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INTERVIEW: David Van Oss

David Van Oss Interview

David Van Oss, Principal Consultant of PRTM Management Consultants, talks about challenges in the eurozone and American presidential elections.

June 4, 2012 4:30 by

What are the major themes from this year’s Davos conference?

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world. Nonetheless, many leaders have stood up and expressed a sense of progress and optimism that serious problems can be solved, given dialog and political will.


When you say the leaders have talked, do you mean the Prime Minister of the UK and Chancellor of Germany?

They have their point of view. Both the federal chancellor and the Prime Minister expressed a very clear determination to work together in the context of the Euro­pean Union to find solutions to problems. They have different points of view, which is no surprise to anyone, but they are both playing the same game.


Critics say the UK should have been down­graded by S&P and not other countries like France. What’s your opinion?

I’m not an expert on financial services, so I have no comment.


What will be the challenges in 2012?

Clearly, many of the economic issues are a work in progress. There are challenges in the eurozone, the outcome of the Ame­rican presidential elections inevitably has big consequences for all, not just Ameri­cans. Certain topics come and go in media terms, like the Doha trade around; they have somewhat fallen out of sight, and now more concern surrounds Iran – and these are all legitimate concerns. Some of the hard questions about sustainable environmentalism, trade balances and trade flows will remain important to the health and wellbeing of every citizen.


Tell me something about your work at PWC?

PWC is the world’s largest professional services firm; we are in 127 countries. We are actively trying to bring fresh thinking to financial stability, sustainability, endu­ring things around leadership and human capital. We advice NGOs and companies on all of those things.


The US is experiencing modest growth, while Europe is struggling with its own problems. Do you see a shift towards emerging economies like Asia, especially in China and India?

Yes. They have emerging demands; in many cases they are resource-rich economies. They have noble aspira­tions for their people and that shift has been going on for many years, and I expect it to continue for many years. The global organizations will need to change to reflect that truth.


If you have been given a button to fix the European economies, what would be your steps or policies?

I think Europe and its businesses have shown that they can be very successful worldwide when they are very competi­tive, and that requires structural reforms. National governments organize and promote economic growth this way. I think the eurozone issues will be agreed eventually between those governments, but deep down national competitiveness is the sure path to long-term growth on a global basis.


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