Stay Ahead: Insights from APCO

What If? – How America’s Transportation Industry Will Pave the Road to Recovery


APCO's Stephanie Waties, director, and Matthew Gallagher, Chicago's managing director, share their insights on how the transportation industry is an essential job creator and the need for higher standards:
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"Transportation has always shaped the way we live our lives. The industry has moved us—literally and figuratively—to work, to play, to visit places and see people that we perhaps had only heard about or seen in a photograph.

While it’s impossible to predict an inevitable outcome under the current circumstance, one thing is certain: we will travel and move again one day, and transportation is one of the most anticipated industries to return. And, if executed well while asking the right “what ifs,” the comeback has the potential to be even greater than the setback."

Innovation and Post-Pandemic Healthcare

APCO's Jack Kalavritinos and Stephanie Tan discuss six key questions that companies and innovators must consider to stay ahead and prepare to overcome these challenges to come back stronger: 

"The goal for healthcare companies should be to highlight their commitment to access through pricing, innovation, and even collaboration with competitors. They need to communicate the need for governments to support their efforts through policies that support innovation through regulatory policies and public-private partnerships.

And if countries seek to shut down to preempt a second wave, providers, healthcare professionals, and patient advocates need to speak up on the health consequences, to strike a balance between caring for COVID-19 patients and keeping the doors to the doctors’ offices open."

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Podcast: The Path To Recovery
Jeff Astle, Managing Director of APCO's Shanghai Office, spoke in an interview on June 3, alongside for Siemens Energy Communications Head Fred Duan with MEPRA's The Briefing, to address how they prepared for, and transitioned to the new normal as businesses opened their doors following COVID-19 lockdowns. Check out the podcast here.​

Webinar: The Future of Public Affairs in Japan
On Monday, June 8, Masayo Nagai, Managing Director of APCO’s Tokyo office, will moderate a webinar on the future of public affairs in Japan after COVID-19, featuring the heads of public affairs from Netflix and Bayer, as well as a key Member of Parliament in Japan who is leading the agenda for the government’s digital transformation. Register here to attend the webinar. The event will be held in Japanese.​
 

BAHRAIN'S ECONOMIC AND SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY

APCO colleagues are sharing on-the-ground insights and analysis on the impact of COVID-19 in markets around the world. Today’s dispatch from APCO's Bahrain office discussing the country's economic response to the pandemic and prioritizing supply chain security. For more information about the market, please contact Jolyon Kimble.

Like regional neighbours including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Bahrain – an island Kingdom with a population of approximately 1.7 million people – is prioritising a phased 'return to normal' approach with social distancing remaining in place and official advice to stay at home if possible. Bahrain’s Ministry of Health also ordered that face masks be worn at all times in public as a precautionary measure to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and citizens. However, the Kingdom's approach differed slightly from other Middle East nations in that testing was emphasised at the earliest of stages. Such precautions helped keep essential businesses open, and to safely trial opening less essential businesses on a rolling two-week basis to keep the economy moving, as evidenced by recent Google data showing that Bahrain experienced the least mobility reduction among GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) states. Bahrain has also been recognised for its use of technology to track quarantined COVID-19 patients using electronic bracelets. One-in-four people in Bahrain have downloaded the BeAware app, which alerts other users if they have come into close contact with a case.
 
Bahrain's government has offered businesses an $11.38 billion package of economic support, equivalent to 29.6 percent of the country's annual GDP, including relief on electricity and water bills as well as exemptions from various fees. The Kingdom has established itself as a regional distribution hub for several global manufacturers including Mondelez, Arla and Reckitt Benckiser – bolstered by strong relationships with nearby countries and recent Government initiatives to further increase customs approval times – and is prioritising supply chain security during COVID-19. This has included keeping the 25km King Fahd Causeway connection to neighbouring Saudi Arabia open to commercial traffic, while a dedicated logistics warehouse serving the regional market has also been launched. Meanwhile, a mandated national shift to cloud technology introduced after last year's opening of the Middle East's first Amazon Web Services data centre in Bahrain has helped to facilitate the fast roll-out of remote working to all government departments.

Some Positive News

We are foregoing our regular positive news section to recognize the ongoing protests around the world on systemic racism, which emphasize the need for change and to make our collective voices heard. Read APCO’s statement on the situation here.

More Tips from Around the Water Cooler

  • 3 tips to stay calm during a layoff and still reach your financial goals, CNBC
  • Who guarantees your workplace is safe for return?, Harvard Business Review
  • Will the current pandemic increase age discrimination in the workplace?, Forbes
  • Companies are saying Black Lives Matter. Consumers think they can do more, Vox
APCO is opening up the virtual water cooler for submissions from our readers - please share your article suggestions with us here.

Quotables
 

"People are looking at the United States and think that we weren’t able to have a comprehensive plan to deal with the pandemic. They are watching how over a hundred thousand people have died so far, and they are also seeing the racial dimensions of it. Almost a third of the people dying have been black, and we are only thirteen percent of the population... So I think there is a lot of pressure that is mounting in this moment, and I just hope that our government chooses to do the right thing. I think this is just the beginning.​"

    - Opal Tometi, executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement

"These events that are happening now are further threats to the trust we need [in government]. If we do not have that, I worry our capacity to control new outbreaks becomes more limited."

    - Dr. Sandro Galea, Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health 
The APCO team is working with clients globally to manage this crisis, and we stand ready to support your needs. For more resources from APCO, including our latest research, information on how we can help or to contact us, visit apcoworldwide.com/coronavirus.