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As you all know, the Philippines is the host of this year’s ASEAN and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary.
Ten years ago, my father was the chairman of ASEAN. Ten years after, I am in the same position as chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. We have prepared a whole list of activities for this year’s chairmanship. The goal is to help more micro and small entrepreneurs. As you all know MSME development is close to my heart. For the past 12 years, we at Go Negosyo have been empowering and helping the micro and small entrepreneurs out of poverty. This year, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s theme is “Partnering for Change, Prosperity for All.” Just like President Duterte’s goal of bringing inclusive growth to the country, we at ASEAN BAC support the promotion of inclusive growth not only in the Philippines, but also across the ASEAN region.
The ASEAN Business Advisory Council is hosting the first “Prosperity for All Summit” on April 28 at the City of Dreams Manila. With the theme, “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in trade, services and agriculture,” the summit aims to pursue genuine and inclusive growth and prosperity for the ASEAN community. At the heart of the summit are the MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) where majority remain within the poverty line and whose means of livelihood and economic future remain uncertain despite developments in the establishment of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community).
We all know that 99.6 percent of businesses in the Philippines are micro, small, and medium enterprises. It is a must for all of us to create an enabling environment where enterprises will be empowered to improve their products and services and compete not just in the ASEAN market, but also globally.
I am glad to share with you that Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister (ret.) General Prayut Chan-o-cha have both confirmed their attendance to the event. As we get closer to the date of the event, we are positive we will get more leaders to attend.
We are glad to have Vice President Leni Robredo as well.
Session 1 discussion will feature former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Sen. Bam Aquino, Royal Group vice president Rami Sharaf, and Inang Lupa Movement president William Dar. We have also invited Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. They will discuss the topic: Enabling Environment to Achieve Prosperity for All.
International Container Terminal Services chairman and president Enrique Razon, Sakae Holdings Ltd. founder and chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore member Douglas Foo, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries president and ASEAN BAC Philippines member George Barcelon will share their insights on the topic: Strengthening the One ASEAN Market to Access Global Markets. We have also invited Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to join the discussion.
Funding, one of the major challenges for MSMEs, will be discussed by Alex Buenaventura of Landbank of the Philippines, Dr. Raymond Kwong of Silverlake Axis Group, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Technology Center.
The forum on innovation and technology will feature Department of Science and Tecnology Sec. Fortunato Dela Pena, YCH Group executive chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore chair Dr. Robert Yap, Lazada Philippines CEO Inanc Balci and ANZ Laos CEO Anna Green.
ASEAN BAC will also launch the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which aims to provide a private-public partnership platform where mentors and world class teaching modules for MSME empowerment can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN member states (AMS). To discuss this call to action for all mentors and enablers, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and ASEAN BAC chairman Joey Concepcion will be joined by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments Corp.and ASEAN BAC Philippines, Manny V. Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Abdul Majid of Bank Muamalat Berhad and ASEAN BAC Malaysia.
The fora will be moderated by well-known journalists Rico Hizon of BBC World News, Cathy Yang of ANC, former business news head of ANC Coco Alcuaz, Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan of CNN Philippines, and Maria Ressa of Rappler.
We are happy to have the interest of many entrepreneurs, enablers, advocates, and other supporters. Some students are also interested to be part of the summit. We thank partners and sponsors for their outpour of support. Through this summit, we aim to encourage entrepreneurs and enablers alike to help bring prosperity for all sectors in ASEAN region.