PwC launched a new report “Asia Pacific’s Time: Responding to the new reality” today in conjunction with the APEC CEO Summit 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand where PwC is once again the exclusive Knowledge Partner.
The report highlights that the lingering effects of the pandemic, heightened geopolitical tensions, rampant inflation, supply chain fragility and new workforce challenges, with the accelerating pressure for action on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, have created a state of disequilibrium in Asia Pacific. There is also a permanent shift in consumer and business behaviours that has dramatically changed the trajectory of economies and societies.
Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC said: “The world is enduring an unprecedented level of disruption. If Asia Pacific business leaders are to continue driving growth, competitiveness and resilience in these difficult times, they must embrace the challenges and opportunities of ESG and the new flexible world of work. The key to advancing these agendas in the new reality is a revamped approach to collaboration across the region based on building trust and delivering sustained outcomes. One that must begin now.”
The region can no longer hope growth and gradual change will be sufficient to steer it through these turbulent times. Stakeholders must adjust their posture to become more proactive and self-determined. They must adopt new and more nuanced strategies which position them for success in a more dynamic and interconnected Asia Pacific.
Based on our discussions with business leaders and experts in the region, we believe there are five aligned and mutually reinforcing success factors that will drive differentiation and competitiveness for business and governments to prosper which are highlighted in our report. They are interconnected and interdependent – each one mutually reinforcing but the actions in one having an impact on the others. These success factors are:
- Supply Chain – Disruption has prompted businesses to reevaluate their sourcing strategies. Leaders in Asia Pacific must shift their focus from cost and efficiency to resilience and trust when transforming their regional supply chain.
- Regional Enterprise Growth – Opportunities for value creation are abundant in Asia Pacific. To scale in the region, dealmakers must take a strategic ‘capabilities-driven’ approach that combines processes, tools, technologies, skills and purpose.
- Digital Economy – Digitalisation is increasingly crucial to respond to the new reality. Businesses must embrace digitalisation to drive insights, reduce cybersecurity and data privacy risk and stay relevant in an increasingly complex environment.
- Workforce – Employees in Asia Pacific value meaning and authenticity and 90% of the workforce prefer to work remotely or hybrid. To build trust and respond to the changing dynamics of their workforce, business leaders must rethink upskilling, embrace flexibility and delivery on purpose-driven work.
- ESG – ESG is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ for businesses in Asia Pacific. According to PwC research, momentum is not declining – with 88% of Asia Pacific CEOs remaining committed to their net-zero or carbon neutral targets. Businesses must move from good intention to value creation – accelerating progression of ESG priorities to differentiate in the market for capital and talent.
Raymund Chao, PwC Asia Pacific and China Chairman, commented: “The world, including Asia Pacific, has changed and will continue to do so. As leaders, we must act quickly to build trust with our stakeholders, create value, enhance competitiveness and deliver sustained outcomes. This requires a transformative and multinodal mindset grounded in collaboration. It’s imperative that we must all come together and act now for the new reality in the region.”