New CCI Chief Executive Chris Rodwell says heading up WA’s peak business body is an extraordinary opportunity to support the business community in responding to the rapid, sometimes volatile changes, in the global marketplace.

Rodwell, who recently relocated to Perth from Mexico, says there has been profound change in the global environment in the last decade – but with it comes opportunity.

“The central aim has to be supporting our Members and the broader business community in becoming more innovative as they undertake the necessary actions to become more competitive.

“This requires stepping up to compete across more industries and in more markets, and also ensuring that our tax and regulatory framework supports that work.

“In doing that, we also need to reflect on our own business practices at CCI to make sure we are the most contemporary reflection of those businesses we represent and that we provide that critical connection to rest of the WA community.

Rodwell, who has spent the past decade supporting Australian trade and investment work across the Americas, says it’s important for WA businesses to better understand how the emergence of new business models, often founded on digital and other technological transformation, will impact their current approach.

“I want to help WA business come to grips with all these issues and challenges – that on the one hand might look daunting, but on the other provide extraordinary opportunities.”

Rodwell has already supported a number of WA companies through the process of making commercial deals while based in Mexico – some worth billions of dollars – and his experience and networks will be of even more benefit to WA business.

“I have spent more than half my career, including this entire decade up till now, outside of the country in senior trade and investment roles.

“It has given me exposure to thinking and networks that I would hope I can bring to bear in support of WA companies as they spearhead a broader national effort to transform our economy.”

Despite the pace of the changing global environment, Rodwell is positive about the future.

“Optimism is core to my approach,” he says. “I look at this current business environment and the impact of globalisation and I see a lot of opportunity attached to it – for us to grow, create new ideas and also to respond to some of the criticisms by simply getting better at demonstrating the value that the business community brings to the broader community.

“The reality is that our future is as brilliant as we imagine it to be. WA is a natural home to pioneering thought. As long as we marry our intellect with action, we will ensure the lives of all West Australians is improved.”

►At CCI we know that helping business work helps West Australians work. Talk to our Membership team today on 1300 4 22492 about how we can help grow and support your business.