“Business leaders today have the opportunity to design the future of work by building on the lessons and practices they were forced to adopt during the crisis. They have formidable challenges in front of them as they stage the return to work, but they are also in a position to capitalize on all that they have experienced and learned as they chart a new course forward.” – Bert Miller, President and CEO, MRINetwork
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Private businesses in EMEA are focusing on building resilience to manage beyond the pandemic, according to a recent survey by PwC Global. The findings indicate that “the current operational and financial challenges that private companies in EMEA countries are facing make this pandemic an agility stress test for their business models.” The survey goes on to say that “Leaders whose companies have been able to combine flexibility with a focus on people, technology, and their customers report better profitability and expect stronger performance in the future.”
Referred to in the report as “agility champions,” these leaders are making tough choices around workforces and cost reduction, while continuing to invest in the key areas that will keep their businesses competitive and help them emerge stronger from the pandemic. Driven by customer needs and with sustainability top of mind, they are transforming their businesses to stay relevant and build the resilience needed to face future challenges.
China is taking steps to support flexible employment through multiple channels, according to a report issued by the State Council titled “Opinions on Supporting Flexible Employment through Multiple Channels.” The Opinions report, cited by Baker Mackenzie FenXun, introduces various steps taken by the government to support flexible employment — which generally includes self-employed workers, part-time employment, and emerging employment models. The measures being taken by the State Council are designed to:
- Create more job opportunities. The government plans to expand and upgrade certain industries where part-time workers are commonly used, such as cleaning, retail, and construction, and to boost the development of emerging employment models such as e-retailing, mobile travel, online education, and internet healthcare.
- Guarantee workers’ benefits and interests. The government is formulating relevant labor and social security regulations for flexible employees working at internet platform enterprises, including remuneration, rest and leave, work safety, etc. Local unions are being encouraged to consult with enterprise representatives to set up labor quota, working hours, and disciplinary policies.
- Improve the self-employment business environment. The government is making efforts to eliminate unreasonable restrictions hampering flexible employment, as well as encouraging individuals to start up their own businesses.
The travel and tourism sector in Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to take a $110 billion hit due to COVID-19, says a new World Economic Forum report, but investment in infrastructure could bring back tourism as well as rebuild the economy.
As the worst of the outbreak is contained, countries in the region will join others around the world in search of a strategy to reignite their economies. Travel and tourism present a lucrative opportunity for revival, but the industry was hit particularly hard in Latin America and the Caribbean according to the report — just as the region was starting to make serious strides. More than half of the 21 countries surveyed for the Forum’s report improved their competitiveness from 2017 in categories including air, land, and sea infrastructure that supports both the travel and tourism industry and the broader economy.
Focusing on infrastructure could not only help bring back Latin America’s tourism sector but also strengthen the entire economy. Lack of adequate financing is a major obstacle to developing infrastructure, and given the ballooning economic costs of containing COVID-19, it is increasingly likely the private sector will need to finance infrastructure in the coming years. This will require leveraging public-private partnerships to finance, build, and operate infrastructure projects.