Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch said the ongoing metamorphosis of from historic backwaters into economic powers will reshape the world in the next few decades.
The News Corporation chief gave an upbeat assessment of the future and made a vigorous case for free markets despite troubled economic times and what he called “naked, heartless aggression” in the world.
In the first of a series of speeches in his birth country of Australia, Mr Murdoch spoke yesterday of “the great transformation we’ve seen in the past few decades, the unleashing of human talent and ability across our world, and the golden age for humankind that I see just around the corner”.
He said China and India are great countries whose people are only recently emerging from long histories of being “incarcerated by communism or caste”.
The rise of their economies is creating a new middle class that would be three billion strong within 30 years and is setting a new benchmark for global competitiveness, he said.
“The world has never seen this kind of advance before,” Mr Murdoch said.
“These are people who have known deprivation. These are people who are intent on developing their skills, improving their lives and showing the world what they can do.”
Mr Murdoch, whose New York-based conglomerate includes Twentieth Century Fox, Fox News Channel, Dow Jones & Co. as well as newspaper stables in Australia and Britain and the online networking site MySpace, described the global financial crisis as one of many challenges facing Australia.
He urged Australia to embrace internationalism and touched on a range of global issues, from international security to the commercial opportunities offered by the world’s need for cleaner energy.