Asia-Pacific Represents ‘Huge Growth Opportunity’
This week, the Asia-Pacific Region takes center stage as hundreds of government and business leaders from around the world gather for the annual meeting of The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Better known as APEC, this 21-member association of economies has been working together since 1989 to advance regional economic integration and prosperity. APEC includes economies from the Asia-Pacific region as well as North America, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
P&G Asia Group President Deb Henretta was appointed by President Barack Obama as chairwoman of the APEC Business Advisory Council for 2011 and is the first woman to hold that position. In that capacity, Deb plays a key role during this year’s meeting, delivering the Council’s recommendations to government leaders on how to advance the region.
In her role as leader of P&G’s Asia business, the importance of the region is something Deb understands well.
“It’s a population that is going to increase in their economic means over the next several years and decades and as such, it becomes a huge growth opportunity and that can greatly benefit American business and the American economy in general,” Deb said.
Growth in the region would also support P&G’s Purpose-inspired growth strategy of touching and improving more lives, in more parts of the world, more completely. In fiscal year 2011, P&G’s Asia business accounted for 16% of the company’s global revenues, or more than $13 billion.
Meeting Brings Together Government, Business Leaders
P&G is a member of the APEC 2011 Host Committee for the first time and a sponsor of the CEO Summit, a three-day event at the end of the week that provides a unique forum for high-level public-private partnership.
The CEO Summit is expected to attract dignitaries including President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, People’s Republic of China President Hu Jintao, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard as well as other world leaders and CEOs from major corporations around the world.
The week provides an opportunity for P&G Government Relations leaders to discuss the company’s policy priorities in APEC economies and enhance our reputation as a leading corporate citizen in Asia.
"P&G has been involved in APEC for more than 15 years,” said P&G Asia Government Relations Director Joris Pollet. “Through our active participation in the forum over the years, we have successfully advocated for the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers and to address a whole host of issues including anti-corruption, regulatory coherence, intellectual property and many more."
In addition to attending a myriad of private meetings with government and business leaders in attendance, Deb will also give speeches and participate in panel discussions where she will share her ideas on innovation, sustainability, women’s economic progress and more. One such panel is The 21st Century Workforce Re-envisioned, where Deb will share her thoughts on how economies can best ensure a healthy, motivated and well-educated workforce.
“The workplace and workforce are going to change pretty dramatically as we look forward,” Deb said. “It’s going to be much more about leadership, about decision-making in a complex and ambiguous environment, and the courage to take the risks needed to define new and innovative ways of building the business.”
Established in 1989, APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, facilitate business interactions between member nations and improving training and education in international trade.