The Philippine Star

It’s all sys­tems go for PBC&E chair

- Manila · Philippines · Rodrigo Duterte · Isko Moreno · Namibia · China · Nueva Ecija · University of the Philippines · University of the Philippines · University of Santo Tomas · Thomas Aquinas · Science City of Munoz · Lubao · Pampanga

This year’s Philip­pine Busi­ness Con­fer­ence and Expo (PBC&E), the coun­try’s big­gest gath­er­ing of busi­ness­men and pol­i­cy­mak­ers, or­ga­nized by the Philip­pine Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (PCCI), is now set for stag­ing on Oct. 16-17 at the Manila Ho­tel.

PCCI di­rec­tor Wil­liam Co, who chairs this year’s PBC&E, said their dif­fer­ent com­mit­tees had worked hard over the past seven months to make sure the 45th PBC&E at the Manila Ho­tel will live up to its billing as the most im­por­tant busi­ness event in the Philip­pines. “Ev­ery­thing is ready,” he said. The event will have “En­abling Busi­ness in a Dig­i­tal Econ­omy,” for its theme.

“We did a lot of work. We in­vited VIPs, ex­perts, speak­ers to be­come our guests. We also went around the coun­try to in­vite our re­gional mem­bers to come and at­tend this spe­cial event,” he said.

Co said the top agenda of this year’s PBC&E is Pres­i­dent Duterte’s mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture buildup un­der the gov­ern­ment’s Build Build Build scheme.

Busi­ness­men, Co said, hope that with the pri­vate sec­tor sup­port, all the ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects lined up by the gov­ern­ment will be com­pleted in the next three years to vastly im­prove the coun­try’s in­vest­ment cli­mate.

Aside from in­fra­struc­ture, Co said ex­perts would also share ideas on how busi­nesses can thrive in the dig­i­tal-driven econ­omy, with com­plex de­vel­op­ments such as big data, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI), and ecom­merce im­pact­ing busi­ness op­er­a­tions. Other ma­jor top­ics in­clude agri­cul­ture, food se­cu­rity and en­vi­ron­ment.

The expo will be opened by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Co said.

Co said they ex­pect more than 1,000 at­ten­dees in the 45th PBC&E.

PCCI pres­i­dent Ma. Ale­gria Sibal Limjoco said their board unan­i­mously picked Co as chair of this year’s PBC&E be­cause of his vast ex­pe­ri­ence in the field of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy; he owns and runs the ICCT Col­leges.

“We want Dr. Co to be the face of the 45th PBC&E with its theme re­lated to in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy. For the past 20 years, our reg­is­tra­tion has al­ways been headed by Dr. Co. He has the peo­ple to demon­strate ICT, and even ush­ers and ush­erettes who are techie,” Limjoco said.

Co has been a busi­ness leader and ad­vo­cate for decades now. He is also cur­rently the trea­surer of the Em­ploy­ers Con­fed­er­a­tion of the Philip­pines, an ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Ex­port Devel­op­ment Coun­cil, a trus­tee of the Philip­pine Ex­porter Con­fed­er­a­tion of the Philip­pines, honorary con­sul of the Con­sulate of Namibia, and as­sis­tant trea­surer of the Con­sular Corps of the Philip­pines.

Aside from his ac­tive in­volve­ment in ex­port pro­mo­tion, he was also a former Philip­pine agri­cul­ture at­taché to China. As an ac­tive ad­vo­cate of mod­ern agri­cul­ture and mech­a­nized farm­ing, he is very in­ter­ested in pro­mot­ing hy­brid rice and corn, mod­ern fish­ery and aqua re­sources, and Philip­pine ex­port of tropical fruits around the world. He helped es­tab­lish the Phil-Sino Cen­ter for Agri­cul­tural Tech­nol­ogy (PhilSCAT) in the Sci­ence City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija. Co also founded the Philip­pine Col­leges & Univer­si­ties China Stud­ies As­so­ci­a­tion (PCUCSA).

Co was born on July 29, 1947 to a rice miller and sugar planter fam­ily in Lubao, Pam­panga. He fin­ished his BS in Engi­neer­ing at the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines and his MA in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion at the Univer­sity of Santo To­mas.

His ex­ten­sive busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ences in the past 45 years in­volved en­gage­ments in var­i­ous fields in­clud­ing agri­ma­chin­ery; and in­dus­trial, med­i­cal and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy fa­cil­i­ties. He ac­tively pro­motes bam­boo plant­ing and mod­ern agri­cul­ture, and sup­ports SME coun­try­side devel­op­ment as a core pro­ject of PCCI.

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