PM Dinner 2008
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Dinner with Prime Minister Rudd

When Australia’s Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP touched down in New York during part of his first official overseas world tour, he was guest of honor at a prestigious dinner hosted by the American Australian Association on 29 March, 2008. 

The dinner, while continuing a fine tradition for the Association, having hosted every Australian Prime Minister since its establishment in 1948, also provided Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister with an opportunity to meet and greet key American and expatriate Australian business and community leaders and other government representatives.  Guests included Robert Thomson, News Corporation; Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa; Anthony Pratt, Pratt Industries USA Inc; Heinz Haller, The Dow Chemical Company, Peter Lowy, Westfield; David Anstice, Merck & Co.; Steve O’Rourke, BHP Billiton; Leonard Harlan, Castle Harlan; Annabel Spring, Morgan Stanley; HE Robert McCallum, United States Ambassador to Australia; HE Dennis Richardson, Australian Ambassador to the United States; HE the Hon Robert Hill, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations; and HE the Hon John Olsen AO, Consul General, New York.  Dinner was formally served in the luxurious baroque inspired Rainbow Room in the Rockefeller Plaza which also offered dinner guests panoramic views over New York City.

After being warmly introduced by Jim McNerney, Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company, the Prime Minister in a landmark first address in the United States, titled “Australia, the United States and the Global Economy”, touched on and reiterated the new Labor Government’s plans for domestic and international reform. Now synonymous with Labor’s election platform, these reforms include building and maintaining a strong global economy based on open trade and investment; a further flattening of Australia’s taxation structure and a commitment to heavy investment in IT infrastructure that will quickly link Australia to the rest of the world. 

On international and foreign policy, the Prime Minister expressed renewed commitment to engaging multilaterally with organizations such as the United Nations and to continuing Australia’s historic and enduring close ties with the United States, irrespective of party politics. Making the most of the high level corporate audience, the Prime Minister also announced a new scheme to enhance capital flow between Australia and the United States through mutual recognition of respective securities regulatory regimes.

Contributing to the success of this event, the American Australian Association thanks the following Platinum sponsors Alcoa Inc, Merck & Co, Morgan Stanley, News Corporation, Pratt Industries USA Inc, The Dow Chemical Co, and Westfield LLC. Thanks also to sponsors Citigroup, ANZ Investment Bank, Castle Harlan Inc, Chevron, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Invest Victoria.

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