The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is now laying the groundwork for the 47th Philippine Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E), the country’s biggest business gathering in November, starting with the choice of real estate trailblazer Jeffrey Ng as conference chair.
The selection of Ng as 47th PBC&E chair by the PCCI board, led by chamber president Benedicto V. Yujuico, is in sync with the conference’s theme—Innovation PH: Economic Recovery for All on Nov. 17-18.
In this light, Yujuico said the choice of Ng as 47th PBC&E chair couldn’t be more appropriate. Yujuico cited Ng’s economic background and pioneering business spirit, spanning more than 30 years, were the primary criteria in his selection as conference chair.
Ng finished cum laude in economics at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and has a master’s degree in business economics at the University of Asia and the Pacific. He is currently president of UP School of Economics Alumni Association (UPSEAA). He is member of the board of PCCI and Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF). His company, Cathay Land, developed South Forces Golf City and is behind the real estate success story of Astoria Hotels and Resorts and Cathay Metal Corp., a steel manufacturing firm.
The incoming conference chair, Ng, heads Cathay Land Inc. which has turned and is still transforming areas outside Metro Manila into business and commercial hubs of their own.
Known to friends and colleagues in the business community as Jeffrey, Ng was unanimously picked as the 47the PBC&E chair.
“Jeffrey is an innovator and a visionary in real estate and property development,” said Yujuico.
“For instance, he knew early on that the urban sprawl of Metro Manila would extend outside the metropolis, so he ventured in land-banking in the South and developed new thriving townships in Cavite,” Yujuico said.
For his part, Ng said he was “extremely honored” by his selection as chair of the 47th PBC&E, thanking Yujuico and the PCCI board for trusting him.
“I am excited to lead the staging of the conference despite the challenging situation we are in,” Ng said. “I am glad that we are now transitioning to a better normal with the ongoing inoculation of Filipinos,” he said.
The 47th PBC&E, aside from assembling the country’s top business leaders, is expected to generate key policy recommendations that could change old approaches to new crisis, such as the one that the country and everyone are grappling with these days—COVID-19.
Yujuico noted that although the shape which the so-called new normal would take remains uncertain, putting together the best minds in business, as the objective of the 47th PBC&E is, could help bring about new solutions as can be gleaned in the conference theme on innovation.
The PCCI business conference is the annual summit of the Philippines’ business and industry captains and a forum for businesses, clients and government to connect with each other and create paths for business and economic growth and solutions to evolving problems.
But in the middle of the pandemic, PCCI is thrusting innovation at the battlefront in the war on COVID-19 as the health crisis redrew the Philippine business and economic map.
COVID-19 is not only sending thousands of people to hospitals or isolation rooms but also unleashed a devastating battery of revenue loss for the government, income decline for private businesses and disappearance of millions of jobs.
The impact was so severe it caused the Philippine economy to suffer its worst contraction since World War 2, the labor sector to see unprecedented job loss numbers and MSMEs—the backbone of employment—to witness shop closures, layoffs and income loss that haven’t been seen in decades, even at the height of the Asian financial crisis.
While it is traditional for PCCI to set its conference themes according to trends and developments in business, the 47th PBC&E theme shines the spotlight on innovation because the new challenges of these trying times cannot be solved by traditional means.
The theme Innovation PH: Economic Recovery for All is a recognition that to be able to swim above the troubled waters everyone is finding themselves in nowadays, new strategies have to be employed primarily with the help of technology, particularly IT, that would give birth to new tools to fight a new enemy—COVID-19.
This focus on innovation was the brainchild of the current chamber president, Yujuico, in keeping with the adage that the only thing constant in life is change.
The annual business conference is a key way for PCCI to pool minds, ideas, plans, proposals, papers, research, studies and efforts for the common good, the part of the theme that says “Economic Recovery for All.”
Discussions at these conferences center on policies and programs that would make a difference and build a foundation on which a sustainable way of doing business in the future could stand on.
Discussions and proposals were also expected to shine light on ways to recover lost ground and catch up with an objective by Ambisyon 2040 for the Philippines to become a middle-income economy in 20 years.
Among the highly anticipated segments of the conference is a session with pioneers and global leaders in innovation and technology and one with candidates for president in 2022.