Manila served as the venue for the 2008 breakout session of CACCI’s Young Entrepreneurs Group Asia Pacific (YEGAP). The Manila gathering was one of the most well-attended gatherings of the group, with more than 100 participants from various CACCI member countries in attendance.
Held at the historical Manila Hotel, the session was an integral part of the program of the 22nd CACCI Conference, which was hosted and organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI). It was designed to provide members of YEGAP to discuss trends and developments, problems and issues, and prospects for growth of entrepreneurship in the region. The participants also explored possible areas of cooperation among CACCI members in promoting entrepreneurship among the youth.
The meeting was opened by Ms. Anna Marie Periquet, YEGAP Chairperson. She welcomed all the participants and said that there was a need to work together amidst the global challenges that are ongoing in order for all member countries to attain global competitiveness.
After her opening statement, Ms. Periquet introduced Mr. Tetshiyuko Udo, Chairman of the Japan Entrepreneurship Group. Mr. Udo gave an update on the various projects of the group in Japan. He said that the main role of his group is to listen to the various issues and problems of their members and formulate solutions that are forwarded to the Government for their consideration.
Mr. Udo’s speech was followed by the presentation of Mr. Dennis L. Cunanan, National President, Junior Chamber International-Manila, who spoke on the “Experience of Youth Entrepreneurship in the Philippines”. Mr. Cunanan highlighted the following points:
a. Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the Philippine economy, with MSMEs comprising 99% of businesses in the country. However, certain challenges face Philippine entrepreneurs as follows: Inadequate access to technology; Lack of financing; Inadequate logistics; and Lack of marketing advice;
b. There is a need to promote entrepreneurship for the youth in order to solve the problem of unemployment. By creating more enterprises, more businesses and jobs will be created, which will lead to a better quality of life for the Filipinos.
c. The Philippine Government has been instituting measures to establish Young Entrepreneurship Programs to promote entrepreneurship. President Gloria Arroyo issued EO 470 in 2005, which established the “Youth Entrepreneurship Program”, which enjoined the active participation of the private business sector in ensuring the success of the program. The E.O. has the following components: Entrepreneurship Education; Credit Assistance and Lending; Role Modeling and Mentoring; Business Plan Development and Training; Market Syndication and Linkaging; and Business Information Network.
Honorable Jose Ma. Concepcion, Cabinet Secretary and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, talked about the country’s experience in Entrepreneurship. In his presentation, Mr. Concepcion pointed out:
a. Entrepreneurship is the solution to the problem of poverty facing the Philippines as it will help solve the unemployment problem. Thus, it is important to ignite Filipinos to be entrepreneurs. It is important that people are trained at a young age to be entrepreneurs by integrating entrepreneurship in course curriculums and more importantly through character formation. By training them young, you are giving them the confi dence to succeed in business in the future.
b. Through his appointment as Presidential Advisor for Entrepreneurship, he started the program called “GO Negosyo”, which pushes on the creation of more enterprises and entrepreneurs in the country. They do this by having caravans, publications, shows, mentoring the young and having successful businessmen to be speakers so that students can learn the ins and outs of business.
c. In order for the Philippines to be more successful, there is a need for micro businesses to be transformed to large companies. Based on their research, capital is not the main problem facing the country but the business plans/ models used by many entrepreneurs lack differentiation. These entrepreneurs lack the knowledge to address this, so the Go Negosyo is helping them through their different programs.
Mr. Wilson Jacob, Founder, Kottayam Port and Container Terminal Pvt, made a presentation on Kottayam Port & Container Terminal, an Export promotion Infrastructure Development Project and a public-private partnership initiated by the South Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Jacob said that the objectives of the company are to facilitate and induce exports from the districts of Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta; to promote cargo consolidation; and to promote Inland Water Navigation. He mentioned the social benefits of the project, which include: employment generation, increased trading activity within the neighboring districts, diversion of containers from road to water transport hence minimizing road congestion and increasing lifespan of roads, fuel economy and earning of carbon credit, development of tourism, earning of foreign currency, development of an export promotion industrial park and watercraft park connected to the port, and modifi cation of bridges in this waterway.
Mr. Mohammad Lutfar Rahman, Chairman International Finance Investment and Commerce Bank, spoke about his accomplishments in business, particularly his companies in Bangladesh. He pointed out that he has business interests are mostly oriented towards rural areas and nonprofit organizations. His businesses are in banking, television channels, Insurance. He is affiliated with Non Profit Business Organizations such as Rupganj Employment and Youth Development Association, AL-Manar Trust and Hospital, Bangladesh Cricket Control Board. He is considered to be the youngest Chairman of a Bank in the history of South Asia. His main business is the International Finance Investment and Commercial Bank Limited. When he met took over the bank in 2006, it was a Z BANK (nondividend bank), but under his guidance and management the bank has become profi table and is now an “A” category in the Capital Market within one year. He was able to do this by introducing new products for its clients such as women entrepreneur loans, agricultural loans, youth loans, SME financing.
The Open Forum that followed the presentations discussed the integration of entrepreneurship in the curriculum of public schools in the primary and secondary levels, which the Go Negosyo team is working out with the Department of Education. The Cagayan Chamber of Commerce and Industry from the Philippines expressed its intention to link up with Mr. Rahman, who replied that he would gladly help the Chamber. The Bacolod Chamber of Commerce expressed their interest to join YEGAP, to which Ms. Periquet said it would not be a problem as the Chamber is a member of PCCI
The session also discussed the following activities of the YEGAP: (i) YEGAP Newsletter; (ii) 2nd Asia- Pacific Young Entrepreneur Awards; and (iii) the creation of YEG Chapter in each CACCI member country (noting that Hong Kong formed its YEGAP chapter recently).
Before adjourning the session, YEGAP agreed to meet again in Yokohama, Japan during the 23rd CACCI Conference scheduled on May 31-June 1, 2009.
The Yokohama gathering of CACCI is also significant as it coincides with the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the Port of Yokohama, one of the largest international trading ports in Japan. CACCI delegates will participate in the Commemorative Ceremony which will take place on the morning of May 31, 2009. Around 4,000 invited visitors and guests – including members of the Japanese Imperial Family – are expected to attend this important event.
The Young Entrepreneurs Group Asia- Pacific (YEG-AP) invites you to be a part of the most dynamic group of young entrepreneurs from Asia and the Pacific.
Membership in YEG-AP will provide international exposure and networking opportunities with colleagues and potential business partners from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Membership and nomination forms are available at the CACCI Secretariat Office with headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan through tel. Nos (886 2) 2725-5663/4 You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org