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PHL digital economy in focus at BusinessWorld forum

FERNANDO ZOBEL DE AYALA, president and chief executive officer of Ayala Corp., will be the keynote speaker at the BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum on May 26. — COMPANY HANDOUT

TOP BUSINESS LEADERS, government officials and experts will come together at this month’s BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum to discuss how the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and what steps are needed to support the Philippines’ full transition into a “digital economy.”

BusinessWorld, the country’s leading business newspaper, is holding a special edition of the BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum on May 26 and 27 with the theme “The Digital Economy Philippines: Towards a Faster Economic Recovery.”

Fernando Zobel de Ayala, president and chief executive officer of Ayala Corp., will be the keynote speaker on the first day of the virtual forum. He will discuss the topic “Accelerated by the Pandemic: Digital Transformation as the Way Forward.”

Bernadette Nacario, country director of Google Philippines, will deliver the keynote speech on “The Emerging New Economy: New Skills, Jobs, and Business Tools” on the second day of the forum. Kais Marzouki, chairman and CEO of Nestlé Philippines, will also give a keynote speech on the topic, “From Brown to Green Economy: Is the Philippines Ready?”

The first day of the forum will feature in-depth panel discussions and fireside chats moderated by BusinessWorld editors and reporters.

The “Digital Transformation for a Better Normal” panel includes Anthony Oundjian, managing director and senior partner of Boston Consulting Group; Martha M. Sazon, president and CEO of GCash; and Miko B. David, president and co-founder of David & Golyat.

For the “Bridging the Digital Divide” panel, discussions will be led by Andrés Ortola, country general manager of Microsoft Philippines; Shailesh Baidwan, president of PayMaya; and Kevin C. Chua, senior economist at the World Bank.

There will also be fireside chats with Rosemarie G. Edillon, undersecretary for national development policy and planning at the National Economic and Development Authority, on “Digitalizing the Philippine Economy Now”; and Mamerto E. Tangonan, deputy governor for payments and currency management sector at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, on “The Philippines’ Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap.”

On the second day of the forum, there will be a panel discussion titled “A Blueprint for the Hybrid Office: How Workplaces Will Evolve” featuring Elizabeth L Fuller, Southeast Asia head of growth at WeWork; Michael B. McCullough, managing director at KMC Savills, Inc.; Carol Torres-Mills, head of Ayala Land Offices; and Christophe Vicic, country head of JLL Philippines.

The “Effective Convergence of Physical & Digital: The Omni-Channel Retail Experience” panel will include industry speakers, such as Rosemarie B. Ong, president of the Philippine Retailers Association.

In a fireside chat, Manila Water Co. Chief Sustainability Officer Mark Tom Q. Mulingbayan will talk about “Building Brands through Sustainability and Purpose.” Denis Hew, director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Policy Support Unit, will share his insights on “Helping SMEs Survive and Thrive through Digital Tools: An APEC Perspective.”

Attendees will have access to a virtual plenary hall, virtual exhibits, and a networking lounge.

Registration is now open. Early bird rates are now available. For more details, check

All paying attendees will receive a free copy of the latest issue of BusinessWorld In-Depth digital magazine. Premium attendees will also get a free printed copy of the latest BusinessWorld Top 1000 Corporations in the Philippines magazine.

BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum Special Edition is presented by BusinessWorld Publishing Corp.; with co-presenter GCash; gold sponsor Globe Telecom, Inc.; silver sponsors Ayala Group of Companies, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and FWD Life Insurance Corp.; bronze sponsors BDO Unibank, Inc., First Gen Corp., Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., PayMaya Philippines, Inc., SGV & Co., and SM Investments Corp.; official TV partner OneNews; media partner The Philippine STAR; partner organizations Asia Society – Philippines, British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Philippine Franchise Association.

For inquiries and sponsorship opportunities, call BusinessWorld Marketing at 8535-9901 or e-mail

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