Asia-Pacific Businesses Urged to Adapt to Changes

Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region should adjust their strategies and adapt to changes brought by the irreversible trends of a developing new economy and globalization.

Yu Xiaosong, chair of the organizing committee of the CEO Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, made the call in a keynote speech at the business leaders' summit opened here Thursday.

Yu talked of the numerous opportunities that have come with the emergence of the new economy and globalization, such as the possibility of higher profits from new technologies, the upgrading of traditional industries, easier access to the market for new firms and reduced trade barriers.

But he put more emphasis on challenges that come with the new economy and globalization, pointing out that "challenges are particularly tough (for Asia-Pacific companies) due to characteristics of the local environment."

Higher profit rates and easier market access of the new economy will result in intensified competition, an easy market saturation and a short product life span, Yu said, who is also president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

With an integration of the world markets, consumers have more choices and demand products of higher quality, and this requires enterprises to commit more investment for technological upgrading and product development, he added.

To meet the challenges, Yu said enterprises will have to build up their innovation awareness, and adjust and update their organizational structure, management system and marketing strategy.

They should also establish a global view, understand and respect the richness and diversity of world culture, learn to adapt to local conditions, and manage risks imposed by regional conflicts and unpredictable events.

He called on companies in the Asia-Pacific region to strengthen their cooperation in investment, trade and technology and learn from each other for win-win purposes.

He also urged business councils and associations to enhance their coordination and play a more positive role in promoting cooperation among enterprises in the region.

While urging companies to improve their communication with governments, Yu called on governments in the region to create a better business environment and extend greater support to enterprises, through the provision of better infrastructure, feasible policies and sound legal systems.

(People's Daily 10/18/2001)

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