Event Details

At the start of this year, there were high hopes that a global economic recovery was underway, with opportunities for Asian economies and businesses to reposition and rebuild firmer foundations for growth. While the global economy has been picking up steam, the emergence of dangerous new variants of the virus and ensuing recurring waves of Covid-19 infections alongside vaccine bottlenecks suggest that the challenges of the pandemic are far from behind us. Meanwhile, the global economic system is undergoing seismic shifts, as globalisation is strained and major economies increasingly compete in economic, technological, geopolitical, and ideological spheres, in many instances with a goal of putting domestic interests first. Amid ongoing US-China tensions, calls for supply chain diversification, uneven recoveries in regional markets, the spectre of inflation, and recent experiences prompting new concepts of risk resilience, multinational companies in Asia are considering how to effectively navigate this new geography of global business.

Please join us for the Regional Strategic Forecast, which will feature:

- our latest analysis of the global and Asian economies;

- monetary policies and inflation concerns;

- US and global foreign and trade policies and implications for Asian markets;

- new frontiers for Asia's tech sector;

- the outlook and driving factors for the local economic and political environment;

- a panel of business leaders sharing how they are finding opportunities amid these ongoing challenges.


9 AM - 10:30 AM
Presentation and Discussion


  • Simon Baptist (Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit)

    Simon Baptist

    Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Simon Baptist is Editorial Director and Chief Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit. Prior to his current role, he has held a number of other senior management and editorial positions in the business, including Managing Director for Asia, Regional Director of our Asia editorial team, Director of Global Forecasting, and Consulting Director in both Europe and Asia

    Simon’s focus is on the global economy, national and international political developments, and public policy. He engages with business, government and international organisations, helping them to understand the operational and strategic implications of the EIU’s forecasts.

    He has a doctorate in economics from and was a lecturer at Oxford University, along with degrees in economics and science from the University of Tasmania. His academic research investigated technology and the determinants of productivity in manufacturing firms.

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  • Fabio Vacirca (Senior Managing Director of Accenture)

    Fabio Vacirca

    Senior Managing Director of Accenture

    Fabio Vacirca is the market unit group lead for Accenture’s business across Australia and New Zealand, South East Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East. In this role, he is responsible for the people and performance of the various market units, overall strategy, sales and delivery excellence. He is also a member of Accenture's Global Management Committee.

    Prior to assuming this role in March 2020, Fabio served as the lead for our Asia Pacific markets, including Japan and Greater China, for clients in industries such as air, freight and travel services, industrial equipment and automotive, consumer goods and services, infrastructure and transportation services, life sciences, and retail. In this role, he helped to triple the size of Accenture’s business across Asia.

    In his 30-year career with Accenture, Fabio has held a variety of leadership roles, including serving as the worldwide lead for Accenture’s consumer goods and services practice where he was responsible for business planning, industry development, investments and market strategy—ultimately growing Accenture’s leadership position in these industries. Prior to this role, he served as the Europe and LATAM lead for the consumer goods and services practice. His deep industry experience comes from working directly with major global consumer goods and services multinational clients as their account lead supporting their business transformations. Fabio was also instrumental in extending Accenture’s market leadership in key domains such as route-to-market and a zero-based efficiency operating model, through the acquisition and integration of two software businesses, NewsPage and CAS. These initiatives have helped Accenture extend into new markets and continue to sustain our leadership position today.

    Throughout his career, Fabio has led large-scale transformation and IT projects for clients and, as an early adopter of experimentation and the fail-fast approach, he laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Accenture Customer Innovation Network where he scaled innovation hubs around the world (Singapore, Milan, Tokyo, Shanghai, Dubai) to bring together the best of Accenture’s capabilities to help our clients transform their business.

    Fabio is committed to creating an environment that values equality and meritocracy for women and embraces all dimensions of diversity. He believes that equality is a powerful multiplier of innovation, creativity and growth, and champions efforts to make this a reality in the teams that he leads.

    Fabio joined Accenture in 1991 and became a partner in 2001. He holds a Management Engineering degree from the Politecnico di Milano University in Italy and speaks five languages: Italian, English, French, Greek and Turkish. He has been living in Asia for nearly 10 years and is currently based in Singapore.

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  • William Thomas (Director, South-east Asia of The Economist Corporate Network)

    William Thomas

    Director, South-east Asia of The Economist Corporate Network

    William Thomas is the Director of the Economist Corporate Network in South-east Asia. An experienced advisor to senior business and government leaders, he helps organisations understand the strategic, operational, and talent implications of geopolitical changes.

    William holds a PhD in public policy from George Mason University in the US, as well as a degree in economics from the University of Virginia and an MBA. His academic research has centered on managing change in large, multinational organisations, with an emphasis on organisational culture.

    William is a retired United States Air Force lieutenant colonel, having spent much of his 21-year career as a strategic planner for complex operations such as humanitarian assistance and counterterrorism. He was Associate Professor of Political Science at the US Air Force Academy, and later taught at Georgetown University in Washington DC and as a Fulbright Scholar at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

    Having worked in Asia since 2012, William has focused on leadership development and organisational change as a consultant, leadership coach, and training facilitator.

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