60 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

September 22, 2014

Cross-sector collaboration: essential to protect Brazil’s rainforest


ForestBrazil’s Amazon is famous worldwide for its natural resources and environmental importance. Yet its preservation is being threatened by the social challenges faced by people in the region.

This was the scenario addressed by an unprecedented study, “Social Progress Index in the Brazilian Amazon.” The research was conducted by the Imazon research institute in partnership with Social Progress Imperative, and the Avina Foundation. The study was prepared by #Progesso Social Brasil, a network organised by Deloitte Brazil and Avina, focused on bring different sectors of society together to drive social progress and wellbeing.

The 2014 Amazon Social Progress Index report showed that social progress in the region is significantly lower than the rest of the country. It shows that the region has a general Social Progress Index score of 57.31, lower than the national average of 67.73, based on a range that goes from 0 (worst level of social progress) to 100 (best). In the evaluation 772 municipalities in the region, 98.5% had a Social Progress Index score lower than the average of Brazil.

Knowing the challenges facing people in the Amazon region is the first step--a lack of opportunities was found to be the most pressing problem Amazon residents faced--but addressing these issues is the next step and this requires all our efforts, including businesses.

At Deloitte we believe that business has the power and responsibility to help build a robust and prosperous society. Business serves human needs and desires, creating vital products and services, which drive social and economic development. Thus a thriving society requires thriving businesses and for business to thrive over a sustained period, it needs to operate in a prosperous society.

Yet, the complexity of the big societal challenges demands collaboration. At Deloitte, we are working as part of #Progresso Social Brasil, to bring different sectors of society together--different businesses, but also civil society and philanthropic organizations, government bodies and academia, to better drive social progress. Collaboration is essential if we are to tackle complex problems such as deforestation and communities with too little opportunity. Regardless of sector, it is imperative that all of us begin to ask ourselves what societal problems we our best positioned to tackle and how we can work with others to drive change.


OLIVEIRA EduardoEduardo de Oliveira is a Financial Advisory Partner and the Public Sector leader for Deloitte Brazil. He has 24 years of experience working for Deloitte, leading teams focused on valuations, acquisitions processes, fixed asset strategic management and privatization.

June 12, 2014

East Asia: What engines of growth need

WEF EA post blogIn his opening address at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, Vietnamese Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung said that efforts to boost the region’s engines of growth are needed to help reinvigorate slowing growth rates. And according to a number of other leaders at the event, there are a variety of ways to achieve this.

Chief among these is the growth-enhancing potential of ASEAN’s full economic integration in 2015. The ability to function as one industrial and production base was seen by leaders as critical to the region’s competitive advantage—putting it possibly on par with the regional power of the European Union. ASEAN’s ability to participate and negotiate as one region in a range of free-trade agreements—including the Trans Pacific Partnership and the bilateral ASEAN Plus One agreements—also provides considerable opportunity to attract foreign investment to its markets. With the burgeoning middle class of a country like Indonesia—where consumers are now more and more in a position to buy cars and electronics—the draw is strong.

Leaders at WEF East Asia also pointed to the importance of regulatory reform as a means to spur growth and competitiveness.  To this end, a minister from Cambodia touted his country’s receptivity to investment, noting that “every sector is open to FDI” and that there are no “alien investor” laws in his country. One Malaysian government official emphasized that his government is “pushing hard” for reforms to improve competitiveness. Already, ASEAN countries have made significant progress on lowering barriers in the trade in goods across the region—with tariffs on more than 99 percent of goods expected to be at zero by 2015. ASEAN is now working on liberalizing regulations pertaining to services to ease access across borders in such sectors as banking.

The focus on services and the difficulty of moving to this next stage, however, points to a continuing stumbling block in ASEAN’s ability to function as one region—the lack of connectivity. Not only do services like finance need a strong ICT network to facilitate transactions and connectivity among countries, businesses in both services and the manufacture of goods alike need well-developed physical transport to ease movement in this geographically dispersed area. The ASEAN Open Skies initiative, which will allow all airlines within ASEAN to compete on intra-ASEAN routes, is one initiative that aims to promote better connectivity among ASEAN nations and there is hope it will be implemented in 2015. But rail, roads, seaports, airports and broadband are all areas in need of investment. On the bright side, the scale of the transport infrastructure requirements—as a minister for transportation from Singapore noted—can represent a substantial opportunity for international financing institutions as well as for public-private partnerships.  

All of these efforts can accelerate the engines of growth and help rev up East Asian economies. But will they bring high-quality growth—that is, the kind that encourages innovation and stimulates quality job formation? There are indications that this may be the case. President Aquino in his opening address noted that the Philippines’ rates of employment for graduates in IT, business processing operations, and electronics exceed 70 percent, with some sectors exceeding 90 percent. And the greater competition that ASEAN economic integration brings is expected to spur businesses to become more innovative and compete more keenly for talent, according to the minister from Cambodia mentioned above.

However, there is one thing that all of these efforts to drive engines of growth need—and that’s stability. The prime minister from Vietnam made this clear in his remarks: “Development is not possible without peace and stability.” He pointed out that any disruption in the region’s shipping lanes—a distinct possibility given recent tensions with China—could mean major disruptions to East Asia’s economy and the world’s. So even if East Asia gets the engines of growth to again fire on all cylinders, the geo-political environment may turn out to be the most critical—and most challenging—factor holding the region back.


Dttl_garycoleman_56x56Gary Coleman is Managing Director, Global Industries, of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. He is a member of Deloitte’s Global Markets Committee and is the lead partner in Deloitte’s strategic relationship with the World Economic Forum. Follow him on Twitter @gcoleman_gary.

May 15, 2014

Nigeria’s new numbers

Nigerian flagRecently, the Nigerian government announced new GDP numbers that now make it the largest economy in Africa. Having overhauled economic data for the first time in two decades, the GDP figure rose by 89 percent from 2003 to 2010. It’s a number that caught the attention of the world and was much discussed at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, held last week in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja.

But is GDP really the best measure of success? If you listened to the debate at WEF, the answer is, probably not. Because when you look behind a remarkable number like that, you can see there are many factors not addressed by this figure—factors that provide clues as to how the economy is really unfolding and how it is impacting quality of life.

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April 09, 2014

Talent: the first step to innovation?

Post WEF LATAMBuilding innovation is one of those hot topics that yield all sorts of discussion about disruptive technology—the cloud, 3-D printing, social media, digital infrastructure, et cetera. But what spurs innovation may come down to something much more basic: talent. And at the World Economic Forum on Latin America  (WEF LATAM) last week, it was clear that participants from this region agree.

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January 28, 2014

Davos 2014: Optimism with a healthy dose of reality

Post-davos photoWith economic recovery seeming to finally take hold this year, I was not surprised that many of the Davos 2014 speakers sounded a positive note for the future. Nowhere was this more evident than in the remarks from country leaders. But these leaders understood that there is still a lot of work to be done—and it was striking how in sync they were when it came to the challenge going forward: building and sustaining growth.

South Korea is focusing on entrepreneurship and building a “creative economy,” where individuals are encouraged to start businesses and put “innovation into action,” according to President Park Geun-hye. Similarly, Liberia is making strategic investments in education and focusing on public-private partnerships to spur the rise of small and medium businesses. Mexico is working to promote start-ups by reforming fiscal policies to allow greater access to credit.

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January 27, 2014

Shaping the future together

Deloitte Davos Live video screen_300x200Times of global change require leaders with a global vision – leaders who inspire confidence and foster innovation. I see this attitude reflected in Davos. I have noticed a remarkable shift of attention at this year’s World Economic Forum. While the meetings in past years focused heavily on finance and the banking industry, representatives of the global technology industry are clearly the thought leaders now.

At the same time, politics seems to have been pushed into the background somewhat – especially, European representatives are less visible this year. But Europe’s image has not yet fully recovered after the Euro crisis and the world is closely watching how European banks will perform in the stress tests.

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January 21, 2014

Business must disrupt the status quo

Blog_joee_davos14_300x200It’s time for real change. It’s time for disruption.

In the last few years, the world has been lurching from financial crisis to financial crisis. As business leaders gathered last year at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, the U.S. government had just narrowly averted falling off the fiscal cliff. Less than a year later, the U.S. found itself in a similar situation, which resulted in the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Despite all of this, in the U.S., and globally, there have been positive signs of economic recovery and business growth. Momentum continues and that is why I’m optimistic for the upcoming year.

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What the worker of tomorrow wants

Dttl_davos14_positiveimpact_300x200More than 1,500 business leaders are gathering here in Davos, most of them part of the C-suite in their organizations. And as they mix with heads of state, influential NGOs, and the occasional celebrity, I doubt they are thinking about workers 30ish and under.

But they should be.

By 2030, more than 70 percent of the workforce will be made up of workers born after 1983—the millennials . And according to a new survey released today by Deloitte, businesses need to be aware of three key themes on millennials’ minds: social impact, social media, and innovation.

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January 20, 2014

Womenomics in action

Goto_yoriko_300x200This year I am attending the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos as a representative from Deloitte Japan and as a Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) board member. Even as a third-time delegate, I am always thrilled to meet great people and be exposed to new perspectives and innovative ideas.

Last year, I emphasized the importance of including women in the boardroom for business development and innovation. In fact, DTTL has increased the percentage of female board members from 8 percent to 25 percent this year. It is a great honor for me to have been appointed as one of the DTTL board of directors in addition to a board member role in Deloitte Japan.

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January 15, 2014

Davos 2014: Shaping and the shapers

Anoterh WEF image 2“Reshaping of the World,” the theme for Davos 2014, can bring to mind a range of unsettling trends and forces now bearing down on today’s society. Disruptive innovation. Digital technology. The impact of a hyper-connected populace. The shift of the workforce to millennials. A growing uncertainty toward traditional institutions. But the theme is also about taking action—and points to the Forum’s dynamic response to these “reshaping” trends at its flagship event and throughout the year.

Deloitte is playing an active role in this response, working with the Forum to debate, collaborate, and research many of the topics to be raised at Davos 2014. I personally have participated, along with other Deloitte leaders, in regional summits around the globe, offering and responding to a range of exciting ideas and solutions to the challenges now facing governments and businesses. From competitiveness in Latin America, to the sharing economy in Myanmar, to resilience in the value chain in China, the ideas brought forth at these summits inform the Davos 2014 theme and help set the path forward.

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