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JAZA sees economy returning to pre-pandemic level in Q4 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine economy’s recovery will take time and may return to pre-pandemic levels only in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Ayala Corp. chairman Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Zobel said there is still so much uncertainty in the business environment.

In a message during the meeting of the Shareholders Association of the Philippines (SharePHIL) last week, Zobel said everyone should work hard to move the Philippines forward amid the negative impact of the pandemic. “It may not be until the fourth quarter of 2022 that we may see the Philippine economy recover to pre-pandemic level,” he said during the virtual meeting. He also said businesses need to work on a “reimagined capitalist system” and strive for more inclusive growth. Large-scale inoculation, Zobel said, would open a lot of doors to recovery and eventual growth.

Zobel said that there are already positive developments in the economy such as growing foot traffic in groceries and restaurants and the recovery of the retail sector. “These are all positive signals,” Zobel said. At the same time, he said there remains much uncertainty regarding the 2021 growth. “We should all work hard, but be realistic that this will all take a little bit of time,” Zobel said. Zobel is cautiously optimistic as the economy slowly recovers. “Businesses and investors have all unique role to play in exponentially accelerating our recovery,” he said.

For his part, outgoing SharePhil chairman Ramoncito Fernandez said the group believes in shared prosperity to make sure everyone benefits and would continue to push for initiatives toward this goal.

Zobel has consistently pushed for conglomerates and companies in the Philippines to be hyper sensitive to changes brought about by the new normal.

He said businesses need to rethink how to serve consumers with products and services; and how to reach them through the most appropriate channels.

Zobel said a stakeholder-centric and discovery-driven approach to planning is critical in any attempt to reimagine and shape the future.

During the meeting, Zobel also announced that Ortigas Land president and incoming SharePhil president Jaime Ysmael would be rejoining Ayala Corp. for a strategic leadership role in AC Health.

“We are delighted that Jimmy will also be providing leadership for a major segment of our Health Group as he moves out of Ortigas Land,” Zobel said as he recognized Ysmael for his previous leadership roles in Ayala where he also served as CFO prior to heading Ortigas Land.

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