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ABAC to hold public-private dialogue on skills, services of the future

MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to foster economic recovery and boost service competitiveness among the cooperating economies, the APEC Business Advisory Council’s (ABAC) Regional Economic Integration Working Group (REIWG) on Strengthening Services Trade and Investment will be conducting a public-private dialogue featuring global thought leaders to exchange insights and best practices on the emerging trends and opportunities in the services space.

“As new services emerge and disrupt value chains, there is a pressing need to ensure that the workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses are fully capable of adapting to change and navigating the new ways of work,” said Sabin Aboitiz, President and CEO of the Aboitiz Group, Co-Chair of ABAC REIWG and Lead for the Services Agenda. 

Centered on the theme ‘Sharpening Your Edge: Skills & Services for the 21st Century,’ the discussion will tackle the increasingly digital-enabled service deliveries and how it affects the future of the workplace as well as the capabilities of the workforce. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital tools and channels, leading to the transformation of service delivery,” Aboitiz explained. “APEC economies will need skilled laborers who are future-ready, innovative, and fully capable of navigating new products and processes that will help the sector capture opportunities in new markets.”

With organizations and services becoming more technology-driven, ABAC is seeking to have thoughtful discussions and craft policy recommendations that will ensure human capital is fully capable of meeting the growing demands in the services sectors.

“Equipping the workforce and entrepreneurs with the necessary skills for active participation in emerging markets will be vital for ensuring steady employment and more equitable and sustainable growth,” he added.

Moderating the forum will be Prof. Jane Drake-Brockman, founder and director of the Australian Services Roundtable, co-convenor of the Asia Pacific Services Coalition, and a key figure in the development of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap. 

The program will feature two panels consisting of global leaders from the public and private sector, as well as the academe. Taking part in the session on “Services Transformation and the Future of Work” will be Janos Ferencz, Trade Policy Analyst at Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Dr. David Hardoon, managing director of Aboitiz Data Innovation, and Adam Bregu, Director of Business Development and Partnerships of Startup Genome.

Joining the discussion for the second session on “Upskilling and the Future Workforce” will be Michelle Rubio, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer of UnionBank, Dr. Jikyeong Kang, President and Dean of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), Dr. Michael Fung, Executive Director, Institute for the Future of Education at Tecnologico de Monterrey, and Prof. Dong Sun Park, Lead Shepherd of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG). Delivering the closing message is Thomas Fine, Convenor of APEC Group on Services (GOS) and director of Services and Investment in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The ABAC Public-Private Dialogue will be held on July 12, 2022 13:30 PM SGT and is available for viewing via Zoom Webinar platform. Click on this link to register for the event.