“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.
Continue reading "Davos 2014: Shaping and the shapers" »
As you can imagine, India is an interesting place these days. As highlighted by Deloitte’s most recent global and Asia Pacific economic outlooks, the Indian economy has clearly slowed down and the promise for accelerated growth that seemed to be on the horizon a few years ago appears elusive.
There are a variety of potential reasons for the economic slowdown and falling value of the rupee in India. However, based on conversations with senior executives and industry observers during my recent visit to the country, most of the challenge revolves around the country’s inability to establish the reforms needed to attract more foreign direct investments. Many multi-national corporations (MNC’s) have been increasingly cautious about investment in India and most Indian business leaders that I talked with believe that significant reform may not come until after the elections in 2014.
Continue reading "Manufacturers wait and watch India" »
The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC, or Summer Davos) in Dalian, China, last week centered on the theme of innovation. With China’s growth no longer in the double digits, innovation and the energy it can bring to the world economy is looming large. Indeed, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was emphatic in his remarks at the event’s opening plenary: “Innovation is the running theme and spirit of the policies adopted by the Chinese government, and it is the banner that we will always hold high.”
But innovation in a vacuum is meaningless, and Premier Li recognizes this. “We live in a global village” said Li. “No country can live in isolation of others like Robinson Crusoe.” Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to global value chains (GVC). Value chains are now the ties that bind countries together and bring public and private innovation to the world.
Continue reading "Holding the banner high: Innovation, value chains, and competitiveness in a new era of global growth" »
Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to participate in a World Economic Forum event in an equally amazing locale: Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, where the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia was held. Moderating the panel “Chasing the Next Big Idea”—with a range of stakeholders, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair—I witnessed first-hand how bold thinking can contribute to the future of East Asian countries.
Despite recent headlines touting the slow-down in the region, East Asia’s star continues to be on the rise. Five countries in the East Asia region now fall in the top 20 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, with most scoring above average. And according to UN Millennium Development Goals, East Asia—including the Pacific—is on target to lower poverty rates from 50 percent in 1990 to less than 10 percent in 2015.
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In my conversations with leaders in the private and public sectors, there’s a clear desire for businesses to play a significant role in helping address complex global challenges. Outcomes like economic stability, public health and well-being, high-quality education, and protection of human rights are too far-reaching for any one organization, or even a whole sector, to bring about independently. So collaboration among institutions and groups to address these issues is essential.
Over the next few days, I’ll have the privilege of attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Each year the forum draws a distinguished group of business executives, government officials, media leaders, and other influential figures.
Continue reading "Collaboration: A new imperative for societal impact" »
During this week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Deloitte UK CEO David Sproul provided daily recaps on his experience at the Forum. Below is an excerpt from his latest blog post. To read the full article as well as previous days' posts, please visit the Deloitte UK Responsible Business blog.
Reflecting on the many conversations I’ve had with clients, and others, this week, it’s clear that there is a definite sense of optimism compared to the position at the start of 2012.
The concerns of last year—particularly of a eurozone exit—have receded materially. Despite the continued low growth in Europe there is a definite feeling of greater resilience and a growing confidence that economies are improving, albeit slowly. I’ve also seen much greater recognition of the need for business leaders to have a stronger voice in making the case for responsible business.
Alongside client meetings, Davos has also again provided a good opportunity to engage with the media—with the BBC, the Telegraph and the Times all carrying interviews.
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Last year was the first time I attended the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was a unique opportunity to hear insights from influential world leaders about the most pressing business issues and to discuss the critical role America plays in the global economy.
While last year’s event was marked by uncertainty with the volatile global economy, decreased trust in business, and the U.S. presidential elections, I anticipate this year’s discussion will focus on how we move the global economy forward to achieve a state of resilient dynamism, the theme of this year’s Forum, emphasizing the need to be both adaptable and fluid. To do this, we will need a bold vision and even bolder action. In our post-fiscal cliff reality, encouraging partnership between business and government is critical to creating more effective policies, restoring confidence, and increasing certainty, while creating a solid foundation for future growth. I like to call this fresh take on partnership Collaborative Capitalism.
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During a recent trip to Tokyo, I met with 40 leaders from Deloitte member firms across the Asia Pacific region to discuss what is happening in this dynamic market. As you might imagine, China and India dominated the conversation, but several other countries in the region, often referred to as the next frontier growth markets, were very much part of the discussion.
With the expected government leadership changes this month and signals that manufacturing activity is declining, executives are closely watching what is happening in China. Last month, a 7.4 percent year-on-year rise in China's gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter was announced. Some believe however that those government statistics may be more optimistic than the reality experienced by many manufacturers in China. This is the weakest announced growth rate since the start of 2009 and the seventh straight quarter of decline. Many executives are cautiously waiting to see what the new Chinese leadership will do to spur accelerated economic growth and improve manufacturing industry activity.
Continue reading "Frontier markets peak manufacturers’ interests" »
The world is quite literally coming together in Rio for a few days 20-22 June to build consensus on a more sustainable course for our planet. The unifying event is the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which has a much more catchy title: Rio+20.
Organized by the United Nations, Rio+20 will enable thousands of government participants as well as many from the private sector—including Deloitte—to play a critical role in creating some innovative business solutions with long-lasting social and environmental impact. A related event being held in Brazil’s second largest city in the days leading up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development is the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum, which will focus more on the business contribution to sustainable development. The number “20” is a reference to the years since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio where many countries rallied for the first time around a blueprint for economic growth that would consider social equity and environmental issues.
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With the 2012 Olympics just around the corner, I cannot imagine a better venue to host a discussion on competitiveness than in London. The city provided an ideal backdrop for a recent Deloitte industry event which underscored the talent issues faced by many global manufacturers and the importance for companies to continuously reinvest for growth to remain competitive.
The Deloitte Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit event featured a distinguished panel of senior executives from three prominent manufacturers, ArcelorMittal, Siemens, and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as a senior representative from the European Commission.
The panel shared views on how they were working to ensure their companies remain globally competitive. It was fascinating to hear one of the executives say that 100,000 apprentices will be needed in the United Kingdom (UK) manufacturing industry alone in order to replace the retiring baby boomer generation in that company. Another executive reinforced the talent issue by outlining the skill shortage in fields like engineering and production supervision saying it was particularly challenging in their business to find these experienced hires.
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