Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date 	: 	25/02/83 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me first of all thank Mr. Eric A. Trigg, the
Senior Vice-President of Alcan Montreal and the Program Director, Mr. Jean
Pierre Beaulieu for the opportunity extended to me to address this
prominent group of executives of Alcan.

2. The fact that this group represents both the developed and the
developing countries gives me a rare opportunity to focus on some of the
critical issues of technology transfer and global economic future and
prosperity. As a prominent multinational corporation I am sure the
question of transfer of technology is one of your concerns at this point
in time of international economic development and cooperation as it is to
the world community at large. Having the opportunity of sitting with you
who have come from various countries, I should also take advantage to
learn from your experiences.

Hence, I shall only talk very briefly, and perhaps interact more through a
dialogue at the end of my remarks.

3. Technological imbalance among nations, in particular between the
developed and the developing countries is growing at an even greater pace
with the rapid scientific and technological progress of the developed
nations. This phenomenon is placing a greater strain on the the already
inequitable situation existing in the world economic and financial
systems. In the wake of this, there cannot help but be an increase in
political strains, as the weak nations seek patronage from among the
competing great powers.

4. We know that inequitability in any form denies equal opportunity for
progress. It leads to dichotomies but even more serious is that its leads
to confrontations. The demand for a New International Economic Order and
the North-South dialogue are but manifestations of dissatisfactions with
the existing order and situations. We also know that there exists an
explicit and implicit resistance on the part of the advantaged advanced
nations to sort out things so that an equitable system that can benefit
everyone is instituted. The crux of the matter is the rigidity of the
developed nations. Of course, there are substantive issues such as the
negative factors existing in the developing countries which deter progress
but unless there is a change of attitudes on the part of the developed
countries very little can be done by the developing countries to come out
of the poverty trap.

5. exploitative and manipulative systems that their capacity to progress
is limited. Every move by the developing countries to salvage their
economies is being met by a counter strategy by the advanced nations. Free
trade was expounded by Western economists as the most ideal form of trade
until of course the developing countries learnt to export and enter
western markets. Now protectionism is the acknowledged method of the
developed countries which have also banded together in powerful economic
groupings. Obviously we are in a bigger trap now. Prolonged recession with
the demand for primary commodities at it lowest and prices being depressed
is a painful and bitter experience for many. But the socio-economic
effects on the already large poor segment of societies in the developing
and less-developed world are very depressing. An easy way out for the west
is to hike up interest rates. High deficits and heavy debts create not
just more imbalance but worse still more dependency instead of an
interdependent economic situation. I need not elaborate what it means
except to summarise that it is dangerous.

6. Inequitable technology is a barrier to common progress. While the
developing countries are at the early stages of applying known
technologies, the advanced countries are progressing by leaps and bounds
into higher technology and robotics. Unless a serious thought is given to
the implications and a suitable approach to a more equitable growth is
taken, technology can be a disparity that adds to the existing

7. It is easy to speak of technology transfer as a means of resolving the
situation. Transfer of technology requires some basic
pre-conditions. Firstly, the sincerity and willingness of the owners of
technology to transfer technology. Secondly, the readiness and capacity of
the recepients to accept technology in its optimum form and level, and
thirdly, the logistics for the proper flow and transfer.

8. I need not elaborate on these. But two points, I think, are important
to mention. Firstly, each country functions in a special environment of
its own, and secondly, the developing countries truly need sincere and
proper guidance. Some technologies may be beyond the capacities of the
seekers of technology. The implications may not be known. Technology is
not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. And that end is the
achievement of economic goals which in turn are to serve social and
political purposes.

9. It is enlightening that some moves to re-locate industries are being
undertaken by certain industries. Efforts by multinationals to locate high
technology operations in developing countries in line with domestic
policies and aspirations is also a progressive step.

10. One important factor for effective transfer of technology is the
employment and training of local staff at all levels. This is an important
element in the logistics that I have referred to just now. It would be to
the advantage of the corporation that the staff consider themselves as an
integral and vital part of this operation. It is as important to the
industry that this operation is carried out, as it is important to the
country where the industry is located. competitive situation, particularly
where aggressive achievement may be negated by a lack of markets in the
mass consumption economies of the developed world.

12. Joint-venture enterprises on an international scale can pave the way
not only for the transfer of needed technology for the industrialisation
of developing countries, but more significantly they can ensure market
outlets for products manufactured in developing countries. I am very happy
that ALCAN is going in a big way in terms of siting its most sophisticated
technology in Malaysia. I hope other multinationals would also take
advantage of this type of arrangement so that in practical terms we can
serve a more equitable interrelationship among countries.

Thank you.