The age of sustainability

Thought leaders, academics, businesspersons and indeed legislators have long advocated for the need to place our wealth-generating clusters on a more sustainable footing. In fact, many have made the case for a comprehensive rethink of our entire economic architecture but decision-makers across all strata were reluctant to jump off the economic treadmill while it was still rolling at full speed.

The coronavirus gap now gave us the space to consider the kind of economic activity we want to create for the next decades. From tourism to construction and from education to corporate services, our sectors must act boldly to realign operations with objectives that are supportive of community wellbeing, protective of the natural environment, and respectful of our cultural heritage.

It is heartening to see established businesses as well as budding entrepreneurs approaching problems strategically and adapt their offerings to the values that they expect the market to reward.

But the required transformation cannot just depend on the spontaneous initiative of a few visionaries. Major players – government, authorities, corporations, financial institutions – must join forces to back their efforts if anything significant and durable is to be achieved at all.

In this scenario, state support ought to be more properly understood as investment in the country’s innovation rather than as expensive hand-outs to keep companies afloat. A relief budget is a vital instrument to help businesses prepare for the new reality ahead.