Why business sector's worst enemy isn't corruption

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at May 22 2014 05:48 PM | Updated as of May 23 2014 07:34 PM

Lippo Group Indonesia CEO James Riady (left), SM Investments vice chairman Teresita Sy-Coson and McKinsey & Co director Kevin Sneader attend the "Education-Entrepreneurship-Employment Nexus" session at the World Economic Forum on East Asia. Photo by Jonathan Cellona for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, Philippines - Government plays a big role in shaping the business landscape through the policies and regulations that it sets, business executives said.

Lippo Group chief executive James Riady said government and the business sector should work as a unit to ensure both parties can maximize gains.

"We are all in one enterprise, we're all stakeholders and the government has to make sure not to come out with wrong policies," he said during the "Education-Entrepreneurship-Employment Nexus" session at the World Economic Forum on East Asia on Thursday.

"The worst enemy is not corruption, it's wrong government policies," he added.

Riady said the government should focus in its role in creating an environment of good governance.

"That means institutions must function efficiently. There should be transparency, minimal red tape, bureaucracy," he said.

He also said it is the government's responsibility to allow better financial access for entrepreneurs.

SM Investments Corp. vice chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson, meanwhile, believes that while government's policies have an effect on the business sector, industries should also learn to be independent.

Sy-Coson said that relying on government to deliver laws to promote entrepreneurship may take "a long time."

"That's why there are entrepreneurs, it doesn't matter whether they have assistance from government or not, they know how to navigate their business," she said.

McKinsey & Co chairman Kevin Sneader, meanwhile, said that entrepreneurs are needed to inspire other people and provide jobs.

"That's what entrepreneurship is, and to rely on government to do that? I'm not so sure, we need entrepreneurs," Sneader said.

"What the government can do is it can create a framework where entrepreneurship, creativity can thrive," he said.