APEC Conference: Multi Stakeholder Dialogue Post 2020 Vision

It was a pleasure for Maideasy to be invited to the APEC conference to listen to the point of view in today’s business climate with government senior officials and APEC delegates. Among the pressing issues that were discussed were climate change, sustainability, APEC and it’s relevance in today’s world and the digital revolution. An open dialogue with policy makers and those who influence the government in creating policies shows Malaysia’s commitment for transparency and citizens’ role in shaping those policies.

The conference starts off with revisiting the role of APEC and it’s impact on trade. Opening the borders to trade and encouraging trade has seen specifically many in ASEAN move out of poverty. The panelists revisited the founding of APEC and addressed today’s issues to remain relevant. Trade was indeed the focal point in the founding of APEC. However today’s challenges moves beyond trade. We are plagued by climate change and the challenges digital revolution brings.

Internet penetration is seen as crucial in opening up opportunities to trade especially. Malaysia is one of the earliest countries in the world to roll out 5G infrastructure with work underway in 2020. Internet and mobile adoption has created many new business models that open new opportunities to create income and disrupting the value chain. Regulations need to evolve as fast as changes in the way of doing business and not hinder innovation. The panelist include a representative from Google who works with various governments in providing tools for people to get involved in digital age. 

Businesses must embrace an objective for a sustainable future. Corporates starts off with this goal in mind by setting an example to other businesses. Women out of the employment market are seen as a wasted resource and potential for the workforce, hence the economy. Many women opt out of the workforce simply because there is no choice for them to balance taking care of their families and having a career. A few corporations has embraced the nature of digital workers, allowing their employees to work remotely from their home. Present workforce in facing the challenges and reaping the opportunities of the digital age must be dynamic and continue up skilling themselves. A tertiary education is not enough to face the present needs of the job market. The workforce must be adaptable and flexible to the needs of the job market. 

The dialogue talks a lot about creating a sustainable future addressing issues such as climate change and reaping the fruits of digital age. However, the missing link of inclusiveness includes the gaping inequality and perhaps even compounded by technology. Having this multi stakeholder dialogue is a welcome from a citizen’s point of view that shows the government’s commitment in including the ordinary citizen in policy making.