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2017 is what I call Prosperity Year. It indeed has been a year of blessings and prosperity for all of us. Looking back at those great and successful programs we launched, I am proud to say we have made great steps towards our goal of inclusive growth.
Let’s take a second look at how 2017 has been for us.
First, we started the year with the ASEAN chairmanship of the Philippines. Together with my co-ASEAN Business Advisory Council members, we joined the ASEAN Business Launch in Malacanang led by ASEAN chair President Duterte and ASEAN Economic Ministers chair, Sec. Ramon Lopez. We also had the first ASEAN BAC meeting here in Manila followed by a welcome dinner for our ASEAN counterparts and partners.
We also had our annual Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards held in Malacañang where we recognized 26 Filipina entrepreneurs who have been an inspiration for handling their enterprises while managing their respective households.
To jumpstart the mission of the Philippine chairmanship, we held the first ASEAN Prosperity for All Summit last April 28 which was attended by more than 1000 delegates. State leaders, public sector representatives, business leaders and various enablers from the ASEAN all gathered with the mission to bring prosperity across the region. We had the privilege of having Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak of and former Thailand prime minster general Prayut Chan-o-cha as our guests of honor.
When the war in Marawi broke out, Go Negosyo was one of the first private organizations to help our displaced Maranao brothers and sisters. Together with our partners in the private sector, we sent food, clothing, and other necessary items for relief. We also extended the assistance to the men in uniform deployed in the warzone. We sent some care packages together with handwritten letters from students and private individuals. We also had a ceremony dedicated for the 101 soldiers and policemen who died during the battle. In a short turnover ceremony, entrepreneurs who pledged assistance met the bereaved families and extended not just their donations, but also messages of support and condolences.
Last Sept. 6, we had the biggest and grandest ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) which celebrated its 10th year. Over 45 entrepreneurs across ASEAN were recognized ,including John Gokongwei Jr., Tony Fernandes, Goh Peng Ooi, Wee Cho Yaw, Dennis Uy, Bernie Liu among others. The awards night celebrated the excellence of ASEAN companies who have contributed not just in their countries, but have also become a player in the region.
Shortly after the ABA 2017, we had the first ever ASEAN Agriculture Summit which was attended by more than 1,500 local and international delegates. They learned various agriculture techniques and systems including contract growing, industrial farming, agricultural value-chain and other technologies for modern farming.
And to cap the ASEAN year for ASEAN BAC Philippines, we had the successful ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS). We were fortunate to have five state leaders including President Duterte, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Indian President Narendra Modi. We also had former presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Vice President Leni Robredo. Over 50 speakers and panelists joined in the discussion focusing on infrastructure development, women and human capital empowerment, money, market, shared economy and digital market.
It is in ABIS 2017 also where we launched the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) which is the biggest pool of mentors in the region. 143 pioneer mentors joined President Duterte on stage as he commends the ASEAN BAC and the private sector for its programs on MSME development.
We are proud to have been dubbed as the biggest state and business leaders event in ASEAN. All these would have not been possible without the support of my co-council members, partners, and the people working behind the success of this event.
I was also fortunate to be part of the Interface with the Leaders where I together with my council members and some entrepreneurs had a chance to discuss with the leaders of ASEAN.
But aside from our own events, we also joined our partners’ events including Department of Trade and Industry’s MSME Summit, ASEAN Women Conference, ASEAN Youth Carnival, and ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit. I also participated in some engagements including Malaysia’s celebration of ASEAN’s 50th anniversary, PCCI’s Philippine Business Conference and Office of the Vice President’s Angat Buhay Conference to name a few.
Apart from all these, we had on-going mentorship programs with Kapatid Mentor ME and Kapatid Agri Mentor Me in partnership with DTI and Department of Agriculture respectively.
It has been a busy but productive and fulfilling year for us. Not just because of the successful programs but because of starting the journey towards inclusive growth. We are one step ahead already and there will be more steps to go but with the support of our government and the private sector partners, we are sure that our goals will be achieved.
As we bid 2017 farewell, I can only say that indeed it is a year of blessings after blessings. We wish that you are all still with us by 2018, our partners for prosperity!
Wishing you a happy new year, Go Negosyantes!
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion and his family would like to greet you a happy and prosperous new year!