San Francisco, CA – At the prestigious APEC CEO Summit, a convergence of global business leaders and policymakers, the stage was set for profound discussions on economic opportunity, digital transformation, and women’s empowerment.
Monica Hardy-Waley, President of the National Center for APEC, opened the summit, emphasizing the culmination of extensive preparatory work by her team. The summit’s kick-off featured a special conversation with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, highlighting the U.S.’s commitment to fostering international business relationships.
The spotlight then shifted to Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., Executive Chairman of Visa, who shared fascinating insights about San Francisco’s unique character and history. Kelly underscored Visa’s commitment to the APEC economies, revealing a $100 million grant to support women and underserved communities. He proudly announced Visa’s achievement in digitizing over 67 million small businesses worldwide and introduced the ‘Small and Micro Business Accelerator’ to further this cause.
Kevin Ali, CEO of Organon, spoke next, highlighting the crucial role of APEC in shaping the global landscape. He stressed the importance of addressing demographic trends like falling birth rates and high unintended pregnancy rates. Ali proposed policies to increase women’s economic participation, noting McKinsey’s estimate that such inclusion could add $4.5 trillion to Asia-Pacific’s GDP.
Secretary Gina Raimondo then took the stage, discussing the U.S. administration’s priorities in the Indo-Pacific region. She emphasized the U.S.’s renewed commitment to the region and the significance of public-private partnerships in driving economic growth and addressing global challenges.
As the discussion progressed, the panelists shared their perspectives on the opportunities for collaboration between public and private sectors. They emphasized the need for economic prosperity through inclusion and participation, advocating for initiatives that empower women and the underserved.
The session concluded with a call to action from Secretary Raimondo, inviting the private sector to collaborate with the government in creating policy conditions for success. She emphasized the need for joint efforts in upskilling, data flow management, and tackling climate change challenges.
The APEC CEO Summit thus set a tone of optimism and collaboration, with a clear focus on leveraging public-private partnerships to address global economic challenges and unlock growth opportunities.