The Philippine Star

Filipino busi­nesses gear up for FIRe at 45th PBC&E

- By MICHAELA TANGAN Business · World Economic Forum · Klaus Schwab · organization · Philippines · U.S. Chamber of Commerce · Manila · Maria Leonor Robredo · Rodrigo Duterte · Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo · Philippines Department of Trade and Industry · United States Agency for International Development · United States Agency for International Development · ASEAN · Isko Moreno

The world is on the brink of a tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion. In no time, it will trans­form how we live our lives, in­ter­act with oth­ers, and work.

The World Eco­nomic Fo­rum (WEF) founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Klaus Sch­wab, who also coined the term “fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion (FIRe),” raised con­cerns such as the in­abil­ity of or­ga­ni­za­tions to adapt, fail­ure of gov­ern­ments to em­ploy and reg­u­late new tech­nolo­gies to cap­ture its ben­e­fits, cre­ation of im­por­tant new se­cu­rity con­cerns, growth of in­equal­ity, and frag­men­ta­tion of so­ci­eties.

In WEF’s 2017 as­sess­ment, the Philip­pines was cat­e­go­rized as one of the legacy coun­tries for its strong pro­duc­tion base. How­ever, our fu­ture’s at risk due to weaker per­for­mance across driv­ers of pro­duc­tion such as tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion, hu­man cap­i­tal, global trade, and in­vest­ment, in­sti­tu­tional frame­work, sus­tain­able re­sources, and the de­mand en­vi­ron­ment.

To gear up for the dig­i­tal econ­omy, the Philip­pine Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (PCCI), the coun­try’s largest busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tion, will gather over a thou­sand lo­cal and for­eign busi­ness­men in the coun­try at the 45th Philip­pine Busi­ness Con­fer­ence and Expo (PBC&E) from Oct. 16 to 17 at the Manila Ho­tel.

Ban­ner­ing the theme, “En­abling busi­ness in a dig­i­tal econ­omy,” the 45th PBC&E will look into the dy­nam­ics of a dig­i­tally driven econ­omy and how it im­pacts peo­ple’s growth and busi­ness sus­tain­abil­ity.

The said theme is a fol­low-through of the 44th PBC&E’s theme, “In­fra­struc­ture and dig­i­tal econ­omy: The game chang­ers.”

“We are get­ting ready for the dig­i­tal econ­omy. PCCI strives to re­main proac­tive. We are tripling our ef­forts to ad­dress the un­fa­mil­iar­ity and un­ease that our lo­cal busi­nesses face. The con­fer­ence re­mains the most valu­able plat­form for our busi­ness­men and gov­ern­ment lead­ers to dis­prove the dis­rup­tions, and in­spire in­no­va­tions,” PCCI pres­i­dent Ma. Ale­gria Sibal-Limjoco said.

BUILD­ING THE FU­TURE TO­GETHER

“We have to pre­pare ev­ery­body for the dig­i­tal econ­omy or the up­com­ing fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion. In fact, we are lag­ging. We are one of the na­tions in the world that have the slow­est In­ter­net speeds, and we’re hav­ing dif­fi­culty try­ing to catch up. I’m sure that once we catch up, our com­pet­i­tive­ness and ef­fi­ciency will in­crease,” PCCI honorary chair­man and trea­surer Ser­gio Or­tiz-Luis, Jr. shares with op­ti­mism.

“Where we are good, we’ll be bet­ter,” Or­tiz-Luis shares as he high­lights the im­por­tance of dis­cus­sions and prepa­ra­tions on the dig­i­tal econ­omy.

To kick-start the con­fer­ence, Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno-Do­magoso will grace the PBC&E open­ing as the guest of honor. Mean­while, Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo will ad­dress the busi­ness com­mu­nity as the open­ing key­note speaker. Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte will also be present at the con­clud­ing cer­e­monies to ad­dress the Philip­pine busi­ness com­mu­nity.

Limjoco shared that for the two­day con­fer­ence, the PCCI has lined up renowned speak­ers, panelists, as well as lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional ex­perts in the field of dig­i­tal­iza­tion and tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion. They will thor­oughly dis­cuss how busi­nesses can thrive in a fast-chang­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. They will mainly have a closer look at the op­por­tu­ni­ties un­der the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and up­skilling of the work­force, and lever­ag­ing new tech­nolo­gies.

She added that busi­ness lead­ers, who come from dif­fer­ent busi­ness sec­tors and from all over the coun­try and world, will also have the op­por­tu­nity to share their thoughts, ex­pand their net­work, and ex­plore busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties with like-minded in­di­vid­u­als dur­ing busi­ness­match­ing and net­work­ing ses­sions.

This year’s PBC&E chair, Dr. Wil­liam Co, hopes to in­spire and bring peo­ple to­gether through the con­fer­ence.

“I would like the del­e­gates to see the value of the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion as it af­fects us in the Philip­pines and the global set­ting. This dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy is here to chal­lenge our re­solve in sus­tain­ing our busi­nesses and up­grad­ing our tech­nol­ogy,” Co said.

“I hope that with this con­fer­ence, our en­trepreneur­s will learn and bring with them some take­aways and strate­gies to be able to adapt to this fast-chang­ing world,” he added.

EN­ABLING PEO­PLE, EN­ABLING BUSI­NESSES

“I am op­ti­mistic that mov­ing for­ward, we all rec­og­nize the power of work­ing to­gether and that when we en­able peo­ple, we en­able busi­nesses,” Limjoco said. True to her word, the PBC&E has been a sound­ing board of is­sues, con­cerns, and rec­om­men­da­tions of lo­cal busi­ness lead­ers. Co shared that the con­fer­ence was

an im­por­tant av­enue where the need to en­hance in­fra­struc­ture build-up to im­prove phys­i­cal con­nec­tiv­ity, lower lo­gis­tic cost, and im­prove power sup­ply in tourism des­ti­na­tions were raised.

“Our pro­gram called the 5As (Ar­rival, Ac­cess, Ac­com­mo­da­tion, At­trac­tion, and Ac­tiv­i­ties), which will im­prove night land­ing fa­cil­i­ties, have been done,” Co shared.

More­over, Co shares that the con­fer­ence and PCCI cham­pi­oned the RO-RO dur­ing the term of former pres­i­dent Gloria Ar­royo, which made trav­el­ing to is­lands on a bud­get pos­si­ble. On top of that, the con­fer­ence helped heighten the im­prove­ment of lo­cal gov­ern­ment’s front­line ser­vices for busi­nesses and in­vest­ments.

“PCCI spear­heads an an­nual search to com­mend LGUs that have suc­cess­fully en­hanced or in­sti­tuted an en­vi­ron­ment that is con­ducive to busi­nesses. With the en­act­ment of the Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness Act, the award can now com­ple­ment the ef­forts of the gov­ern­ment to in­sti­tu­tion­al­ize stan­dards in de­liv­er­ing qual­ity ser­vices to the peo­ple as man­dated by the law,” Co told The STAR.

Limjoco also high­lighted the Agribusi­ness Sup­port for In­vest­ment and Re­gional Ex­po­si­tions (AS­PIRE) pro­ject it rolled out in part­ner­ship with the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try.

“We have been able to bring our farm­ers’ prod­ucts di­rectly to the mar­kets through the pro­ject. Now, we see many of our mem­bers — the likes of Sam­gyup­masarap, Potato Corner, Barts Fruit and Merry Mango — sourcing di­rectly from our farm­ers,” she said.

“We are go­ing be­yond the pro­duc­er­mar­ket el­e­ment. See­ing the suc­cess of our pro­ject, the USAID has com­mit­ted to sup­port us as we en­hance the pro­ducer-to-mar­ket pro­gram by map­ping out stake­hold­ers such as those in the man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­cessed food in­dus­try, pack­ag­ing, lo­gis­tics, and fi­nanc­ing, to en­sure that these sup­port ser­vices are made avail­able to our pro­duc­ers and help them im­prove their ac­cess to mar­kets,” she added.

Di­Rec­Tion of Phl

PCCI chair­man emer­i­tus and di­rec­tor for In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs Dr. Fran­cis Chua said the 45th PBC&E is the right venue to know where the Philip­pines is to­day and where it is head­ing.

“PBC&E is a very im­por­tant yearly event for the busi­ness sec­tor, we wel­come all de­ci­sion mak­ers to join us on Oc­to­ber 16 and 17 this year to gain valu­able knowl­edge vi­tal for busi­ness­men. To know where is Philip­pines now and where we are head­ing. We will hear di­rectly from Pres­i­dent Duterte and his Cabi­net fam­ily why the Philip­pines is the dar­ling of in­vestors and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions,” Chua shared.

Ge­orge Barcelon, PCCI chair­man and reap­pointed mem­ber of the Leg­isla­tive Ex­ec­u­tive Devel­op­ment Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil, said they seek a fu­ture where the Philip­pines will not just fo­cus on low-end prod­ucts and ser­vices, but com­pete with the rest of the world for tech­nol­ogy-driven eco­nomic growth.

“Many of the PCCI con­stituents are MSMEs, and ease of do­ing busi­ness is very im­por­tant to them. We hope this will be men­tioned again by Pres­i­dent Duterte and I’m sure this will be part of the PBC&E res­o­lu­tions,” Barcelon said.

Voice of PhiliP­Pine buSi­neSS

In­deed, the PCCI has bridged gaps and cre­ated new roads for sev­eral years now. Limjoco, Or­tiz-Luis, Barcelon, Chua and Co are op­ti­mistic that they will ef­fec­tively carry out their role as the voice of the Philip­pine Busi­ness as it holds other PBC&E’s in the fu­ture.

“When I as­sumed the pres­i­dency of PCCI in Jan. 2018, I em­pha­sized the value of part­ner­ships to ful­fill PCCI’s mis­sion as the voice of the Philip­pine busi­ness. I be­lieve we have more than ful­filled these. Through a stronger pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship, I’d like to think that PCCI has been in­stru­men­tal in en­abling the out­come of a more com­pet­i­tive busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment,” Limjoco shared.

Mean­while, Or­tiz-Luis be­lieves that both bud­ding and veteran busi­ness­men should take with ut­most se­ri­ous­ness the up­com­ing FIRe.

“We can­not af­ford not be at par with the rest of the world or our ASEAN neigh­bors be­cause we will be left be­hind. We have to teach the older gen­er­a­tions about these changes and in­no­va­tions. More im­por­tantly, we have to equip the younger gen­er­a­tion for us to ex­cel. And so, proper dis­cus­sions and prepa­ra­tions on dig­i­tal econ­omy can pro­pel us if we use it well. With this, we will be able to lift our coun­try to­ward be­ing a tiger econ­omy,” Or­tiz-Luis capped.

 ??  ?? ALL SYS­TEMS GO FOR 45TH PHILIP­PINE BUSI­NESS CON­FER­ENCE AND EXPO. The Philip­pine Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (PCCI) top of­fi­cials led by its pres­i­dent, Ma. Ale­gria Sibal - Limjoco (cen­ter); honorary chair and trea­surer, Ser­gio Or­tiz-Luis Jr. (sec­ond from left), also the ECOP and Philex­port pres­i­dent; chair­man emer­i­tus and di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional af­fairs, Dr. Fran­cis Chua (third from left); di­rec­tor and 45th PBC&E over­all chair, Dr. Wil­liam Co (third from right); chair­man, Ge­orge Barcelon (sec­ond from right); di­rec­tor, Re­nato Sim­bu­lan (left); CSR chair, Nora La­cuna (right); (back row) SME chair, Apoli­nar Aure; and as­sis­tant. trea­surer, Bernardo Bene­dicto, an­nounced at the 45th Philip­pine Busi­ness Con­fer­ence and Expo (PBC&E) Me­dia Launch that it’s all sys­tems go for the two-day PBC&E 2019 on Oct.16 and 17 at the Fi­esta Pav­il­ion of The Manila Ho­tel. Now on its 45th year, the coun­try’s long­est-run­ning and most im­por­tant busi­ness event with the theme “En­abling Busi­ness in a Dig­i­tal Econ­omy” will look into the dy­nam­ics of a dig­i­tally driven econ­omy and its im­pact on growth and busi­ness sus­tain­abil­ity.
ALL SYS­TEMS GO FOR 45TH PHILIP­PINE BUSI­NESS CON­FER­ENCE AND EXPO. The Philip­pine Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (PCCI) top of­fi­cials led by its pres­i­dent, Ma. Ale­gria Sibal - Limjoco (cen­ter); honorary chair and trea­surer, Ser­gio Or­tiz-Luis Jr. (sec­ond from left), also the ECOP and Philex­port pres­i­dent; chair­man emer­i­tus and di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional af­fairs, Dr. Fran­cis Chua (third from left); di­rec­tor and 45th PBC&E over­all chair, Dr. Wil­liam Co (third from right); chair­man, Ge­orge Barcelon (sec­ond from right); di­rec­tor, Re­nato Sim­bu­lan (left); CSR chair, Nora La­cuna (right); (back row) SME chair, Apoli­nar Aure; and as­sis­tant. trea­surer, Bernardo Bene­dicto, an­nounced at the 45th Philip­pine Busi­ness Con­fer­ence and Expo (PBC&E) Me­dia Launch that it’s all sys­tems go for the two-day PBC&E 2019 on Oct.16 and 17 at the Fi­esta Pav­il­ion of The Manila Ho­tel. Now on its 45th year, the coun­try’s long­est-run­ning and most im­por­tant busi­ness event with the theme “En­abling Busi­ness in a Dig­i­tal Econ­omy” will look into the dy­nam­ics of a dig­i­tally driven econ­omy and its im­pact on growth and busi­ness sus­tain­abil­ity.

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