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Founded in 1951, The Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations (CCFR) is a civic, non-partisan organization dedicated to the promotion of informed discussion of American foreign policy and international affairs.

It has achieved a distinguished record of bringing together concerned citizens in our area with leading authorities on world developments. The hallmark of CCFR is the creation of opportunities for in-depth exchanges on major international issues that increasingly affect our lives.

Robert Zoellick, Past President, The World Bank

"The Changing World Economic Geography”

Thursday May 09,2019

Since 2000, the balance of economic power in the world has shifted dramatically. For the past century the U.S has been the world’s dominant economic power. Emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil are likely to challenge that dominance in the next few decades. What does that mean for our national security and well being?
Since 1944, when the dollar replaced the British pound, the U.S. dollar has been the reserve currency in the world. Today, approximately 70% of all transactions are denominated in U.S. dollars. This dependence on the U.S. financial system is a major reason that our sanction policies are effective.  Last year China established a market for oil futures denominated in yuan; this market has been successful and endangers the dollar as the prime currency for natural resources in Asia, the fastest growing market in the world.
With the rise of the BRICs countries, the U.S leadership has eroded. As these developing economies grew, Europe experienced weak growth  and similar erosion of influence. In 2000 the combined economies of China, India, and Brazil were less than 25% of the size of the US economy. China’s economy in 2000 was barely 10% of the size of the U.S. Today these economies combined are almost 90% that of the US , while China alone is about 65% the size of the U.S. In 2019, in nominal US dollars, China is the second largest economy in the world; India is number 5, and Brazil is number 8. And measured in purchasing power, China is now the largest economy in the world, with India number 3, and Indonesia number 7. By 2030 it is forecast that the combined economic power of the BRICs countries  will exceed that of the U.S, Japan, Germany, France, UK, and Italy combined. With these shifts in economic size come power and implications for U.S. policy.
The organizations and policies  designed and fostered by the U.S. in the last 70 years have been key drivers of the growth of these economies. Trade liberalization, economic reforms, freer movement of capital, and technology transfer all have contributed to the high relative growth of the BRICs and other emerging economies. How if at all, should the U.S. change course relative to these policies? Will the U.S. have sufficient influence to change these policies?
Our May speaker, Mr. Robert Zoellick, will address the changing geography of the world economy and the policy implications for the U.S. Mr. Zoellick is the former President of The World Bank, serving in that role from 2007 until 2012. Previously he was Under Secretary of State from 2005 to 2006 and U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005. Mr. Zoellick has been a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs since 2012 and is currently a Senior Counselor at Brunswick Group and non-executive Chairman of the Board of AllianceBernstein.
Mr. Zoellick graduated Phi Beta Kappa in history from Swarthmore College in 1975 and received his  JD from Harvard Law School magna cum laude and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1981.
6:00 Cocktails    6:45 Dinner    7:45 Address and Discussion

Meal A: Pan Seared Crab Cakes
Meal B: Grilled Filet Mignon
Meal C: Mushroom and Leek Tart