“We will get back to a pre-Covid recovery, I have no doubt about that and I’m quite optimistic about how Asia-Pacific is performing and moving forward. But the reality also is, we are learning to live with this virus. We are learning to co-exist and survive, and this economic recovery in Asia is a very positive story.”
Those were the words of Linde plc COO-elect, Sanjiv Lamba, as he delivered the official Opening Keynote at the gasworld Virtual Event 2020 earlier this week and reflected not only on a difficult 2020 but also how he sees the future shaping up in 2021 and beyond.
Having begun by taking the opportunity to pay homage to the ‘heroic’ workers in the gases industry that have essentially been on the frontline of the pandemic all year, Lamba turned to the shape of economic recovery across the Asia-Pacific region and what comfort could be drawn from this and the global trends that will underpin the industry going forward.
He explained, “For many of us and indeed many colleagues and people more broadly in business and society, 2020 has been a year that has not just been difficult but a year symbolised by the masks – the ubiquitous masks and how the grim realities of what people faced were largely hidden under those masks.”
“Now, people are all looking forward – 2021 is all about the hope, it’s all about the vaccines, notwithstanding the logistical challenges of distributing billions of vaccines across the world ensuring billions of people get vaccinated. Putting all of that aside, the vaccines offer hope and a semblance of normalcy. And therefore, a large part of 2021 as we look ahead is dedicated to that cause.”
“There is of course one other reason for that hope, and here I want to talk about how the economies of the Asia-Pacific are doing – and the best way to describe them, I think, is that they are chugging along, along a path of recovery, along a path of building momentum with every step they take. There are many examples to illustrate this point.”
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