I am pleased to have this chance to talk to you short-lived coup in the USSR come to mind. But that today. And, for a number of reasons, I am pleased does not shake my belief that having some ideas that I am talking to you here in Argentina. First, about what the future might hold is helpful, even if because Shell has been in this country for many events turn out quite differently. years. In fact, Shell Compañia Argentina de Petróleo I think it is fairly well known that Shell companies (CAPSA) celebrated its 77th birthday in September use scenario planning. These scenarios are not fore- 1991. And second, because less than 20 years ago, my casts, but pictures of possible alternative futures. predecessor at that time may well have thought there They are used to encourage discussion of alternatives would be no such birthday. As you may know, Shell and consideration of the ‘what ifs’ of business deci-CAPSA's commercial activities were nationalized in sions. We believe they improve our view of what the 1974. I am pleased to say that they were denational- world is now, and what it might be in the future. We ized three years later. believe they also help to prepare Shell managers to But Argentina in the 1970s was a very different deal with the unforeseen, the event that is so unlikely country from the Argentina we see today, particu- that people do not think about-until they are in the larly for the oil industry. Until very recently, the oil thick of handling it. sector in Argentina was the most thoroughly regu- Our present global scenarios focus on three areas lated of all the country's market sectors. Now it is where change might be far-reaching-geopolitics; well down the path of deregulation. That is the third international economics; and the environment. reason for my pleasure at being here today. I believe One scenario we term Global Mercantilism. The the success of that deregulation is a tribute to the main feature of this scenario is weakness and instawork of this government and the support of Yaci- bility in the world's economic and political systems. mientos PetrolÍferos Fiscales (YPF). Shell CAPSA, as Countries or regions that are frustrated with internawell as all those involved in the oil sector in this tional failures focus on building a new, more country, is of course delighted to be working in this managed, regional system. There is emphasis on open market. And we should all be pleased to see regional pacts and bilateral agreements between this country taking its place in the world. For these trading blocs. reasons, it seems particularly appropriate that the Although this scenario captures prevailing protec-WPC has chosen Argentina to host this Congress tionist thinking in industrial countries, policy-makers this

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