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The world is undergoing a huge transformation and we are just seeing the start of the technology and innovation rise of Asia and particularly China. Looking at the table of patent applications each year, Chinese companies like Huawei top the list, no longer are Chinese companies, cheap copycat producers. More and more they are leading in their field of business. Huawei is of course the largest and pioneer of these types of companies. But more Huaweis are coming. Australia can’t pretend the rise of smart China isn’t happening.
Australia cannot sit back and think it can isolate itself from this fundamental change. To do so would impact the country economically and deprive us from world leading technology. While at the same time our trading competitors are taking full advantage of better technology, cheaper costs for that technology and benefit from the productivity gains that flow from 5G and IoT technologies that power smart agriculture, smart mining, smart cities, driverless cars etc.
UK, Canada & New Zealand are tackling the problem head on, they work with companies like Huawei to ensure they have the benefits that come from open and competitive markets but also enabling the ability to have safe and secure infrastructure.
Banning Huawei will not make the Australian telecom ecosystem safer, but will have a huge impact on the industry and the prices and services Australians receive. It will be a great policy failure and demonstrate to the world that we are not ready for the new reality of a smart and innovative China.
John Lord, AM FAICD
John was born in Perth, Western Australia and has had high profile careers in the Australian Navy, the Commonwealth and State public sectors, and private enterprise. In recent years he has provided strategic planning, risk and corporate governance advice to the commercial sector specialising in international relations, government business and the maritime industries.
He served with the Royal Australian Navy for over 36 years and retired with the rank of Rear Admiral. During his defence and naval career he served in Vietnam, commanded two major warships, and directed naval operations to support East Timor during 1999-2000. As a senior officer John was the Commander of Northern Command in Darwin and the inaugural Head of Defence Education and Training responsible for all civilian and military education. In his last appointment he was the Fleet Commander responsible for Navy operations worldwide including the 8000 personnel under his command.
John was independent Chairman and on the Board of DMS Maritime Pty Ltd from 2003 to 2013, an Executive Director of P&O Maritime Services from 2003 to 2007, and a Director of Australian Maritime Systems, Austen Maritime Services Pte based in Singapore, and P&O Maritime Services UK and South Africa. Within the Victorian public sector John has been Chairman of the Victorian Veterans Council, a Director of the Victorian Metropolitan Fire & Emergency Services Board, a member of the Victorian Defence Council and was Chief Executive and Director of the Marine Board of Victoria and a member of the Australian Maritime Group and the National Plan Committee for maritime emergency responses around Australia from 2000 to 2003. John was on the Board of Huntingdale Golf Club for ten years and its Captain and Chairman from 2010 to 2013.
John is presently Chairman of Huawei Technologies Australia Pty Ltd, and a member of the Minister’s Corrections Advisory Committee. In a voluntary capacity he is Chairman of the Defence Bank Foundation Trust and Patron of the Darwin Defenders 1942-45 Melbourne Branch.