Aboitiz to ABAC leaders: “People are the heart and soul of economies”
Bangkok, Thailand – As the world recovers from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Aboitiz Group President and CEO and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) PH member Sabin Aboitiz underscored the importance of workers in driving the regional economy forward.
On Monday, November 14, the ABAC-APEC Summit meetings kicked off with regional business leaders engaging in insightful and productive discussions. As Co-Chair of the ABAC Regional Economic Integration Working Group (REIWG) / Lead for Services, Aboitiz started the REIWG meeting with a motivating and forward-looking speech.
“To foster economic recovery and boost service competitiveness, APEC economies will need skilled laborers who are future-ready, innovative, and fully capable of navigating new products and processes that will help the sector capture opportunities in new markets,” said Aboitiz.
Aboitiz’s speech echoes the Aboitiz Group’s emphasis on the importance of team members as the driving force of continued growth and success. As the Aboitiz Group embarks on its Great Transformation journey to become the country’s first techglomerate, a reinvigorated entrepreneurial spirit and innovation mindset is key.
“People are literally the heart and soul of our economies, and human resources have always been at the core of the services sector. We must therefore never cease to harness the power and potential of human capital, the development of skills, and the constant movement of people in order to enable our region’s speedy recovery from the unprecedented challenges we’ve encountered, and to move on toward robust growth for all our economies,” Aboitiz added.
“This growth can only be achieved if we place sufficient emphasis on digital innovation and new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, data science, and cloud computing. This is an absolutely necessary strategy for inclusion and resilience in services as it supports key sectors such as tourism, banking and finance, IT-BPM, and others,” Aboitiz continued in his speech to the REIWG.
Discussing key learnings and business recommendations from the ABAC Service Public-Private Dialogue held last July 12, Aboitiz stressed the need to focus and invest on digitalization, upskilling, and the adoption of technological innovations to future-proof businesses and equip the next generation with the right skills needed in a digital future. In particular, digitalization of MSMEs and to facilitate cross-border delivery of services was emphasized in the recommendations, as well as the easing of barriers to the movement of people. Alongside uplifting market competitiveness, Aboitiz highlighted the importance of exchanging talent in order to clear pathways to address climate change.
“We must continue creating and supporting an enabling environment through digitalization, with a strong emphasis on upgrading talent skill sets, and a renewed focus on Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) as part of education for young learners. We must ensure that our future workforce is prepared to meet the demanding requirements of an increasingly digital services economy,” Aboitiz stated.
The report of Aboitiz to the REIWG immediately followed the ABAC-APEC Summit opening ceremony. This was attended by Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Supattanapong Punmeechaow and ABAC Chair and Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries Kriengkrai Thiennukul, among other key officials.
During the five-day summit, Aboitiz together with Guillermo Luz of Ayala Group will be providing private sector perspectives from the Philippines on business-related issues in various working group meetings and dialogues with economic and business leaders from the region. On November 18, ABAC members will dialogue with APEC leaders, including Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape. #