EXCLUSIVE: Surrey Regional Economic Summit 2012 Line-Up

SRES 2012 : A Signature Business & Economic Event

In economic times like these every question posed about economics and politics presents a challenge for the brightest minds and the world’s largest organizations. Experts, politicians and commentators all over the world are meeting to try to determine the best course of action to take to deal with the current economic climate.  Nations are experiencing the long- lasting effects of the economic disaster that began with the Wall Street crash two years ago. A number of significant individuals will visit Surrey later this year in an effort to answer some of the toughest questions about the state of our economy and to help create a path of action for  governments and businesses.

These experts will be part of Surrey’s 5th Regional Economic Summit (SRES) on October 4th. Over the years, the SRES has brought together some of the most sought – after minds to exchange views on the current state of affairs. Over the last five years this Summit has welcomed  Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Steve Forbes and other significant figures. The tradition continues this year with new faces and new ideas. This year Surrey will welcome a Keynote address by Sir Richard Branson. Sir Richard introduced a regular airline route this year between London and Vancouver via his Virgin Airlines. Our City will have an opportunity to hear Sir Richard, one of the most powerful people in the United Kingdom, at the SRES 2012.

“Over the years, the annual Surrey Regional Economic Summit has earned a powerful reputation for bringing business and community leaders together to focus on some of the major issues facing our region, province, country and world. Our fifth annual Surrey Summit will certainly reinforce that reputation as we welcome Sir Richard Branson to our city on October 4. The chance to hear different voices has always been the key to the Surrey Summit’s ongoing success, and featured speakers like Sir Richard go a long way to opening up a lively discussion of some of the most timely topics of our time.
The City of Surrey Councillor and SRES Co-Chair Linda Hepner.

In the second wave of recession and political instability the problem has reached across the Atlantic to the EU zone, specifically the area between Greece – Italy – Spain. Germany and France continue to fight for the position of the strongest and toughest nation, especially  after François Hollande’s victory in the French Presidential election. It is a time of both change and crisis for the European countries.

US politics are highly focused on the national scene and local problems at the loom of the presidential campaigns. On the other end of the world, China is attempting to fix growing political problems in leading bodies and corruption scandals. Canada on the other hand, is fairly financially stable but continued efforts are being made to work on deficit reduction. Canada plays a modest role in the international political and economic scene but continues to work on establishing future roles and models of cooperation with the major players: US, China and India.

The SRES 2012 will focus on two important topics of discussion. The first panel will be focused on : America, Europe and Asia Choices and Challenges on the Road to Recovery, while the second panel will address the  impact of the American Presidential elections on the domestic and international scene. The third segment of the SRES will feature a Keynote conversation with Sir Richard Branson. Sir Richard will be joined by CKNW host Bill Good, who has lead conversations with some of the most prominent guests at previous Surrey summits.


The first of the three panels will be hosted by Jock Finlayson, Vice President of the Business Council of British Columbia. The panel will attempt to identify the choices and challenges in governments, business and people across the world.

Conditions in Greece, Spain and Italy and relations between Germany and France will be explored. Relations between the US, Canada and major Asia trading partners is also a scheduled topic of conversation. Finlayson, known for his knowledge and sharp questions, will have a chance to discuss present and past situations with two well- respected experts in the area of economics. Answers to his questions could potentially lead to a new direction in 2013. We’ll be looking for these answers from Professor Christina Romer and Stephen Moore.

Professor Christina Romer is the former Chair of Economics Advisors to the President of the United States and currently Professor of Economics at UC at Berkeley. She has conducted extensive research on the comparison of macroeconomic volatility before and after World War II. She also researched the causes of the Great Depression and the process of recovery in the US.  Furthermore, she has completed extensive work on current and historical fiscal and monetary politics. Romer, with her husband and fellow economist, David Romer has recently focused on the impact of tax policy on government and general economic growth. There is no better expert on this topic than Professor Romer as today’s economic state  draws some parallels to the Great Depression. These experiences and ideas of the past can be used today  to understand our current situation and how we can remedy further economic crisis.

Views on the current state and the future of the economics in America, Europe and Asia will come from one of the most prominent analysts and commentators, Stephen Moore. Moore currently sits on the Wall Street Journal editorial board, but he is better known as the former Founder and President of the Club for Growth.  The Club for Growth is a political organization that focuses on taxation and economic issues, with an affiliated political action committee. The Club advocates for lower taxes, limited government, less government spending, free trade and economic liberalism. These are some of the elements that are being presented by many organizations and politicians as the best plans to help resolve the current economic, financial and political problems.


SRES2012 will be held during the last stage of the US Presidential debate. The campaigns of US President Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney are currently heating up and will be in full force by October 2012.  The winner at the end of this battle will impact the world and especially Canada as we are one of most important partners of the US. In a time when Europe as an important economic player shifts sharply to the left of the political spectrum, it will be interesting to see how Europe is affected by  the next elected President of the US.

Vancouver Sun Editor and commentator, Fazil Mihlar will sit down and talk with Newsweek Contributing Editor, Eleanor Clift and conservative political commentator, Bill Bennett. It will be interesting to hear one of  the most prominent US female journalists and authors of our time speak out on the current issues. Clift has had a notable career conversing with a former Drug Czar during the Bush administration, and  serving as Reagan’s Secretary of Education. Bennett was present during CNN’s coverage of the last three Presidential campaigns, and without a doubt he will express his views on the current US/World issues. Clift’s and Bennett’s perspectives in light of the developments from the Presidential race during the months preceding the SRES will certainly provide engaging conversation.  The timing of the SRES is a crucial one as there will be a mass of information and speculation floating through all forms of media as the world awaits the outcome of the US Presidential elections.

Bennett is heard every morning on his radio show, Morning in America discussing current national and international issues.  Clift’s commentary is found in numerous publications and shows including, The Daily Beast, MSNBC, Newsweek, The McLaughlin Group and on CNN’s The Situation Room. Bennett and Clift are prominent authors on topics such as politics, drugs, social issues, presidential elections and history, and the electoral history of the United States of America.

We look forward to a gathering of great minds and insightful ideas at the Surrey Regional Economic Summit 2012. Stay close to Surrey604 for continued coverage on the SRES scheduled for October 4, 2012.


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