UK NRI Dr.
Mohan Kaul in the race of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
UK., April 29, 2007
Sant Parkasgh Singh
Dr. Mohan Kaul, a very popular British non-resident Indian, Chief
Executive Commonwealth Business Council is in the race of next Secretary-General
of the Commonwealth at the end of the year
According to the local media report, he had already spoken to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and relying heavily on India's support.
He is also very close to Prime Minister Tony Blair and hope to get
a endorsement from UK
Dr. Mohan said, "It's perhaps time to make the Commonwealth
an economic force instead of keeping it as a political talk shop."
Dr Mohan Kaul was appointed Director-General and Chief Executive
Officer of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) on its establishment
by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Edinburgh in October
1997. When CBC was created, Commonwealth trade was worth $2 trillion.
Today it’s $3 trillion. I don’t say that all of it is
because of us, but our contribution is there.
In this period, he was appointed a number of high-level initiatives
related to investment promotion and strengthening the investment
climate, good governance and corporate social responsibility, reducing
the digital divide, WTO market access and trade facilitation and
integration of developing countries into the global market.
Dr Mohan approached all the member-countries and had received "encouraging
response.'' Several countries, which he did not want to name publicly,
had already assured him of their support, he claimed. "I expect
support from a large number of countries, having been in the Commonwealth
for 20 years and working at the international level for 30 years."
He chaired 28 national and global conferences in joint partnerships
with governments, involving heads of governments, key ministers
and senior business leaders.
- He was senior faculty at the Indian Institute of Management
in Ahmedabad. He was adviser and Consultant to the Government
of India, Public & Private Sector Organisations, including
Planning Commission, Electronics Commission, Department of Public
Distribution, Shipping Corporation of India, Trade Development
Authority, Larson & Tubro and DCM
- He was a member of the Board of Directors of Dredging Corporation
of India and a number of other Institutions. He is a Fellow of
Computer Society of India.
Africa, Asia and Europe:
- He was an Adviser to the South African government of President
Mandela on reform of the public service and has worked in a number
of other countries in advisory and consulting assignments.
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Dr Mohan said:
Commonwealth is a heterogeneous group, comprising both developed
and developing countries. How do you reconcile various positions?
For example, where do you stand on outsourcing?
We want to promote global trade and investment. Here, we are focussing
on ICTs. If we reduce the digital divide, ultimately it will help
in trade, investment and economic growth.
Even at the global level we have bodies like United Nations Information
and Communication Technologies Task Force and platforms like the
World Summit on the Information Society. What kind of value are
you adding at this stage?
Commonwealth is the 2nd largest trade block in the world after the
European Union, but not in terms of influence. Why?
We are influential, but in an informal way. The European Union
is a formal structure. Ours is an informal structure, which has
worked better in some ways.
When Commonwealth itself seems to be losing relevance, how do you
assess the future of CBC?