THE Aboitiz Group is one with Asia-Pacific economies in putting “people, place and prosperity” at the heart of response initiatives to the Covid-19 pandemic, which essentially would help rebuild the region’s economies.
Joining other business leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) countries at the first Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac) virtual meeting held recently, Aboitiz Group president and chief executive officer Sabin Aboitiz, who is also an Abac Philippines member, echoed Abac chairperson Rachel Taulelei’s call for collaboration to overcome the current health crisis.
“Overcoming the current adversity, whether restoring public health, reopening borders, securing economic recovery or achieving more equitable communities, demands constructive, creative and above all collaborative approaches,” Taulelei said.
For his part, Aboitiz reiterated that the call-to-action theme is aligned with the Aboitiz Group’s commitment to collaborate with the public and private sectors to usher the country to a better normal -- that is keeping people safe while keeping the economy running.
He also emphasized the importance of resiliency and innovation as these help organizations stay afloat in times of uncertainty and ultimately survive post-Covid-19.
“Covid-19 has tested our capabilities and agility in both our personal lives and as a business. We continue to keep a close eye on significant developments and emerging risks with the primary objective of protecting the welfare of our team members, customers and our stakeholders,” Aboitiz said.
The Abac chair underscored the role of the digital economy: “Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence can unleash even greater opportunities –- but we need a trusted, interoperable enabling environment to realize that potential,” she said.
Echoing this, Aboitiz disclosed how innovation and the organization’s digital transformation journey would transform the Group’s business operations.
“We will speed up our digital transformation where we invest in technologies and our team members to develop systems, enhance customer experiences and operational processes,” he noted.
Abac’s focus for 2021 is on people, place, and prosperity -- three elements, which according to keynote speaker New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, are essential to creating ideal societies.
Taulelei explained that inclusion of “people” is Abac’s north star — access for all to Covid vaccinations, essential goods and food supplies; how small businesses can operate on a level playing field; and how to empower women and indigenous populations to succeed.
“Place” is about safeguarding the planet while “prosperity” will push for free and open markets within the region to keep supply chains functioning and trade flowing, as well as resumption of travel to revive the region’s economic growth.
Aboitiz said the company has the same outlook in the face of this pandemic.
“We know that thriving in the new normal requires a deep sense of commitment to sustainability and development. We will continue to uphold best practices in operating our businesses with a focus on good governance, social responsibility, and environmental management, while ensuring long-term financial growth and business capability,” he noted. (PR)