BW Economic Forum returns with ‘Forecast 2023’

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THE RECENT global economic outlook has become “gloomy and more uncertain,” according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As businesses bounce back from the pandemic, countries are facing shocks from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising inflation and a global economic slowdown. A possible global recession is further complicating the outlook.

Despite this growing uncertainty, there are opportunities to build a better and more inclusive future. Businesses have to prepare to respond to future disruptions, as well as look at opportunities to start sectoral shifts, refocus economic plans, innovate business strategies, and maximize areas for growth and collaboration.

The award-winning BusinessWorld Economic Forum, which returns to a face-to-face event on Nov. 29 at the Grand Hyatt Manila, will guide the Philippine business community in discovering areas of opportunity.

With the theme “Forecast 2023: Opportunity in Uncertainty,” this year’s economic forum will set the stage for top speakers and experts to discuss relevant economic and business issues before an audience composed of policy makers, industry and business leaders, investors, professionals, and entrepreneurs.

The day-long forum will feature keynote addresses by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on “Key Legislative Measures to Boost Philippine Businesses”; Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno on “Sustaining Recovery through Mounting Risks”; Krishna Srinivasan, director of IMF’s Asia-Pacific Department, on the 2023 economic outlook; and Neo Gim Huay, managing director of the Centre for Nature and Climate at the World Economic Forum, on “Transforming the World for the Better: Updates on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The first panel discussion, “Planting the Seeds of Growth: Boosting the Agriculture Sector and Ensuring Food Security,” will bring together Mercedita A. Sombilla, Agriculture undersecretary for policy, planning, and regulations; Bruce J. Tolentino, a private sector board member of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; and Dr. William S. Co, PCCI chairman and chairman of the agriculture and fishery committee; and Ricardo Manuel M. Sarmiento, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Vitarich Corp. The panel will be moderated by BusinessWorld Editor-in-Chief Wilfredo G. Reyes.

“Powering the Future: The Philippines’ Roadmap to a Diverse and Sustainable Energy Industry” will be the theme of the second panel discussion. Panelists include Michael O. Sinocruz, director of the Department of Energy’s Energy Policy and Planning Bureau; James A. Villaroman, chief renewable energy officer of AboitizPower Corp.; Miguel de Jesus, executive director and head for commercial operations at ACEN Corp. BusinessWorld Sub-Editor Victor V. Saulon will moderate the panel.

“Education For All: Working Together towards High Quality and Inclusive Education” is the theme of the third panel which will feature Epimaco V. Densing III, Education undersecretary; Dr. Maria Cynthia B. Bautista, vice-president for academic affairs at the University of the Philippines; and Cris Ngo, learning manager at Phinma Education. Santiago J. Arnaiz, chief communications officer of Starfleet Innotech, Inc. (SFIO), will moderate the panel.

“Exploring the Digital Sphere: Embracing Technologies and Consumer Banking of the Future” will feature Marvin Germo, CEO of Stock Smarts; Archieval B. Tolentino, president of Information Security Officers Group; Kristoffer Rada, head of public policy at Tiktok Philippines; and FitzGerald S. Chee, vice-president and head of consumer platforms at Bank of the Philippine Islands. BusinessWorld Senior Reporter Arjay L. Balinbin will moderate the panel.

The economic forum will also feature fireside chats on relevant trends in business.

Cosette Canilao, president and CEO of Aboitiz InfraCapital, will talk to SFIO’s Mr. Arnaiz about the topic “Moving Forward Collaboratively: Strengthening Private-Public Partnerships.”

Jean-Marc Arbogast, country manager for the Philippines at the International Finance Corp., will talk to One News Anchor Danie Laurel about “Growing the Green Movement: Opportunities in the Philippines’ Green Finance and Infrastructure Market.”

Acumen Strategy Consultants President and CEO Pauline Fermin will talk to BusinessWorld Multimedia Editor Sam L. Marcelo on the topic “Responding to the Changing Skills Demand: Upskilling and Reskilling the Current and Future Workforce.”

Jon Canto, co-managing partner for Philippines at McKinsey & Co., will also talk about the firm’s insights on the 2023 Philippine economic outlook.

During the forum, BusinessWorld will launch its newest offering called BWorldX, an e-commerce site that will bring together the print and digital products as well as exclusive content.

This year’s economic forum will be hosted by One News Anchor Danie Laurel.

Interested attendees may register for this most-awaited annual gathering of the Philippine business community at www.bworldonline.com/bwefforecast2023/ until Nov. 25.

The BusinessWorld Economic Forum 2022 is presented by Megaworld Corp., with gold sponsors Ayala Corp., PLDT and Smart, Turkish Airlines, and National Grid Corp. of the Philippines; silver sponsors Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Globe, BPI, Meralco, BDO, GT Capital, Wilcon Depot, Inc., Toyota and SM Investments Corp.; bronze sponsors First Gen Corp., GCash, SGV & Co., and Aboitiz InfraCapital, OnwardIR, Unilab; and donors AboitizPower and Upson International Corp.

Partner organizations include American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Asia Society of the Philippines, British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Franchise Association, Philippine Retailers Association, and media partners — One News and The Philippine Star.