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Stéphane Garelli

Competitiveness Expert
Country: Switzerland

Keynote speaker Stéphane Garelli – a world authority on competitiveness – has pioneered research in this field for 25 years. Stéphane Garelli reads today’s global economic picture better than anyone else – he is an exciting speaker who combines content with an entertaining approach to complex issues supported by his trademark graphics. His presentations on competitiveness provoke companies and individuals to think “outside the box”.

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World-renowned Competitiveness expert

Stéphane Garelli is a Professor at both the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), one of the world’s leading business schools, and at the University of Lausanne. He is also the director of IMD’s World Competitiveness Center and is an authority on World Competitiveness: his research focuses particularly on how nations and enterprises compete on International markets.

He publishes the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook – the most comprehensive and reputed study in the field of the competitiveness of nations. This yearly report compares the competitiveness of forty-six nations using more than 300 criteria.

Stéphane Garelli is widely considered to be one of the top lecturers on economic and business matters. He has a unique ability to analyze and describe the world economic environment as it evolves, and to draw conclusions about what changes in the world economy actually mean for companies and individuals alike.

Professor Garelli is closely connected to the world of business. He is, among others, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Le Temps”, the leading French language Swiss newspaper. He was formerly Chairman of the Board of the Sandoz Financial and Banking Holding, and member of the board of the Banque Edouard Constant. The author of numerous publications in the field of competitiveness, international trade and investments, he is also a columnist in several magazines. For twelve years he was permanent senior adviser to the European management of Hewlett-Packard, and before that Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and of the Davos Symposium for many years. He is a member of a number of institutes, such as: China Enterprise Management Association, Board of the ‘Fondation Jean Monet pour l’Europe’, The Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Mexican Council for Competitiveness, etc.

He was a member of the Constitutional Assembly of his local state – Vaud, Switzerland from 1999 to 2002.

    Keynote by Speaker Stéphane Garelli

    A Crisis in Four Acts

    • 2008 was the year when the financial crisis reached its paroxysm. 2009 was the year of the great recession. 2010 was characterized by an economic recovery which may be too weak to pay for the huge price incurred by the recent crisis. Budget deficits are exploding (-11% of GDP in the US, – 7.5% in Europe but – 14% in the UK). The level of debt has consequently exploded: it was 78% of the GDP for the G20 in 2007 – it has moved up to 106% in 2010. Such a debt burden is likely to weigh heavily on the vitality of economic activity and will reduce the margin of maneuver of advanced economies. In addition the volatility of currencies and commodity prices create a particularly volatile business environment in 2011. How to thrive in such a level of uncertainty?


    Keynote by Speaker Stéphane Garelli

    A desynchronized recovery

    • Although the economic recovery is quite brisk in emerging economies such as China and India, most advanced economies are experiencing a less buoyant turn-of-fate. The expected U shape recession did not turn out exactly as expected since the economy is exiting from the crisis at a lower level of activity than it went in (hence an inverse J recession). The years 2001 – 2008 were exceptional in terms of growth, with a formidable expansion of exports. It is highly probable – and worrying – that some excess capacities may have been created during these years of exuberance. In 2011 the world economy will be highly desynchronized. Some nations will remain on the verge of recession, other will be overheating, some shall confront deflation, others inflation. In such an environment, companies will have to implement a very flexible and adaptive business model.


    Keynote by Speaker Stéphane Garelli

    A Saturated market in the advanced economies

    • One of the reasons to fear a slower growth rate is that advanced economies are now “Replacement Economies” where each purchase generally replaces an existing product. For example, there are some one billion old mobile phones stored in drawers in the US. As a result, households – many of them plagued by debt – realize that they can wait longer before buying additional non essential goods without experiencing a fall in their standard of living. What will make them buy again? A dramatic innovation! New Technologies, more than ever, will be the name of the game.


    Keynote by Speaker Stéphane Garelli

    Globalisation 2.0

    • In this context, competitiveness seems to rediscover the importance of manufacturing and the re-industrialization of the economy. Today, the US share in world manufacturing has dropped to 20% and has been matched by China. During the past two decades, the US, Europe and Japan have all suffered a drastic drop in their manufacturing base. In addition, many companies are now reviewing the pros and cons of extreme outsourcing of their activities: how much cost have been saved, how much complexity in the business model has it created, how many more competitors has it generated?. Finally a “return to basics” approach will imply a critical increase in productivity in advanced economy. This will be achieved through innovative policies, more flexibility in labor relations, a new partnership with trade unions and probably some social turmoil.
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