Best Experience of My Life

November 16th, 2017
President Duterte, together with ASEAN Business Advisory Council chairman Joey Concepcion and the 143 ASEAN pioneer mentors, during the launch of ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network last Nov. 12.

President Duterte, together with ASEAN Business Advisory Council chairman Joey Concepcion and the 143 ASEAN pioneer mentors, during the launch of ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network last Nov. 12.

The past three days have been nothing but a memorable experience. Last Sunday, we opened the biggest state and business leaders event in the country which is the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017. For the past months, we have worked hard to prepare this momentous event. As I have mentioned last week, we hardly slept the past weeks and had to increase the manpower.

During my closing speech last Tuesday, I can only give thanks to those people who made ABIS2017 a success. Let me share my speech to our loyal Go Negosyo readers who became ASEAN readers.

This is the end. Finally. I cannot wait.

But seriously, let me thank Vice President Leni Robredo for giving an excellent speech. We share the same vision of fighting poverty. Of course, we thank Sen. Bam Aquino also who started the Go Negosyo Bill which actually inspired us to continue moving on despite adversities of not being part of the previous government. But Bam with his Go Negosyo Act, revived and strengthened the group.

I also want to thank Tessie Sy-Coson and George Barcelon, my Philippine ASEAN Business Advisory Council members. And of course the ASEAN BAC chairs who are present here have been supportive since day one. It seems that Singapore’s Robert Yap is no longer here, I guess he does not want the baton to be passed on. He’s running away.

Of course, I will not forget to thank the Go Negosyo advocates. Many of you have been with us for more than 10 years supporting the advocacy. Additionally, the men in government, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Agriculture, and all the people here in the government who are our partners. Thank you for being part of this.

Our ASEAN mentors, all 143 pioneer mentors who came on stage last Sunday and are committed to mentor across the region. I want to thank all the Go Negosyo people, the employees, the people who put so much hard
work. Thank you. Just don’t get pirated.

And of course I want to thank my family, my mom and my dad. My father who is my mentor is the very reason that I am here today.

And of course my wife.

As we end this chairmanship and pass it on to Singapore, this has truly been the best experience I have ever had in my life.

I guess in the end life will end for all of us. But it is in what we do in our life today, no matter what faith or religion we belong to, it is in what we do in this earth that will make the difference and assure us of a next life.

Prosperity for all is the theme of this conference. But prosperity for all should not end today. It is just the beginning, with full energy, that we in the business sector as large corporations must embrace inclusivity.

It is about time that we give hope and inspiration. And through mentorship and our banks funding these entrepreneurs with less collateral and us providing the market place for them will give them a chance to scale up. As we move on to the digital economy, as many of these forums have been saying, it is a game changer for micro and small entrepreneurs.

In the end, if all of us can leave a legacy of really blessing others to be one day in the same room with us, speaking in front of leaders and be like successful entrepreneurs, that to me is the ultimate blessing we all can receive. Again, thank you very much!

Let me share with you more of the highlights in my next column.

President Moon Jae-In claims Korea as best partner for ASEAN

November 14th, 2017
H.E. Moon Jae-In, President of the Republic of South Korea.

H.E. Moon Jae-In, President of the Republic of South Korea.

MANILA: November 13, 2017—Republic of Korea’s President Moon Jae-In drew parallels between the stories of shared struggle and triumph between Korea and ASEAN during his keynote address at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. Korea and ASEAN states have comparable histories of overcoming periods of turmoil such as colonization, civil unrest, democratization and the Asian Financial Crisis.

Moon shared his vision for our collective futures was banked on a community composed of 3 Ps—people-centered, peace-loving, and mutual prosperity.

Of the first, Moon shared that “ASEAN business leaders first will pursue a people-centric diplomacy. My political philosophy is that people come first. It corresponds with the vision of people-oriented, people-centric community pursued by ASEAN. To share the future together we need to be friends who understand each other.”

A peace-loving community was also tackled by Moon as he committed to ensuring the safety of our collective peoples, specifically with regards to the threat of North Korea.

Mutual prosperity will be pursued by Moon through economic cooperation and investments in ASEAN that will bring in jobs and advance the state of technology. “For the ASEAN countries striving for growth, Korea is the best partner to share the experiences with,” he said.

The President then elaborated on the premier areas for cooperation between the nation state and the regional bloc, namely: transportation, energy, water resource management and Smart ICT.

Korea is known worldwide for its top-of-the-line transport railway system—something many ASEAN member states cannot identify with at the moment. Moon shared that the Korean government is already working with Vietnam to establish a metro system in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

In terms of energy, Korea has several joint ventures in a number of ASEAN countries in hopes of developing the “future of renewable energy cooperation”.

Water resource management is another area of cooperation mention by Moon where various hydro- projects are being done in ASEAN to  espouse better use of water for businesses and localities alike.

The foremost area of cooperation where Korea sees fit is in Smart ICT. Korea is known for having the best Smart ICT infrastructure and they are looking towards ASEAN to pilot and investigate building smart cities.

PM Dmitry Medvedev says Russia ready to provide infra capability to ASEAN

November 14th, 2017
Russian Federation Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Russian Federation Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

MANILA: November 13, 2017—Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev lauded ASEAN for opening up their borders in an age of increasing protectionism during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit where he gave a speech and answered questions related to the ASEAN Build, Build, Build panel. As Russia works towards recovering from economic hurdles such as trade embargoes or sanctions from the West, their gaze has turned towards its Eastern neighbors.

“Russia is looking for ways to adapt to the new economic reality,” Medvedev said in his keynote speech, “Growth is recovering in Russia with GDP expected to increase 2 percent by the end of the year.”

Medvedev shared that Foreign Direct Investment has also been pouring in to Russia, with a more than 100% increase reported in the first half of the year. However, Russia is now looking towards adapting to the digital economy and information age. In this end, Russia wishes to deepen its ties with the regional bloc.

“We see genuine interest within the business community of our countries to cooperate on energy, transport, agriculture, satellite navigation, high technology, financial services, and in almost all possible areas,” Medvedev said.

Connectivity seems to be a main priority of Russia with regards to ASEAN. “We are developing seaports and airport infrastructure in Russia’s Far East and are building cross-border oil and gas pipelines. The main goal of all these efforts is to ensure maximum efficiency in cargo transport between Asia and Europe and create a major transport and industrial hub in Russia’s Far East to serve the Asia-Pacific Region,” Medvedev said.

Another initiative for connectivity which Russia is spearheading is the Eurasian Economic Union—a new integration body that aims to create a large market wrought from Eastern Europe and Asia’s quest for a larger market and developed infrastructure. “Russia belongs to the Asia-Pacific Region in terms of its geopolitics, history and economy. Promoting cooperation with all countries within the region and contributing proactively to resolving regional issues is a strategic priority for us,” Medvedev said in closing.

ASEAN Build, Build, Build Open Forum

After his speech, Medvedev entertained questions from delegates of the summit. Prompted as to what Russia—with its achievements in infrastructure—can contribute to aid ASEAN in its Master Connectivity Plan, Medvedev said “[w]e are willing to provide our infrastructure capacities to all ASEAN economies. This includes airports and seaports, railways, roads, pipelines, powerlines and high-speed communication channels.”

Russian Federation Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev joins key business leader panelists for the first forum of ABIS2017, "Build, Build, Build (Infrastructure Development): Building for the Future.

Russian Federation Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev joins key business leader panelists for the first forum of ABIS2017, “Build, Build, Build (Infrastructure Development): Building for the Future.

Answering another question Medvedev said increasing trade relations with all ASEAN states was the strategic stance of Russia with regards to the economic community. Seeing that developmental gaps and increasing favoritism can threaten the stability and future of the economic union, Russia wishes to solidify ties with all.

Asked about how Russia plans to attract Asian businesses to their country, Medvedev said:

In October, Russia and ASEAN agreed on a plan of action in science, technology and innovation. I hope that the business community will also find a place in these plans. We have approved an energy development programme through 2020. There are programmes on agriculture, food security and tourism with ASEAN economies. All these programmes can make an additional contribution to our interaction.

Finally, Medvedev addressed a question raised by ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chair Joey Concepcion on Russia’s plans of helping small businesses in Russia move up the value chain. He shared that Russia’s small businesses make up 50-60% of their business community which low compared to that of ASEAN’s more than 90%. Nevertheless, the country has endeavoured to support these small businesses as key drivers of growth thru pushing legislation that promotes and supports small businesses.


For full transcript of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s speech and Q&A, visit:


PM Narendra Modi Envisions the Youth to be ‘Job Creators, Not Just Job Seekers’

November 14th, 2017
H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India

H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India

MANILA: November 13, 2017— India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about India’s growth at an unprecedented scale—largely enabled by digitization—and his hopes of deepening ties between with the ASEAN at the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit 2017.

In his speech, Modi shared key figures that exhibited the positive economic marks India has reaped due to his administration’s movement on eradicating corruption and engaging the citizenry through technology.

“Using technology, we are enhancing responsibility and reducing discretion and corruption. We are using our Unique ID system in financial transactions and taxation for this purpose and the results are already visible (…) Digital transactions have increased by 34 per cent in one year (…) We have used technology to reach out to people. An online citizen engagement platform, MyGov has harnessed ideas, suggestions and inputs on policies and programmes from 2 million pro-active citizens,” he said.

Modi’s people-centric and tech-enabled governance, coupled with a resolve to stop corruption and other government practices that are hindering India’s growth, have brought about great changes that are empowering India’s business community.

“Incorporating a company is now just a one day affair. We have simplified industrial licensing, and introduced online application process for environmental and forest clearances. All these have made opening a new business very easy,” he said.

Modi then shared promising results from the current changes brought by his forward-thinking administration. India has consistently gone up tremendously in world ranking surveys in terms of ease of doing business, global competitiveness, and innovation.

Another inspiring feat achieved by India under Modi’s leadership is creating access to money for the unbanked through the Jan Dhan Yojana, the prime minister’s scheme for financial inclusion. “197 million bank accounts were opened in one year. Till August this year, 290 million such accounts have been opened in Indian banks. Nearly 200 million Ru-pay cards were issued for easy cash-less transactions.”

Finally, Modi ended by expressing India’s intent of being a global manufacturing hub—a similar goal of ASEAN—and his desire for the youth to be job creators; not just job seekers. In this similar quest, India and ASEAN endeavour to grow and champion their small entrepreneurs; Modi lauded the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network and painted an exciting future for the Asian brothers. “Indeed, for the near future, South and South East Asia will be the growth engine of the world. Hence, building connectivity with ASEAN is a key objective for India. We wish to build land, sea and air connectivity to this dynamic region,” he said.

Aung San Suu Kyi Challenges Popular View on Development, Emphasizes Women as Key

November 13th, 2017
Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi

Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi

During her keynote at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017, Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi centered her vision of prosperity for all on women economic empowerment and human capital development.

Suu Kyi was amongst the state leaders to be invited by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council to impart their own perspective on achieving inclusive growth in the region. To open the summit, Suu Kyi touched on ASEAN economic milestones paralleled with Myanmar’s distinct view on development and the central role women play.

“Since 2004, ASEAN’s GDP growth has reached 5%, outpacing that of any other region. Myanmar, as a member of the ASEAN family has been growing rapidly as we roll out rigorous reforms and structural changes in every sector. I would also like to mention that our young entrepreneurs are amongst the most vigorous of them all. I am very much happy to discover that in the recent seminar of young entrepreneurs, 49% of them are women,” Suu Kyi shared to delegates, eliciting applause.

Suu Kyi underlined the importance in investing on people-based initiatives and solutions in their nation’s course towards development and integration amidst years of isolation and turmoil. “As a responsible member of the ASEAN family, we will work together to be more connected and integrated economically and socially. In the process of such integration, human capital, and intellectual resources play a pivotal role in filling the gap between diverse ASEAN countries at different stages of economic and social development,” Suu Kyi said.

From this, Suu Kyi further elaborated on her people-based vision, founded on unleashing women’s latent economic power. “More and more women entrepreneurs have emerged to participate vigorously in [Myanmar’s] transformation, demonstrating the increasing importance of women not only in the social but also in the economic sphere,”  she said.

H.E. Aung San Suu Kyi with members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC).

H.E. Aung San Suu Kyi with members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC).

Many women entrepreneurs are classified as MSMEs; Suu Kyi recognized the multitude of challenges MSMEs face, and for women in this sector, there is the added crutch of gender discrimination. And gender discrimination leading to a gender gap in various opportunities is a stark reality many feel in the ASEAN.

“To achieve positive changes in women’s rights, it is important to increase number of girls enrolling in primary and secondary schools , improve the participation of women in the labor force, ensure better maternal care outcomes, provide social protection measures, and promote the role of women in decision making,” she proposed as steps to move towards gender equality.

Suu Kyi wrapped up her keynote by challenging the current popular view on development. “What is empowerment for? What is development about? Is it simply to develop our countries materially or to develop ourselves to become better human beings?,” she said, “Myanmar, as a young democracy started with many, many challenges has become fully aware to the need for development of peoples as human beings not just economic powerhouses.”

Duterte Launches AMEN and Commits to Increase Supports for MSMEs

November 12th, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte led the launching of AMEN with ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion and 143 pioneer mentors from the 10 ASEAN members states during the opening of the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit (ABIS) 2017.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the launching of AMEN with ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion and 143 pioneer mentors from the 10 ASEAN members states during the opening of the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit (ABIS) 2017.

MANILA: November 12, 2017 – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte graced the launch of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s flagship project, the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) with 143 pioneer mentors from the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS).

In his speech, Duterte recognized the growing importance of MSMEs who account for over 80% of all businesses in the world. He announced his commitment to propelling MSMEs in the nation and to increase the national budget allocation to further the development of this sector in front of the more than 1,000 delegates present in the summit.

“Next year I would like to make some late changes to the budget. I would like to pour more money into the medium, micro-, and small entrepreneurs (..) Because we found out in our meetings that the basic unit of the economy has always been moved by the MSMEs,” Duterte said.

Aside from the announcement rallying for greater support for MSMEs, Duterte also touched on realizations drawn from the recently concluded APEC meetings. Notably, he shared about his agreement with China’s President Xi Jinping that their people’s welfare, not war, is their ultimate priority. “The only way to go is cooperation. Ideological conflicts are no longer in vogue they are passé,” he said with regards to many pushing the two states to go head-to-head in terms of land disputes.

AMEN is a private-public partnership platform for fellow AMS intended to augment and actively scale up the micro and small enterprises through mentorship and world class teaching modules. Mentorship is a way of educating through intensive guidance in an area that is of interest to both the mentor and mentee.

The mentors are qualified volunteers who are committed to share their knowledge from their extensive experience.

Highly qualified mentors called the Champion Mentors also shared their experiences that led to the success of their businesses. By 2019, AMEN seeks to regulate the ASEAN Mentors Academy where the mentoring system and the modules used will be more systematized.

AMEN’s mentorship program provides a platform to promote best practices and  maximize potential in the path towards inclusive growth throughout the Member States. It seeks to prepare the MSMEs to face the growing challenges in the business community and to scale up their operations to increase the production of their goods and products through the training modules provided in the mentorship program. It is intended to bring the “3Ms” – Money, Markets and Mentorship—of entrepreneurial success, especially to micro and small enterprises.

ASEAN mentors come in big numbers for ABIS

November 12th, 2017

AMEN Mentors Meeting Nov 12
Mentors coming from big businesses of Southeast Asia met very early this morning at the City of Dreams to discuss the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Mentors Entrepreneurship Network (AMEN), establish a system to certify a mentors pool that would eventually lead to a mentors’ academy.

The idea of AMEN was initiated by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) chairman Joey Concepcion, founder of Go Negosyo and Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship, which had been mentoring Philippine micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for many years.

The session began with a getting-to- know-you among the ASEAN private and public sector delegates, who surprisingly came in big numbers to map out the Manila Declaration that would be presented later today before heads of states and nations attending the ASEAN Leaders Summit.

The Philippines had been implementing its Kapatid or Big Brother mentorship program, a close collaboration and partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Go Negosyo, which Concepcion founded, that has already helped micro small and medium enterprises in 16 regions, 81 provinces, 89 batches and 1780 graduates and 400 certified mentors nationwide.

Through AMEN, it is hoped that the bloc would have an ASEAN Mentors modules, an ASEAN certification program for mentors and an ASEAN Mentors Academy.

Establishing a regional mentorship program is a “history happening” for the bloc to ensure that MSMEs would be better equipped to face the global market challenges, said Merly Cruz of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship.

Henry Widjaja, chairman of Dharma Bhakti Astra Foundation of Indonesia presented to the delegates the mentoring program it implemented to its SMEs imparting in them the core values of compassionate, adaptive, responsible and excellent (CARE) businesses as it undertook six stages in helping the small enterprises. These stages are: leading sector projects; prospecting foster fathers; pilot SME development; mentor addition; establishment of cooperatives and the self-reliance process.

Just like Kapatid program of the Philippines, Indonesia’s mentorship program entailed mentoring; market facilitation and financial facilitation, Widjaja said.


Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy

November 10th, 2017

05 Digital Economy
With more than half of the world’s population now online, the digital economy is considered as a dominant force in the world economy. According to the European Commission, “the digital economy now contributes up to eight percent of the GDP of G-20 major economies [and is] the single most important driver of innovation competitiveness and growth.” In fact, McKinsey reported that in 2015, the value of the world trade in digital services surpassed that of goods. Pricewaterhouse Coopers also reported that in 2016, five out of 10 of the world’s largest companies by market capitalization were tech companies—Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon.

Digital economy today, is touted as the new economy of the world. In the U.S. Department of Commerce’s report on The Emerging Digital Economy, the new economy is said to be based on “industries and forms of IT-enabled business activity […]. These include the IT industry itself, electronic commerce among business, the digital delivery of goods and services and the IT-supported retail sales of tangible goods services.”

In the context of ASEAN, a digital revolution will radically transform the region by 2025 according to an analysis done by A.T. Kearney. In the analysis, the digital economy will affect five main areas in the region as seen in the figure below.


During the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, Co-founder and Managing Partner Patrick Walujo of Northstar Group said that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (a.k.a. the Digital Revolution) is the first time that Southeast Asia “has a chance to compete with the global players.” This is true considering that Southeast Asia is rapidly growing in terms of its number of digital citizens. As of January 2017, 220 million out of the region’s 630 million people are internet users. 211 million ASEAN citizens are active social network users, translating to a 34% social network penetration rate, above the global average of 29%. Most startling however, is that the ASEAN has a 119% mobile penetration rate compared to the global average of 98%, indicating that everyone in the region has at least one cell phone.

Thus, this session on entrepreneurship and the digital economy, leverages on this idea of the ASEAN’s vast untapped market potential. According to a WeAreSocial study, the number of digital citizens present in the ASEAN is constantly rising by double digit percentages and the current market potential is twice the size of the US and larger than that of Europe. With the great number of people now having access to the internet, the e-commerce market of ASEAN is still on its infancy stage. Though the Singaporean e-commerce market is more mature and the Malaysian market is more dynamic, in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, e-commerce is still at a very early stage and remain an important reservoir of growth for ASEAN. Optimistically, A.T. Kearney forecasts a theoretical market size of USD67-89 billion for ASEAN in the future. This attracts many big investors and companies such as e-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba to the region.

To shed further light on this topic, local and global champions of the digital revolution will come together to discuss the most pertinent issues regarding entrepreneurship’s role in our fast-changing world.

ABIS  2017 is the biggest and most prestigious business event in ASEAN  set to be a three-day conference presented by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council which will bring attention to the business, investment opportunities, global issues, and key strategic directions that impact on business opportunities for ASEAN member nations today. To know more about this year’s ABIS, visit

“What to expect for ABIS 2017”

November 10th, 2017

GNSR Web Header Nov 8
Executive Director of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Gil Gonzales joined Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Senator Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla for an episode on the upcoming ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and to answer the most pertinent questions of ordinary businessmen regarding the ASEAN and how they can position themselves for success in the face of integration.

On November 12-14, 2017, state and business leaders from around the globe will converge in Manila to discuss the current state of development in our region with regards to business, infrastructure development, MSMEs, and human capital development. Furthermore, the event endeavours to form policy recommendations given the current assessment of what’s happening in order to better prepare the region for our collective futures.

The episode kicked off with Sen. Bam and DJ Cheska briefly having a discussion about their own knowledge of ASEAN and its private sector partner, the ASEAN-BAC. They clarified that the membership of ASEAN are only composed of 10 nations namely: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia,  Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The reason why we’ve been hearing about the participation of state leaders such as Donald Trump from the US or Justin Trudeau from Canada is because the ASEAN invited its dialogue partners to the upcoming summit.

DJ Cheska asked about the degree of integration the Association is aspiring for—are we also looking at a single currency similar to the European Union’s euro?

Mr. Gil shared that from the start, the ASEAN never really wanted to pattern itself after the EU. He shared that although we are opening our economy further and breaking down barriers, the ASEAN is committed to doing it on our own pace and our own way. To truly know what the ASEAN stands for, one can start by learning about its three pillars—the economic, political & security, and the socio-cultural.

DJ Cheska also asked regarding the selection of chairmanship. Why was the Philippines chosen as the host this year? Senator Bam volunteered to answer the question and shared that the process is quite simple—it’s a rotation of the member states according to alphabetical order. Since Myanmar served as host last year, the Philippines was next in line. So in 2027, the Philippines can expect to host the ASEAN events once again.

Another question that was raised was on what the common Filipino get out of ASEAN? Mr. Gil responded by sharing that the upcoming ASEAN summit is the culminating event of the ASEAN BAC. The main objective of the event is awareness. “We want businessmen to know what’s happening with the promises and plans of integration and to be able to compare with our neighbors. An output you can expect from the summit is that we give a set of policy recommendations to leaders on how to further deepen the aspiration towards integration. Sen. Bam interjected that what’s great about the current movement of the private sector is the the thrust of achieving Prosperity for All, something many Go Negosyo followers know about thru Angat Lahat and other MSME development programs. He also added that last year’s APEC had a similar theme of inclusive growth and prosperity for all and this is because it addresses a problem felt the world over—development/progress that only benefits the elite few rather than the majority. And integral to achieving prosperity for all is MSME development.

Mr. Gil shared about the current legacy project of the Council called the AMEN (ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network). “AMEN is based on the success of  Go Negosyo’s Kapatid Mentor Me Program (…) it didn’t stop at mentorship but it led to access to finance and market. When they [KMME mentees] graduate, they have a business improvement plan—hindi puro turo turo lang.

Mr. Gil later on adds that the mentorship is not the only great implication of AMEN. “When an expert goes around, they can become really aware of the production base in each area. When this happens, it can lead us closer to creating a single production base so that we don’t compete and kill each other. Rather, we will compliment and collaborate with each so we can provide to bigger markets such as Japan, the EU, China and America.”


Visit to know more about the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit.

My Passion for Prosperity

November 9th, 2017
Witness the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 happening on November 12, 13, & 14.

Witness the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 happening on November 12, 13, & 14.

With only 3 days to go before the opening of ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017, you can now imagine our stress level in managing and preparing for the 3-day summit and all the different side events starting this Sunday at 2pm in Solaire Resort and Casino.

We have confirmed six leaders and are waiting for two more to confirm. Most of the leaders will come from the APEC Summit in Vietnam so you can imagine the intensity of all the preparations for this momentous event. For the past weeks, we are meeting with the ASEAN National Organizing Committee headed by Ambassador Marciano Paynor and Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Hellen De La Vega. I am sure that these people and their respective teams hardly sleep. I also have to increase my team and include 70 support associates. Last Sunday, I had to call for an emergency meeting with my team to address some concerns. I know that Sundays are for family, but it is important that we address concerns right away before the summit itself. I am also always on the line with our partners coordinating all the necessary arrangements for this event to come alive. Since late last year, we are earnestly and massively preparing for all these events. And now, after all the successful events starting from the Prosperity For All Summit in April, to the ASEAN Business Awards last September and the recent ASEAN Agriculture Summit held just last month, we are now in the full execution process of this culminating activity for ASEAN BAC.

This is not going to be a perfect summit; we will make mistakes. Some speakers who confirmed may not even show up and cancel on the spot. We will also have to wait for the confirmation of some leaders even on the day itself. But we will do our very best to stage ABIS 2017 as successful as possible. This is my passion, our passion which we all share with the rest of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council members. Our theme of “Partnering for Change, Prosperity for All”, is not just a slogan. It is an action plan.

Our action plan is developed after the framework which is focused on the 3Ms – Mentorship, Money and Market. These 3 Ms are the bedrock in enabling the micro, small and medium enterprises in our region to scale up; empowering the sector that has been statistically proven to be integral to poverty alleviation in the region with 80-99% of registered enterprises falling under this category.

As the Philippines’ chairmanship is about to end with the last event this year in both the government and private sector, it is indeed a great experience that I will always remember and cherish! My role now is special since my father performed the same duty 10 years ago. I believe that it is really God’s plan and blessing that I am here to fulfill another mission for the entrepreneurship community. Mentorship has been one of the most important aspects in life as I was mentored by my father. I remember being with him on some ASEAN meetings and his civic social work with NAMFREL, Citizens’ League for Good Governance and many other things. I wish to thank him for being the best mentor to me and for all that I am now is all because of his great mentorship.

We are expecting more than 1,500 delegates from all over ASEAN and other countries. We look forward to welcoming them to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017. For the many years that I am doing summits and conferences like this, this is the first time that I have to really get into the details. I am asking for your prayers that all the ASEAN activities in the country will go smoothly as possible.

Let’s all work together to pursue prosperity for all!