Venture Asia: Singapore

In the Zone 2015

On 13 April, In the Zone convened a group of senior business and government leaders at the Google Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore to discuss Perth and Singapore’s strategic and cultural bond and how best to capitalise on our cities’ close proximity, good business relationship, entwined histories and promising futures. Singapore’s reputation as a global hub for investment and trade and its expertise in finance and energy trading make it an ideal destination for In the Zone. As a minerals and energy superpower with impressive social, scientific and technical infrastructure, Perth is an ideal partner for Singaporean investors and entrepreneurs. Perth and Singapore have much to gain from increased collaboration. Investment flows and business cooperation will increase the competitiveness of both cities on the world stage. In this spirit, In the Zone laid the cornerstone of its Asian tour in Singapore.

Launching In the Zone 2015 at the headquarters of Google Asia Pacific in the heart of Singapore, the University of Western Australia’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson, said Australia was committed to ‘enhancing our thinking, understanding and knowledge about our region, our future and our interdependence’.

Professor Paul Johnson said Australia was committed to ‘enhancing our thinking, understanding and knowledge about our region, our future and our interdependence’.

‘For Australia and the Asian region to take the lead globally in the energy and minerals sector, we must look outward, not inward, and we must engage with our neighbours.’‘In the Zone reminds us that we share the same four-hour time horizon with the Asian region – an area that encompasses sixty per cent of the world’s population; a region that in total has a Gross Domestic Product output of twenty-three trillion dollars, which represents one third of the world economy,’ Professor Johnson said.

Professor Johnson said Singapore’s reputation as a global hub for investment and trade and its expertise in finance and energy trading made it an ideal destination for In the Zone’s first venture into Asia.

Keynote speakers


In the Zone Master of Ceremonies

Tina Altieri is a television anchor, professional compère and journalist. She commenced her career as a radio reporter and, shortly after this, joined Channel Ten’s Eyewitness News. Ms Altieri is a presenter of Channel 7’s Today Tonight Summer Edition. She is an accomplished public presentations and media-management trainer.


Premier of Western Australia

The Hon Colin Barnett MLA became Western Australia’s twenty-ninth Premier in 2008. Since 2013, he has also been Minister for Science, in recognition of the central role that scientific innovation will take in the future of the state’s development. Mr Barnett holds an Honours and Masters Degree in Economics from The University of Western Australia.


Managing Director, Marine, Rio Tinto
Bold Baatar was appointed to the role of Managing Director, Marine, in May 2014, based in Singapore, where he has accountability for Rio Tinto’s global ocean-freight business. Mr Bataar is also a member of the Iron Ore Executive Committee. Mr Baatar was previously president of International Operations for the Rio Tinto Copper group and was accountable for a diverse portfolio of sites in South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, the United States and Mongolia.


Associate Director, Marketing and Business Development, Listings, Singapore Exchange
Chong Lek Foong’s role includes marketing and business development to attract new listings on the Singapore Exchange in Australia and South East Asia in the mineral, oil and gas sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and an MBA from INSEAD.


Managing Director, Agencies, Google Asia Pacific

Michelle Guthrie joined Google in 2011. She is responsible for driving Google’s strategies and relationships with marketing and advertising agencies across Asia. Before this, she was the Managing Director and Senior Advisor of Providence Equity Partners. She was CEO of News Corporation’s STAR from 2003 to 2007. Michelle was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She is a graduate of Sydney University.


Australian High Commissioner to Singapore
Philip Green was appointed Australia’s High Commissioner to Singapore in November 2012. He previously served overseas as High Commissioner in South Africa and Kenya. Mr Green was Chief of Staff to Foreign Minister The Hon Kevin Rudd and served as Mr Rudd’s International Adviser when he was Prime Minister.


Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia

Professor Paul Johnson has been Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia since 2012. Prior to his appointment at the University, Professor Johnson served as Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University in Victoria for four years. Before this, he served three years as Deputy Director of the London School of Economics.


CEO, Singapore and Malaysia, ANZ

Vishnu Shahaney is responsible for ANZ’s global, international, retail and private banking segments. He previously held senior management positions in corporate, institutional, transaction banking and risk. Mr Shahaney serves as a Council Member of the Association of Banks in Singapore and a Board Member of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce.


Foreign Editor, the Australian
Greg Sheridan is the Australian newspaper’s foreign editor and is one of Australia’s most influential analysts of foreign affairs. He joined the Australian in 1984 and worked in Beijing, Washington and Canberra. He has written five books, including four books on Asian politics. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne and a graduate of Sydney University.  


Former Federal Minister for Defence

The Hon Stephen Smith was the Federal Member for Perth for the Australian Labor Party from March 1993 until September 2013. In the Australian Federal Parliament, he served as the Minister for Defence, and prior to that, as Minister for Foreign Affairs. He is Winthrop Professor of International Law at The University of Western Australia.

The Premier of Western Australia, the Hon Colin Barnett, headlined this international event attended by eighty prominent business, government and academic leaders from the Zone. Moderators and panelists at the half-day forum included Michelle Guthrie, Managing Director of Agencies, Google Asia Pacific, Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor of the Australian, Managing Director of Rio Tinto Marine, Bold Baatar, and the Hon Stephen Smith.

Colin Barnett launched Knowledge Society and the University of Western Australia’s State of Mind, a publication and online destination that places the state’s achievements as a world-leading diversified minerals and energy province in a global context and recasts the narrative of Western Australia as a state of ‘mind’.


"I am confident that in the coming decades the city of Perth will grow in importance as a centre of business, educational and technological excellence in the region. This State will also continue to develop as the epicentre of a global resource and mineral supply economy delivering the growth that has seen an economic power shift to the Asian and Indian Ocean regions." Michael Chaney
Chancellor, The University of Western Australia