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RJ Ledesma; Le Duy Binh, chief economist of Economica Vietnam; Fatin Arifin, vice president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei; Sec. Ramon Lopez; Lamoiyan’s Cecilio Pedro; Dr. Benjamin Quinones, chairman of the Asian Solidarity Economy Council); and author, presidential adviser Joey Concepcion
Last Friday, MSMEs were once again put in the spotlight as the Department of Trade and Industry hosted the ASEAN 2017 MSME Development Summit, a part of the ASEAN @ 50 activities under Philippine chairmanship. The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) fully supports this program for MSMEs.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who has been one of the staunch MSME champions in the country since his time with Go Negosyo, reiterated the role of MSMEs in the growing economy — not just in the country, but also across the ASEAN region. He said, “Growth can only be successful if we empower the bottom of the pyramid.” He shared stories of how some entrepreneurs started from being small to successfully leveling up.
I was honored to be part of the forum discussing the goal of ASEAN, which is providing prosperity for all. I was joined by Dr. Hafsah Hashim, CEO of SME Corporation Malaysia; Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, chair of the senate committee on Trade Commerce and Entrepreneurship; Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises Singapore; and Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr., Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
As I shared during my speech, “The power of mentorship is the key to helping us succeed.” This is why, aside from the DTI-Go Negosyo Kapatid Mentor ME program — one of the successful private-public partnership programs — ASEAN BAC established the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which will create the largest pool of mentors across the region.
It is exciting to know that we all have one vision for MSMEs and that is for them to become an integral part of the economy and for them to be embraced by a greater market, making them level up. Our advocacy in partnership with DTI remains constant in boosting the efficiency of entrepreneurial culture in our country.
By bringing together private and public sectors, government enablers are taking MSMEs to another level. We can have prosperity for all. This is the start of productivity and an affluent change for our MSMEs. We are working hard to empower them to excel and put them at the forefront of business.
The whole-day discussion of the 7Ms (Mindset, Mastery, Mentoring, Markets, Money, Machines and Models) was all for one mission: for MSMEs to achieve prosperity.