The Forbes Global CEO Conference 2018, themed “The World Reboots” has put the focus on how CEOs, companies and countries are confronting challenges and seizing opportunities arising from accelerating disruption.
The conference was held from Oct 30-31 in Bangkok.
Some likened this era to the fourth global revolution, after mechanisation, mass production and digitalisation.
Discussions centred around how the world, now in 4.0 mode will affect the manner in which companies are built and led, where money is made or lost, the role of governments, and how all of us live, work and play.
Steve Forbes with Guna Mahalingam, Founder and CEO of SSP.
(L-R): Raza Jafar, Chairman of Palazzo Versache Dubai, Guna Mahalingam of SSP and Kirit Shah, Chairman GP Group Thailand.
As the change will not be neutral, it will require new leadership skills and new entrepreneurs to navigate the untold creative destruction of the next few years.
On the bright side, those who can grasp the opportunities can reap huge benefits for themselves, their companies, and society at large.
US economy 'perfectly okay', Asia 'very good'
Speaking at the conference, Jim Walker described the US economic outlook as healthy, adding that it would be “perfectly okay through 2019".
Walker is the chief economist at Asianomics Group, and was previously chief economist at CLSA Asia-Pacific.
He said the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates more slowly than many expected, so it could gauge the impact of its move better.
He also said Asia's outlook was “very good, despite all of the gloom and doom about China”, even describing the Chinese government as doing a "very very good job" of engineering a “soft landing” for its economy.
“There is no sign in my view of distress in China,” Walker said, adding that Europe however, hadn't solved its problems just yet.
He was referring to Europe fully aligning its currency union and the underlying economic policies of member states.
The Forbes CEO Global Conference 2018 was attended by over 400 business people globally – entrepreneurs, CEOs, multi billionaires and thought leaders.