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Increased collaboration between the private sector and governments across the ASEAN region is at the center of the ongoing ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (BIS) as Indonesian President Joko Widodo formally opened the event last September 1, 2023 at the Merdeka Presidential Palace in Jakarta Indonesia.
Arsjad Rasjid, chairman of the summit’s host, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), said that it is ready to strengthen private sector–government synergy to promote economic growth. “The ASEAN-BAC has provided policy recommendations from each ASEAN country to be considered as a strategy to realize ASEAN as the epicentrum of growth,” he said.
ASEAN-BAC Philippines, led by its chairman Joey Concepcion,is hosting collaborative meetings and events during the ASEAN BIS, in support of the ASEAN BAC’s emphasis on innovation and greater inclusivity towards its vision of ASEAN centrality.
Concepcion said that there will be greater collaboration in agriculture and MSME development as initiatives which are patterned after the Philippines’s Kapatid Angat Lahat sa Agri Program (KALAP) are set to have parallel implementations across the region with the signing of several MOUs with almost all of the ASEAN member-states. This follows the successful completion of Phase 2 of the regional mentorship program, ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which is also a Philippine program started during its chairmanship in 2017.
“Judging from the conversations we’ve had with the other delegates, there is really a lot of complementary technologies and skills that the ASEAN countries can share via platforms like KALAP and AMEN, especially in areas of agriculture and MSEs,” said Concepcion. He added that this private sector cooperation is further amplified when private sector works with the governments in the region. “Working together, especially through our agriculture and MSEs, will ultimately help bring prosperity for all countries in the region.”
The private sector-led ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has provided guidance and feedback to boost the region’s efforts toward economic integration.