November 9, 2023
Greetings from the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in my home, Singapore. This is my third time being involved with the Forum and while it never fails to deliver, I think this year’s iteration is special.
As Scott said in his dispatch from day one, this year’s Forum is coming along at a time of great uncertainty. I think today’s sessions were in large part teasing out the practical effects of that variability on global markets and the global community.
After day one’s devotion to understanding our challenges, day two moved towards solutions. The theme for the day, seizing the moment, aptly fit today’s plenary discussions.
As always, the range of discussions veered into unexpected realms. In the space of several hours I heard meaningful conversations about generative AI, the risk of US default, the possibility of a decades-long period of higher interest rates, and the slow demise of globalization, among many other topics.
That list of subjects may sound all doom and gloom, but in fact, I was struck by how much I heard the word ‘resiliency’ in today’s main plenary discussions. Resiliency of individuals in a changing labor market, resiliency of markets and certain asset classes, and the resiliency of dialogue itself.
Throughout the day, I was also pleased to see how often Singapore – and Asia-Pacific generally – featured in the discussions. As someone who has lived in Asia for over twenty years, I was thrilled to see how the discussion of this region has become more nuanced over time. The ‘Asian Century’ rhetoric brings the risk of understanding the continent as a singular entity. What today’s discussions showed was how every part of the region – from South Asia to East Asia, and through countless examples in Southeast Asia – is making huge strides in global business and innovation in its own dynamic and influential ways.
Speaking of seizing the moment, I want to extend my thanks to our corporate partners for supporting and participating in the discussions. The New Economy Forum has lofty ambitions and focuses on the biggest of ideas. The sponsors and supporters, who partner with us every year to help make the forum a reality, take a leap of faith in doing so. Their optimism and forward-thinking is a big part of what makes the Forum a success each year. Thank you for your vision!
We’re closing in on the end of the 2023 Forum, and we have a remarkably strong slate of speakers and presenters lined up for the final day. I’m excited about what’s to come – and maybe a little bit relieved to catch my breath.