Spotlight on Business - Issue 2 2013
Building a better working world
When business works better, the world works better.
The turmoil of the financial crisis and the ensuing “new normal” are compelling businesses to focus on where they are going, how and why. Even the twin powerhouses of China and India cannot afford to stand still. China knows that business productivity must improve to sustain growth. For India, the threat of global business services to its outsourcing market is imminent.
Other regions such as Southeast Asia are increasingly attractive as businesses look beyond the BRICs for less market saturation, more stability and lower cost structures. Malaysia ranks as one of the favored locations, boosted by its capital Kuala Lumpur, where policymakers are making pro-business investments.
Globally, policymakers and regulators are expected to play a more prominent role in the private sector, given continuing fiscal pressures and stakeholder calls for more transparency and accountability. The banking sector is one that has seen its fair share of regulatory reform. Yet, businesses find transparency on their corporate banks’ risk profiles lacking.
Heightened indirect tax enforcements, as well as new rules mandating disclosures on use of conflict minerals across supply chains, all point to an increasingly complex regulatory landscape. Some fundamentals will never change though: the need for effective corporate governance, where substance must precede form.
Perhaps one of the most complicated challenges that businesses face today is one of talent. Globally, there are about 75 million unemployed youths today. How can we harness entrepreneurship to drive job creation? One billion women are estimated to enter the workforce over the next decade. How can we drive women leadership to ensure diversity at the top?
There are no easy answers. But every dialogue we convene and every action we take to address these issues will help to make this working world a better one.
Managing Partner, Asean and Singapore