendants of this Union in Ethiopia”.

The Prince also reflected on the personal touches that underpin the links between Australia and Ethiopia.  He cited strikingly compatible but vastly different cultures. 

“The Emperor saw in Australia’s political structure something which embodied what he sought to create in Ethiopia.  He wanted governance devolved upon the people.  He recognised that Ethiopia needed education, it needed democracy, it needed to retain its many millennia of identity.” 

 

His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President, Crown Council of Ethiopia and Mr Gregory R. Copley AM, President & Chief Analytical Officer, ISSA - The International Strategic Studies Association, Washington DC, USA

His Imperial Highness concluded that is Grandfather’s vision will come to pass.  Their ancient civilisation will perpetuate its values in a modern context, a familial relationship that demonstrated the strength of Monarchical governance in an age of uncertainty.  He spoke passionately of a society that was equal, sovereign and indivisible.  Further drawing a comparison he cited both Australia’s and Ethiopia’s experience that the Crown is a safe haven.

“I know why this sunburnt country; this land of sweeping plains, felt like a home to my Grandfather, and why Australia and Ethiopia are family.  We are family who should meet more often.”

Mr Tony Joyner, Managing Partner, Perth, Herbert Smith Freehills, and His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President, Crown Council of Ethiopia

 

Professor John Finlay-Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Edith Cowan University - Mr Rowan Munchenberg, Managing Director, Bankwest

 

 

 

 

 

 

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