Economic Growth

How can businesses build back better? Key quotes from leaders

"It is possible for us to achieve resilience, growth and advance the green economy," said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore. Image: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Christopher Alessi
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
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The Great Reset

  • The Forum on Wednesday convened its latest Great Reset virtual meeting.
  • The focus of the call was "A New Deal for Business".
  • Speakers included Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore, and Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan.

"The question is: how do we achieve resilience in a new global environment, including a pandemic-prone global environment, as well as growth - how do we avoid a sharp trade-off between resilience and growth?"

Those were the words of Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore, speaking on global trade and supply chains in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Shanmugaratnam's comments came during the Forum's latest Great Reset virtual meeting, centered around the theme, "A New Deal for Business."

Some major indices have lost 30%-40% of their initial value in recent months, while nearly all major environmental, social and governance (ESG) indices outperformed their markets. Given that backdrop, the call focused on: How might these trends influence business strategy in light of the pandemic, and what key aspects of the stakeholder approach will business leaders adopt to address short-term pressures and long-term considerations?

The Great Reset is an initiative that grew out of the Forum's ongoing COVID Action Platform. Launched in June, the Great Reset is a commitment to jointly and urgently rebuild the foundations of our economic and social system to create a fairer, more sustainable and resilient post-COVID future.

Other speakers on today's call included Brian T. Moynihan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Bank of America; Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Stacey Cunningham, President and Chief Executive Officer at New York Stock Exchange (NYSE); and Li Xin, Managing Director, Caixin Global at Caixin Media.

Here's a roundup of a some of the key quotes from the session:

"The problem of skilling is going to be crucial. Right now, its the low-skilled that are being more affected and may lose their links with the market more permanently. That is going to be a very serious result."

Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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We need to be relentless about this idea...These are the stakeholder capitalism metrics at the end of the day and they define what success should be and they define progress on the SDGs [UN Sustainable Development Goals] and there isn’t a better time to do it."

Brian T. Moynihan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Bank of America

"Increasingly, the virus has called on business to come with heart, not just [for] the returns."

Li Xin, Managing Director, Caixin Global at Caixin Media
Image: World Economic Forum

"It is possible for us to achieve resilience, growth and advance the green economy."

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore

"We saw immediate action from companies. That’s a stakeholder mentality - you don’t just focus on the bottom line."

Stacey Cunningham, President and Chief Executive Officer at New York Stock Exchange
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