UPS CEO David Abney called for closer cooperation between business and governments to work together to maximise the benefits of international trade during the APEC CEO Summit panel, Economic Reforms for Sustaining Competitiveness. In a signal to export manufacturers, Abney cited a recently launched study where key business differentiators ‘quality’, ‘reliability’, and a ‘flexible supply chain’ emerge as priorities for companies seeking to gain competitive advantage in a changing economic context.
“Today’s rapidly evolving world is forcing companies to rethink the way they do business in order to stay competitive,” said Abney. “We are seeing companies that want to gain a competitive edge focus more on value and less on low-cost. Governments can encourage a stronger trade-enabling environment with better infrastructure, improved transport networks, modernised border clearance and enhanced cross-border e-commerce for collaborative technology. These are the sorts of concrete measures that can better help businesses contribute to the economic growth brought by healthy international trade flows.”
Abney emphasised the pivotal role that logistics plays in business transformation and creating value in the supply chain. “Through a shared agenda, governments and companies can support APEC’s competitiveness by looking carefully at the competitive advantage that enabling services such as logistics can bring,” said Abney. “We run 2 per cent of global GDP through our networks on an average day, connecting big and small businesses to the global marketplace. We are seeing market changes driven by growing global demand for a more agile supply chain requiring higher levels of collaboration between companies and their customers. And this is reflected in a study we are launching that represents a change in mindset that we think will resonate with export manufacturers in the region.”