Engaging Top Global Business Players

Posted on  14/11/2009  |  Media Centre

14th November 2009


THE largest annual business meeting in the Asia Pacific, the Apec CEO Summit 2009 saw Bruneian business officials participating on the international stage yesterday, together with 1,200 delegates.

Director of Asia Inc Forum Allen Lai said that “the Apec CEO Summit is an excellent opportunity to engage and collaborate with top global players, with the likes of HSBC, Siemens, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, DHL and Procter & Gamble”.

“We encourage the Bruneian business community to fully leverage this annual platform and take advantage of the opportunities for high-level linkages across the region,” he was quoted as saying in a press statement from Asia Inc Forum.

Asia Inc Forum is the summit’s strategic partner and advisor.

The statement added that Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) Acting Chairman Dato Paduka Timothy Ong moderated a session entitled “Is the Global Crisis Really Over?” which opened with a glimpse of the sentiment of the state of the global economy.

“There are indications to suggest that the worst may be over, but in looking to the future, we must ask ourselves what lies ahead, and what the challenges and opportunities are,” said Dato Ong.

Meanwhile, Apec CEO Summit Chair Chong Siak Ching spoke on the rebuilding of the global economy as a monumental task facing the business community.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong echoed this sentiment in his keynote address; he suggested that the region is emerging from the crisis as trade within Apec members is up, and there are strong indications of a clear, modest recovery.

However, the actions of governments and the consequent business reaction in the coming months will determine the sustainability of growth.

“Rebalancing must occur between Asia and the USA. Americans are saving more than they have before and the demand must grow elsewhere to drive the economy. Many look to China and Asia to increase demand, but this will take time,” said Lee.

The crisis is generally over, said Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak, but questions remains as to whether it can be sustained and whether growth can return to pre-crisis levels.

“To ensure continued momentum, Apec’s markets must be kept open and that free trade continue to be high on the Apec agenda,” stressed the prime minister.

Similar views were expressed by World Bank President Robert Zoellick; Global Chairman of PricewaterhouseCooper Dennis Nally and President of Inter-American Development Bank Dr Luis Alberto Moreno.

However, Chairman of Li & Fung Dr Fung was not as optimistic and pointed out that global markets were still down, with US$3 trillion lost in global demand from the US alone.

“Asia is picking up the slack, but this will not be enough,” said Dr Fung.

Since March this year, as in four previous Apec CEO Summits in Peru, Vietnam, Chile, and Thailand, Asia Inc Forum has been advising the organisers on developing the summit programme, bringing together 14 world leaders, 33 chairmen and CEOs as well as more than 20 thought leaders as distinguished speakers; securing sponsorships and providing guidance on organising this business event.

Leaders from China, Canada, Japan, Russia, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Zealand will be speaking at the 2009 Summit, joined by Shaukat Aziz, former Prime Minister of Pakistan; Dr Tim Flannery, Australian of the Year 2007 and Chairman of Copenhagen Climate Council, as well as Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC Holdings.

The Apec CEO Summit 2010 will take place in Yokohama, Japan.

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