Business tycoon and Tan Yan Kee chairman Dr. Lucio C. Tan was recently honored as one of the most creative entrepreneurial leaders in Asia Pacific during the 2008 Asia Pacific Entrepreneurial Leaders Forum hosted by the Republic of Indonesia.
Cooperation, Int’l Business Links Key To Surviving Recession
[Speech delivered by Dr. Lucio C. Tan during the 2008 Asia Pacific Entrepreneurial Leaders Forum (Indonesia) Summit, Shangri-la Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia - 15 December 2008]
I am privileged to be part of this important gathering of Chinese and other business leaders in the Asia Pacific Region.
This summit, hosted by the Republic of Indonesia, is particularly significant since the world and the Asia Pacific region are in the verge of what could be the most serious economic crisis of our time.
As part of a global community, we are not immune from the contagion sweeping across Europe and America. Even China is deeply concerned over the impact of the economic meltdown despite its phenomenal double-digit growth for many decades.
As business leaders, it is incumbent upon us to help – in whatever way we can – to cushion the impact of the recession to our businesses, and our respective economies.
I believe we are in a unique position to understand the dynamics of doing business in this region. We must use that knowledge – including our close links to China – to steer our enterprises towards clearer skies.
To do this, I suggest the following:
1 We must close ranks and strengthen our linkages to survive the recession;
2 Let us display self-confidence to boost the morale of our fellow businessmen, especially small and medium-sized entrepreneurs;
3 Let us broaden our business base by taking advantage of our network of global contacts especially in China where modest growth is still possible;
4 When markets are down, let us continue to invest. Who knows? We may even end up buying businesses at basement prices then make them grow in better times; and
5 Let us be good corporate citizens by exercising corporate social responsibility. Let us take a strong and united stand against unscrupulous business practices that tend to destroy confidence like the melamine scare.
I know it’s not going to be an easy climb. But I believe that if we close ranks and foster closer cooperation, we can make a difference.
While the business horizon remains hazy, there are still many opportunities that await those with courage and vision. The most important thing is not to lose hope.
After all, a wise man once said: “There will be no construction and thus, no gain, without destruction.”
Indonesian Trade Minister Dr. Mari Pangestu conferred the award upon Tan in Jakarta after he was cited for making the Lucio Tan Group one of the leading conglomerates in the Asia Pacific Region. Tan, 74, has business interests in the Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Guam and the United States.
In receiving the award, Tan shared top honors with financial magnate Dr. Mochtar Riady, Chairman and CEO of the Lippo Group and Indonesian hotelier and statesman Dr. Sukamdani S. Gitosardjono. Other businessmen from various Asia Pacific countries were also cited.
One of the leading Filipino industrialists, Tan has business interests in aviation, agribusiness, banking, breweries and distilleries, real estate development. He also chairs the Tan Yan Kee Foundation. Riady, on the other hand, is into banking, securities, insurance, asset management, property development, and infrastructure projects.
In brief remarks, Tan urged his fellow businessmen to close ranks and strengthen linkages to survive the recession (See full text of Dr. Tan’s speech at left).
“As business leaders, it is incumbent upon us to help – in whatever way we can – to cushion the impact of the recession to our businesses and our respective economies,” Tan told the gathering of business leaders.
He stressed that as part of a global community, countries in the Asia Pacific region are not immune from the contagion sweeping across Europe and America. “Even China is deeply concerned over the impact of the economic meltdown despite its phenomenal double-digit growth for many decades, “Tan explained.
As this developed, he stressed the importance of being good corporate citizens by exercising corporate social responsibility. In particular, he enjoined his colleagues to take a strong and united stand against unscrupulous business practices that tend to destroy confidence like the recent melamine scare.
Over 500 businessmen from the Asia Pacific region joined the conference held in Jakarta. The forum was held under the auspices of the Hong Kong-based Asia-Pacific Chinese Entrepreneurial Leaders Association (APCE).
The APCE is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization devoted to high-level dialogue on international cultural and economic matters with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.
With a strong foothold in the Asia-Pacific region, the APCE seeks to strengthen cultural and economic ties between businessmen in member countries and provides a platform and services for sustained commercial, cultural, academic and political dialogue and exchanges.
The group holds an annual conference in one major Asian city each year and sponsors such activities as regular summits of leaders from cultural, political and commercial circles.