THE upcoming Mindanao Business Conference 2020 (Minbizcon) is set to highlight the need for local businesses to adapt to the "new normal" amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
"There are many challenges and opportunities facing the business sector, primarily the new terrain of having to pursue business growth while following heightened health and safety protocols and other obstacles. This can be complicated which is why it is essential that we all work together to understand and migrate to this new normal," said John Carlo Tria, President of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) and MinBizCon 2020 conference director, in an online interview with SunStar Davao.
MinBizCon 2020 will be the first virtual conference of the annual business conference. It will have a theme dubbed “Mindanao: Journeying to the New Normal.” It organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) with DCCCII as the host this year.
Tria defines the "new normal" as "the terrain where protocols will need to be followed, safety promoted in a deeper manner."
"Likewise, it means new ways of doing business, such as online business, marketing online payments, and investments that have the potential to push business growth. Many companies always wanted to go digital and this situation is encouraging them to pursue it more substantially and at a faster pace," he said.
Tria added that the new normal also offers new opportunities for local businesses in Mindanao.
"There is also a new horizon for agribusiness and technology opportunities in Mindanao that can be explored by a wider business audience, given Mindanao's ability to supply a bigger portion of our nation's food needs and a possible location for alternate manufacturing sites," he said.
Tria said amid the new normal there are new approaches and innovations that will be necessary to deal.
"Often this will require re-examining their business model, exploring new markets and products and even new government programs and legislation such as tax reform proposals to lower corporate income taxes which can help many businesses recover," he said.
Tria said based on discussions with other business chambers and the business community, some businesses are slowly adapting to the new normal.
"Many have begun going online and using delivery services and implemented necessary protocols in their establishment as the restrictions eased. A good number are exploring their participation in agribusiness so that means some innovation and review of corporate strategies for new business," he said.
However, the local businesses are also facing challenges as they adapt to it. One of those challenges is an urgent need for them "to innovate quickly and successfully to keep businesses going in the long term protecting jobs and incomes in the process."
Tria said innovation and adjustment to the new normal also come in the different aspects of the business-like supply chain disruptions and workplace adjustments.
Meanwhile, Tria said they will be producing online materials for the delegates and implementing several webinars on various topics over an extended period after September 10. This is to give the opportunity to a wider audience to partake in the event.
He also said they already have inquiries and interest from outside Mindanao and country.
"We may have a wider audience participating compared to previous MinBizCon events," Tria said.
He added that new ideas will also be proposed, which will be useful for companies as they migrate to the new normal.
Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III will be the keynote speaker for the business conference on the first day. Other speakers include Board of Investments governor Napoleon Concepcion, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, PCCI Tourism, Retail, and Franchising Committee Samie Lim, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International President Selina Yuan, Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
President Rodrigo Duterte is also expected to deliver the keynote address on the last day of the business conference.