Bloomberg New Economy Forum concludes with pledge to address global challenges

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SINGAPORE, 7th November, 2018 (WAM) -- Bloomberg’s inaugural New Economy Forum concluded today after more than 400 private sector leaders gathered in Singapore to address some of the critical issues facing the changing global economy. A new community of world leaders and global CEOs from 60 countries came together to seek private sector-led solutions to address the emerging risks, opportunities and challenges created by a world economy in transition, increasingly led by China and India, as well as rising powers in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

The community included a diverse group of new economy and established industry leaders, united with the common goals of tackling these shared challenges. Participants proposed private sector-led solutions to important global issues, covering six themes: globalisation and trade, technology, finance and capital markets, climate, urbanisation and inclusion.

"The private sector has a critical role to play in meeting all of these challenges - and many others. The more business leaders talk with one another – and take the lead in building new partnerships – the faster we can make progress," said Michael R. Bloomberg, opening the Forum, adding that concrete actions need to follow. "Talk is good. But talk followed by action is better."

China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan, addressing the geopolitical backdrop in the opening keynote speech, said, "Economic globalisation is not a zero-sum game. In the face of disagreements and challenges it is essential to step up equal consultation and cooperation by upholding the rules-based international order, because that is the only way to build an open world economy at a higher level."

Delivering a seminal speech on the future of US-China economic relations, Hank Paulson, Chair of the New Economy Forum and former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Chairman of the Paulson Institute, declared, "I fear that big parts of the global economy will ultimately be closed off to the free flow of investment and trade. And that is why I now see the prospect of an Economic Iron Curtain one that throws up new walls on each side and unmakes the global economy, as we have known it."

Governments and business leaders discussed, and proposed new solutions to, key issues such as remaking global trade, the future of capitalism, the geopolitics of markets, financing the new economy and managing supply chain threats.

"This is the start of an exciting journey towards a more sustainable and equitable economic system, where a new community of business leaders are charting the path forward in view of the rise of new economies and market opportunities," said Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group. "As this visionary group of private sector leaders commit to shaping policy and driving progress, we expect governments to follow suit with policies that will support these solutions, which we hope will result in positive change."

Global private-sector leaders participated in 10 solutions workshops focusing on solving critical issues facing new economies. The challenges, and solutions discussed, included:
- Develop a Corporate Certification Programme for Worker Reskilling: a voluntary, global corporate rating standard that companies can earn for their programmes to retrain and re-deploy workers for the modern economy
- Commit to Hire and Integrate Refugees: train and hire refugees worldwide and provide employment that is essential to successful refugee integration in society
- Create Global Best Practices for Gender Parity: create a new business-led coalition to support commitment to transparency, accountability and reporting of progress on gender equality data
- Develop a Social Contract for Businesses: develop a private-sector perspective and provide recommendations on a "New Corporate Social Contract"
- Create Global Principles for Applying AI: outline pillars for "AI Principles of AI Users" to lead responsible and beneficial use
- Develop Urban Workforce Mobility Initiatives: improve urban mobility through exploring employee mobility options, launching pilot programmes in select urban locations and eventually deploying initiatives
- Accelerate Financial Inclusion of Entrepreneurs: creation of global partnerships to improve the financial inclusion of Micro-, Small and Medium entreprises (MSMEs) in developing countries
- Create a More Successful Market for Recycled Plastics: private sector-working group that will align on one or more pilot programmes that aim to stabilize markets for recycled plastics
- Support Talent in Super Cities: private-sector coalition of companies to equip Super Cities’ public administrators with the skill sets they need
- Green Our Supply Chains: Formation of a business-led working group developing and sharing a portfolio of sustainable supply-chain tools to meet global environmental goals

Included in the conversations were executives representing the largest and most influential businesses in new economies today, including: 3M CEO, Mike Roman; ADNOC CEO, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber; Dangote Group CEO, Aliko Dangote; ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO, Darren W. Woods; FedEx Chairman and CEO, Frederick W. Smith; HSBC Group Chief Executive, John M. Flint; Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman, Euisun Chung; Mastercard President and CEO, Ajay Banga; Microsoft Executive Vice President, Peggy Johnson; and SoftBank Investment Advisers Managing Partner, Kentaro Matsui.

To turn these commitments to action, more than 70 organisations have committed to a newly created New Economy Forum "SolutionsLab", designed to bring together a diverse group of leaders and experts to action on key solutions over the next year. Progress and outcomes will be shared at the New Economy Forum in Beijing in November next year, co-hosted by Bloomberg and the Chinese Centre for International Economic Exchanges.