Stay Ahead: Insights from APCO

Webinar: The New Social Contract: Resetting the Relationship between Technology, Governments and Citizens in the Post-Pandemic World

The COVID-19 crisis will reset social, political and economic equilibriums. In this environment, Big Tech will emerge stronger and more vital than ever, while vulnerable to pressures around finance, regulation, and privacy.

Join APCO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, June 11 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm EST as panelists discuss how a new social contract will emerge demanding new answers to pressing questions. RSVP here.
Webinar Panelists

The Corona Presidency: Can Germany lead the EU out of Crisis?

Dr. Sebastian Schwark, senior director in APCO Worldwide's Berlin office, discusses the opportunity for a swift recovery for the EU when Germany assumes the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1. For more information, subscribe to APCO’s bi-weekly German EU Council Presidency Bulletin.
European Union flag

"COVID-19 requires a “Corona Presidency,” and Germany has put her tenure under the motto “Together for Europe’s recovery.” Pressing issues, including the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the Green Deal, Europe’s sluggish digital transformation, and geopolitical and geopolitical stability, however, are still on the agenda.

In order to succeed, Merkel will need to turn the crisis into a catalyst. But with political cleavages exacerbated; social dynamics accelerated; and economic policy in unchartered territory, it remains to be seen whether Europe’s semi-hegemon will successfully work through this."

China’s 2020 Two Sessions Decoded: What’s Next for Multinationals

Toby Tanner, associate consultant in APCO Worldwide's Beijing office, discusses the five key factors multinationals need to know from China's “Two Sessions,” the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC):​

"It was an opportunity to demonstrate control over the pandemic and outline a blueprint for the country’s future development. 2021 marks the first of two centennial milestones outlined in President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” roadmap, when China is to achieve the goal of becoming a “moderately prosperous society.” The countdown to 2021 is also a critical test for the government to achieve the goals of the 13th Five Year Plan.

By improving livelihoods, the government’s goal is to increase capacity for domestic consumption and reduce reliance on unstable foreign export markets. Opportunities exist for multinationals that can contribute to China’s goals, especially those placed to accelerate the development of its digital economy." 

Foggy Shanghai


APCO colleagues are sharing on-the-ground insights and analysis on the impact of COVID-19 in markets around the world. Today’s dispatch is from APCO's Seattle office. For more information about the market, please contact Tim Smith.

Washington State became ground zero for the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States with the country’s first confirmed travel-related case in early 2020. Following the first COVID-related death on Feb. 29, Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. Quickly thereafter, major employers in Seattle including Amazon and Microsoft pivoted to work from home procedures, setting the tone for other companies across the state. A government stay-home order and temporary closure of non-essential businesses resulted in a rush of layoffs and furloughs, with unemployment claims breaking records as 1 in 4 Washingtonians filed for benefits. The strain on the state’s budget was further exacerbated by fraudulent unemployment filings costing the state an estimated USD 550-650 million.
As of June, most Washington State counties have emerged from full stay-home orders and there are early signs of recovery in some sectors of the economy. The core tech sector has been shielded from much of the damage caused by the pandemic; in fact, Amazon and Microsoft recently reported record earnings, demonstrating continued strong demand for services like e-commerce and cloud computing. The state’s USD 900 million tourism industry has been hit hard, with popular Alaska cruises cancelled for the season and an estimated loss in Seattle of USD 60 million per day in tourism revenue. Even after receiving stimulus funds, Washington aerospace continues to suffer, with Boeing cutting nearly 10,000 jobs and Alaska Airlines considering additional layoffs on top of massive flight cancellations across the Northwest. Ultimately, Seattle is positioned to emerge stronger in large part due to its vibrant technology sector and spirit of innovation. Both will support economic recovery and contribute to the pioneering of new business and workplace practices for a post-COVID world. During this transition, and as the landscape continues to shift often and unpredictably, companies will find great value in enhanced internal communications and stakeholder engagement.

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

  • Sustainability still vital to firms despite challenges, say experts, The Straits Times
  • From hair salons to casinos, here's what reopened business could look like post-pandemic, CNBC
  • What public health experts want critics to know about why they support the protests, Vox
  • Lessons from Chinese companies’ response to COVID-19, Harvard Business Review
APCO is opening up the virtual water cooler for submissions from our readers - please share your article suggestions with us here.


“The challenges we face go well beyond a virus, and the old normal wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t working that well… These shocks to the system that we’re seeing right now, just as you prepare to go out into the world, they remind us that we can’t take things for granted. We have to work make things better.”

        - Barack Obama, Former President of the United States

COVID-19 has laid bare deep injustices and inequalities based on income, gender, race and more. Returning to the systems that created these fragilities is out of the question. All our efforts must go towards building more equal, inclusive, resilient and sustainable societies."

        - António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
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