With the dawn of 2021 begins a new decade that will determine much for the future not only of our country but of all of humanity. The challenges are many, but they will also give us the chance to exercise our collective creativity and ingenuity to find solutions, create opportunities and lay the foundations for a better, more promising future.
Over the past year, we experienced the impact of the pandemic on health as well as on the global economy, the way we do business, our work model, and of course, on social and institutional balances—and the response, globally, revealed both the shortcomings of inflexible leadership as well the power of our willingness to cooperate and reach a common understanding for the benefit of all. Around the world, increasing economic and social inequalities are threatening to undermine longstanding values and institutions and upend fragile social balances, even in countries with strong democratic institutions. The illusion of prosperity in numbers, growing greed and corruption, and a resurgence of racial and other kinds of discrimination are escalating divisions and tensions at the local, national and global level alike—all while the threat of climate change becomes more pressing by the day. This is a volatile environment that we must navigate with prudence, drawing on our collective insights, experiences and expertise to develop intuitive, smart and sustainable policies that must be adopted and implemented decisively and globally for the benefit of all humanity. After all, if the pandemic made one thing clear, that is how interconnected and interdependent we all are: When we struggle, sooner or later we all struggle. Surely then if we are to thrive, we must all thrive.
Overcoming these challenges will undoubtedly require sweeping reorientation at the global level—at least in countries able to do so—and a new social contract based on principles, values and institutions that will mitigate existing differences, foster mutual respect and prosperity for all, and immunize our society against those forces that seek to undermine our democracy and our humanity.
So we must ask ourselves: What will be the role of the business community in this colossal endeavor? Each company is a microcosm of our society, and so applying basic principles and values such as transparency, non-discrimination and respect for the environment can contribute catalytically to their transmission to the wider society. As a Chamber, we recognize and embrace our role in creating positive change, and through our various initiatives in 2021, we will continue exploring opportunities to contribute to this collective effort to lay the foundations for a better, fairer, more promising future for us all.
I wish you all health, peace and happiness in the year ahead.