Obama speaks at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila

Nov 23, 2015 U.S. President Barack Obama recently hosted a panel discussion on sustainable development at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit along with Chinese e-commerce magnate Jack Ma and Filipina innovator Aisa Mijeno.

While delivering his introductory speech, he said:

“No nation is immune to the consequences of a changing climate. With its many low lying islands, its coastal regions which are vulnerable to flooding and land loss, few regions have more at stake in meeting this challenge than the Asia-Pacific region… “My message to you today is that your businesses can do right by your bottom lines and by our planet and future generation. The old rules that said you couldn’t grow our economies and protect our environment at the same time – those are out dated,”

During the panel discussion, Obama asked Jack Ma:

“How can both government and larger companies be assisting in creating the kind of climate of innovations that encourages young entrepreneurs like Aisa?”

Jack promptly responded:

“Government, it’s simple. Just reduce the tax or no tax for these guys.”

And Obama humorously interjected.

“You got a lot of cheers from your fellow CEOs there.”

Mijeno then said her company was on the lookout for investors to fund her saltwater lamp. The lamp is aimed at helping families who do not have easy access to electricity.

While serving as match-maker, Obama suggested that Jack Ma could potentially strike a synergy with Mijeno.

“The lamp you talked about, in addition to providing light, you can also charge your cellphone. If people have these lamps, they are more likely to charge their cellphones, which means they are more likely to purchase things through Alibaba. So I think there is a synergy here. So everybody please give Jack and Aisa here a big round of applause.”

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