Archive for March, 2017

DTI Pushes for Inclusive, Innovation-led Growth in ASEAN

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

by Secretary Ramon Lopez

The Philippines, as one of the founding members of ASEAN, takes pride in hosting this year’s regional meet, which has the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.” Given that the organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, we are also fortunate that we’ve been provided with an opportunity to strategically champion our advocacies within the region.

On top of our agenda is steering the ASEAN to full economic integration through greater trade and investment among our fellow ASEAN Member States.

Despite concerns that our country would lose in terms of trade or employment opportunities because of the ASEAN integration, the Philippines is actually well positioned to take advantage of it. Among our country’s many strengths, we have our robust economic performance, improving competitiveness, and a huge supply of English-speaking workforce.

The integration will likewise provide an opportunity for Philippine industries and services to become a major player in the ASEAN region, even as it offers a bigger market for Philippine businesses.

Through our chairship, we also wish to reach the conclusion for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that will link the ASEAN–an economic powerhouse with a market of 600 million people–to its six Dialogue Partners. This would create an even bigger market of 3.5 billion people.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte officially opens the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte officially opens the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program.

What does this all mean for the average Filipino? For consumers, this means more variety of goods and services at cheaper prices. For producers, this means cheaper prices of imports–which translates to more competitive prices for their products. For investors, this means having a single production base, even with the ASEAN’s diversity with regard to capital, expertise, labor, and resources.

Of course, we cannot forget our micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs), who are at the front and center of our current trade agenda. For them, integration means Philippine products and services having easier access to the larger markets of the ASEAN and RCEP, while also heightening their competitiveness.

Yours truly will serve as the chair of the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting even as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) chairs the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion (CBIP). The latter committee will engage the international business community, the government, and other parties, as well as organize business and investment-related activities.

Last January 24, DTI officially unveiled business programs and events that will complement the Philippines’ priorities under the AEC pillar. These are regulatory coherence; micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); innovation; and women and youth.

Among the thematic priorities developed by the Philippines for its ASEAN 2017 hosting, DTI’s priority agenda of “inclusive, innovation-led growth” is poised to champion the MSME mandate in the ASEAN through the following strategic measures: (1) increasing trade and investment; (2) integrating MSMEs in the digital economy; and (3) developing an innovation-driven economy.

In these endeavors, all of you, our partners, can help the government promote the Philippine hosting of ASEAN, as well as the ASEAN identity, to the greater number of Filipinos.

ASEAN Summit for MSME Development in Manila

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Prosperity for All Summit Web Image
MANILA, 23 March 2017: In honor of 50 years of growing ASEAN integration and progress, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) presents the PROSPERITY FOR ALL SUMMIT—a one-day event focused on “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, happening in the City of Dreams, Manila, Philippines on April 28, 2017.

The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has created both opportunities and challenges for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region. Thus, the need to strategically equip MSMEs with the right tools has risen in order to enable them to engage in the increasing competitiveness of the business environment.

Last 2015, the 26th ASEAN Summit held in Kuala Lumpur & Langkawi, Malaysia exposed the need to put these MSMEs at the center of the ASEAN agenda. To address this need, the community is working to consolidate the efforts of enablers from the public & private sector in light of advancing MSME development and empowerment in the region.

“We’re expecting delegates from all of the 10 ASEAN countries to attend this momentous summit—along with the ASEAN-BAC members from other countries who are business leaders and innovators in their respective areas,” says the current ASEAN-BAC Chair, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

The PROSPERITY FOR ALL SUMMIT aims to pursue genuine and inclusive growth & prosperity for the entire ASEAN community. The whole-day event’s program is composed of keynote speeches from renowned ASEAN leaders and five main sessions, namely:

1. CREATING AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT IN ACHIEVING PROSPERITY FOR ALL
This session aims to present the current environment and ecosystem for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs from the perspective of the enablers both from the private and public sectors respectively. This session also aims to present their programs and how these affect and shape a more enabling business environment.

2. WHERE’S THE MARKET? STRENGTHENING THE ONE ASEAN MARKET TO ACCESS GLOBAL MARKETS
Looking beyond the regional borders of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), this session aims to present ASEAN Market as an economic powerhouse and the opportunities brought about by the integration in terms of access to world’s largest economies.

3. WHERE’S THE FUNDING? OPENING UP INNOVATIVE AND INCLUSIVE FINANCING OPTIONS FOR MICRO AND SMALL ENTREPRENEURS
Critical in achieving genuine inclusive growth, the panel will facilitate deeper and broader understanding of innovative and inclusive financing options and look into the accessibility and viability of these programs for our micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.

4. HOW DO WE TRANSFORM? ESTABLISHING EFFICIENT BUSINESS PRACTICES THROUGH DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
The discussion aims to present disruptive technology and innovation as drivers of future growth and its power to accelerate the region’s economic progress

5. CALL TO ACTION: INITIATING ASEAN MENTORSHIP FOR ENTREPRENEURS NETWORK (AMEN)
As ASEAN Business Advisory launches AMEN (ASEAN Mentorship For Entrepreneurs Network), 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, this panel will highlight the significance of mentorship for entrepreneurs to become successful and to have more meaningful and economically rewarding role in the AEC framework.

The PROSPERITY FOR ALL SUMMIT is expected to be a gathering of enablers from both the private and public sectors in view of MSME development. It will also be the initial meeting to lay out the blueprint for the ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s regional mentorship program, AMEN, and an avenue for leaders and heads of states to share their plans on achieving inclusive growth and prosperity not only in their own respective countries, but also in the region, collectively.

ASEAN-BAC Chair Joey Concepcion further discloses that “we (ASEAN-BAC) have invited all ten ASEAN state leaders from our neighboring ASEAN countries to participate in the exchange of best practices and initiatives for MSME development. It is no question that this coming together of all ASEAN nations to empower our MSMEs is integral to achieving prosperity for all.”

For additional information on the Prosperity for All Summit, please contact: (+632) 631-5001 or  email info@asean-bac.org, or visit www.gonegosyo.net.

Wonder Women

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

wonder woman
Whenever I look at my mom or my wife, I am amazed by their capacities as a woman.  Their duties as a daughter, mother, wife, or sister coupled by the other hats they wear in their lives impresses me. Their passion, dedication, and more so their sacrifices are commendable. They are definitely doing a great job!

Many Filipina entrepreneurs today are also leading companies and conquering industries in the best of their abilities. That is why Go Negosyo, for the past 12 years, are recognizing Filipina entrepreneurs who are positive, passionate, and personifies the “panalo” attitude. More than 200 Filipina entrepreneurs have been awarded over the past years and this year, we are adding 26 Filipina entrepreneurs to our list of Filipina inspirations.

Let me share the first batch of Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs 2017 who will be awarded on March 30, in Malacanan Palace.

(Top L-R) Women Enabler: Pacita Juan, Sen. Cynthia Villar & Doris Ho, (Bottom L-R) Inclusive Business: Felicitas Pantoja, Rachel de Villa and Youth: Arizza Nocum

(Top L-R) Women Enabler: Pacita Juan, Sen. Cynthia Villar & Doris Ho, (Bottom L-R) Inclusive Business: Felicitas Pantoja, Rachel de Villa and Youth: Arizza Nocum

Young entrepreneur and advocate Arizza Ann Nocum spearheaded the KRIS Library, an organization which aims to promote peace through education. KRIS or Kristiyano-Islam Library is an education center which provides students and children in poverty and conflict-stricken areas in Mindanao with books, computers, and other educational resources. Aside from KRIS Library, she also founded the Good Karma shirts which sells t-shirts to raise funds for different foundations and organizations. At a young age of 22, Arizza is one of the inspiring young leaders in this country.

In our interest to promote inclusive business models, we are recognizing Rachel De Villa and Felicitas Pantoja. Rachel de Villa leads Cropital, a crowdfunding platform that aims to connect investors to farmers. Anyone can help fund our farmers through a form of investment. She has developed a technology to help alleviate the lives of our farmers. Felicitas Pantoja, on the other hand, encourages peace through the use of coffee. Through Coffee for Peace, she helps improve the lives of coffee farmers through their coffee-growing model.

We are recognizing Filipina entrepreneurs and advocates who have empowered many micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs). Doris Ho, Pacita Juan, and Sen. Cynthia Villar are the women enablers this year. Doris Ho, who led the APEC SME Summit, have empowered MSEs through her various efforts. Pacita Juan, through her ECHOStore, has provided a way for MSEs reach a wider market. She is also an advocate and supporter of the coffee industry. Sen. Cynthia Villar, as we all know, she has various livelihood and employment efforts in their Villar Sipag Foundation. She has been supporting programs for microentrepreneurs and have prioritized them in her legislations.

(Top to Bottom L-R) Micro-Small Entrepreneurs: Evellin Daytao, Honie Krizia Navor, Arlene Mabute, and Cherrie Atilano.

(Top to Bottom L-R) Micro-Small Entrepreneurs: Evellin Daytao, Honie Krizia Navor, Arlene Mabute, and Cherrie Atilano.

For the micro and small category, we have 8 Filipina entrepreneurs who will be recognized. First on this list is Cherrie Atilano, the founding farmer of AGREA Philippines which aims to develop a model for sustainable agriculture livelihood programs and environment for farmers, fishermen and their families.  Imelda Dagus, a former OFW, is now a passionate entrepreneur through her Dennis Coffee Garden café. Through her business, she is uplifting the Tausug heritage and Sulu Coffee.

Evellin Daytao who owns Daytao’s Native Cakes is also an awardee this year. She has found her passion in highlighting her province Tarlac through the use of native ingredients in her Filipino delicacies and snacks. Buro Buro Springs Vermi Farm led by Pamela Henares has introduced efforts in organic farming industry through vermiculture and vermicomposting. Her farm is considered as a premier destination for these organic practices.

Maria Lydia Lomibao is also an awardee for her innovation of pili nut into revolutionary products through her business J. Emmanuel Pastries or called House of Pili. Arlene Mabute, owner of Mabute Lumpia Wrapper & Cheese Stick Maker turned into a successful entrepreneur with only a 300.00 capital. She may have experienced many trials but with her resilience, she is now supplying lumpia wrappers and cheese sticks in different markets.

Another young entrepreneur who is part of this year’s roster of awardees is Honie Krizia Navor. She is leading the HK Stone Craft Trading which sells and installs imported granite and tiles and builds homes and other constructions. Last but not the least on the micro-small category is Ester Shiela Vitto who owns Bahag Footwear and Repair Shop. She innovated the use of car tires as slippers and sandals.

(Top to Bottom L-R) Micro-Small Entrepreneurs: Pamela Henares, Imelda Dagus, Lydia Lomibao, and Ester Vitto.

(Top to Bottom L-R) Micro-Small Entrepreneurs: Pamela Henares, Imelda Dagus, Lydia Lomibao, and Ester Vitto.

These are just 14 out of 26 awardees this year. I will be sharing with you the next batch next week.

These women awardees embody the modern-day successful Filipino women with an enterprising attitude, passion beyond measure, an innovative outlook on doing business, and the heart in contributing to inclusive growth of our nation.

We are proud of their personal achievements in their entrepreneurial journey. We hope they can inspire a new batch of women entrepreneurs to move and create positive changes in the country.

Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Across the Years (Part 2)

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

across_the_years
In the first half of the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Across the Years feature, we focused on the legacies and social innovators in order to encourage our readers to dream big and have hearts of compassion. For the second part of this feature we wish to capture your imagination and minds with these group of educators, beauty and wellness proponents and food entrepreneurs who have been constant inspirations in the entrepreneurial journeys of women from all over the country. On March 30, 2017 Go Negosyo will be announcing a new set of women entrepreneurs as the Inspiring Filipina Awardees of 2017. We can’t wait for what stories will unfold then but for now, we hope this list will quell your thirst for inspiration and motivation:

EDUCATION

Helena Benitez – Philippine Women’s University
Helena BenitezThe late Helena Benitez was a champion of women’s education as a veteran educator, former senator and administrator of the Philippines Women’s University. As a senator, she authored several laws advocating the advancement of education and women’s right. She has received many accolades and awards, amongst them are the 2007 Manila Awardee, 2009 Woman Awardee, and the 2013 Womenpreneur Icon from Go Negosyo. She lived to be one 102, and her legacy carries on through PWU and the numerous lives she has touched. Her former residence has also been turned into a heritage home found in San Juan.


Preciosa Soliven – O.B. Montessori
Preciosa Soliven
In 1966, Dr. Preciosa Soliven opened the first OB Montessori school in the Philippines. OB Montessori has become the country’s premier co-educational institution that nurtures the inner teacher of the child and develops them holistically through its Prepared Environment and specially trained teachers. Through the innovative programs in entrepreneurship, agriculture, performing arts and leadership training, the school has reconditioned Filipino children to become “citizens of the world”. Today, the school has several campuses in Metro Manila, a 16-hectare farm in Alfonso, Cavite; several ecumenical shrines; a 30-year old Child and Community Foundation and a new school of Culinary Arts – Istituto Culinario. Go Negosyo Awarded Dr. Preciosa Soliven for her innovative and modern approach to education during the Filipina Summit in 2013.


Mary Joy Abaquin – Multiple Intelligence
Joy Abaquin
Mary Joy Abaquin was awarded by Go Negosyo in 2014 as a Filipina Starpreneur for establishing the Multiple Intelligence School (M.I.S.). Abaquin’s involvement with Go Negosyo dates back to when she wrote the successful book “8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs” published in 2010. The Founding Directress of M.I.S. is a pioneering educator and advocate for innovative practice and reform in the education sector. Her school’s tagline “Where Every Child is Smart” is widely celebrated for being the first educational institution in the county that has integrated Entrepreneurship in the Basic Education and High Schoo Programs. Today, the school is receiving continuous praise for introducing kids to entrepreneurship at an early age and recognizing the different kinds of intelligence a child can possess.


BEAUTY & WELLNESS

Dra. Vicky Bello – Belo Medical Group

Vicky BeloDra. Vicky Belo is a household name to most Filipinos. Known as the doctor of the stars, she was awarded by Go Negosyo as a 2011 Starpreneur under the Large Enterprise category. She obtained her M.D. locally before training and receiving further qualifications in Thailand and the U.S. She is a speaker and guest lecturer for several institutions locally and abroad. Her success as an entrepreneur started out as a chain of clinics the became known for being the go-to places for cosmetic surgery for celebrities, and has now grown to become a retail powerhouse with Belo Cosmetics reaching drugstore and supermarket shelves nationwide.

Cathy Turvil – Nurture Wellness Spa

Cathy TurvillFounder of Nurture Wellness Spa Tagaytay; leader in the wellness spa industry; founded the first internationally accredited spa school in the Philippines; Founding President of Spa Association of the Philippines. Over the last 12 years, Nurture Wellness Village has continued to evolve and expand. Ms. Turvill’s spa began to incorporate additional wellness aspects such as improved nutrition. She introduced her clients to healthier foods from Nurture Wellness Village’s own organic garden offering delicious meals that are prepared on site with all fresh ingredients. One of the spa’s most recent innovations is The Workwell Project. This project is a corporate wellness program that encourages employers to invest in the health of employees by offering the services of the Nurture Wellness Village. Turvil was awarded by Go Negosyo as a Filipina Starpreneur in 2014.

Dr. Rosalinda Ang-Hortaleza – HBC
Rosalinda HortalezaDr. Rosalinda Ang-Hortaleza is the chief executive behind the beauty and cosmetics brand, HBC. What started out as six stores of Hortaleza Viciador, which Dr. Rosalinda inherited with her husband, has now expanded to more than 200 branches nationwide thanks to the smart rebranding and renaming of the business to HBC. Dr. Rosalinda strongly believes in the right of every woman to feel beautiful. This is the reason why the brand offers a wide range of beauty and cosmetic products and impressively reasonable prices—gaining a big following of loyal customers. In 2011, Go Negosyo awarded Dr. Rosalinda as Starpreneur for her enterprising and spirit for doing business inclusively—prioritizing the mass market to provide accessible beauty products for all.


FOOD

Corazon D. Ong – CDO Foodsphere, Inc.
CDOCorazon D. Ong was awarded in 2013 as a Trustee as the Founder of food processing giant CDO Foodsphere, Inc. Ong has been lauded for her ability to keep the company afloat despite several waves of crises hitting the industry and the country. The diverse line-up of meat products offered by CDO decorate the aisles of grocery stores and are a staple in any Filipino’s pantry. What started out as a venture into helping augment her own family’s income has now become a food enterprise that is largely admired by the entrepreneurial community.


Abba Napa – The Moment Group of Restaurants
Abba Napa
Abba Napa was amongst the Filipina entrepreneurs awarded by Go Negosyo during the Filipina Entrepreneur Summit last 2016. Napa’s story was also featured that same year in Go Negosyo’s 55 Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs. Her business venture, The Moment Group, is responsible for some of the metro’s hottest restaurants and bars. Customer favorites like 8cuts, Ooma and Din Tai Fung are just some of the restaurant offerings under Napa’s group’s belt. The group looks forward to bringing more restaurants to delight Filipino foodies in the future and taking their business to greater heights.

Lydia De Roca – Lydia’s Lechon
Lydia de Roca
Lydia De Roca’s name is synonymous to the famed Filipino fiesta staple of lechon.  For over 50 years now, Lydia’s Lechon has provided the iconic roasted dish to parties and gatherings nationwide. Equally impressive to the growth of her business is the underdog story behind it. Lydia’s Lechon started out as a simple bangketa stall in the 1960’s. But because of her hard work, perseverance, and of course, tasteful renditions of menu items featuring lechon, Lydia’s Lechon now sits amongst the most successful local food enterprises in the country. In 2011, she was awarded by Go Negosyo as Starpreneur for her success in taking a well-loved Filipino dish and turning it into a thriving business.

ASEAN BAC Engagement with Economic Ministers

Monday, March 20th, 2017
ASEAN BAC Members and entrepreneurs together with Sec. Lopez and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. (L-R: Henry Lim Bon Liong (Sterling Group), George Barcelon (PCCI and ASEAN BAC Philippines), Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Dr. Mohd Munir Majid (ASEAN BAC Malaysia), Cecilia Malmström, PA Joey Concepcion, Dato Ramesh Kodammal (ASEAN BAC Malaysia), and Cong. Arthur Yap.

ASEAN BAC Members and entrepreneurs together with Sec. Lopez and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. (L-R: Henry Lim Bon Liong (Sterling Group), George Barcelon (PCCI and ASEAN BAC Philippines), Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Dr. Mohd Munir Majid (ASEAN BAC Malaysia), Cecilia Malmström, PA Joey Concepcion, Dato Ramesh Kodammal (ASEAN BAC Malaysia), and Cong. Arthur Yap.

In line with our hosting of ASEAN, the economic ministers had their retreat and other related meetings last week which was hosted by its Chair, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. ASEAN Business Advisory Council were fortunate to have an engagement with them which then gave an avenue for us members to lay out our plans for this year and beyond.

As the chairman of ASEAN BAC, I shared the council’s vision of helping the MSMEs in the region. MSMEs account for almost 95-99% of the total enterprise in ASEAN. Since they are a majority, it is important for us to help bring prosperity to them and experience inclusive growth in the region.

During the discussion, I presented the three key pillars of ASEAN BAC. First, we are promoting Inclusive Business in the region where big brother companies are helping small brother companies by including them in the value chain. ASEAN companies will then help these small players gain access to the global market.

Second, micro entrepreneurs can also benefit from the Mentorship they can get from successful and inspiring medium and large entrepreneurs. We are launching the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) which will create a pool of mentors from 10 countries of ASEAN.

Lastly, ASEAN BAC aims to continue its participation and contribution to government policy-making and planning in line with the Strategic Action Plan for MSMEs which was launched by the ASEAN Leaders in 2015.

 ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion together with members of the ASEAN BAC presented before the ASEAN Economic Ministers led by its Chair, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion together with members of the ASEAN BAC presented before the ASEAN Economic Ministers led by its Chair, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

I was joined by Dr. Munir Mujid, ASEAN BAC Chair Malaysia, who discussed the platforms for funding MSMEs. Dr. Robert Yap, ASEAN BAC Chair Singapore, also presented the plans of ASEAN BAC in strengthening the ASEAN Connectivity which includes four programs: Malaysia’s Financial Connectivity Project; Laos’ Connect Project; Philippines and Indonesia’s ASEAN Maritime Connectivity through RORO; and the AMEN. Other ASEAN BAC members and ASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales also joined the engagement.

Afterwards, we enjoyed the camaraderie brought by the simple cocktails and dinner hosted by DTI. Filipino entrepreneurs and government officials played great hosts to the ASEAN Economic Ministers and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council had an engagement with the economic ministers last March 9, 2017. ASEAN BAC discussed the three key pillars of the council for the year.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council had an engagement with the economic ministers last March 9, 2017. ASEAN BAC discussed the three key pillars of the council for the year.

ASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales reported the progress of private sector’s involvement in the working groups which addresses the sectors of healthcare, agri-food, logistics, tourism, and retail.

ASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales reported the progress of private sector’s involvement in the working groups which addresses the sectors of healthcare, agri-food, logistics, tourism, and retail.

Dr. Robert Yap, ASEAN BAC Chair Singapore, discussed the plans of ASEAN BAC in completing and strengthening the ASEAN Connectivity.

Dr. Robert Yap, ASEAN BAC Chair Singapore, discussed the plans of ASEAN BAC in completing and strengthening the ASEAN Connectivity.

Dato Ramesh Kodammal, Joey Concepcion, Rey Rapid (R. Lapid’s Chicharon), Dr. Robert Yap (ASEAN BAC Singapore), Sec. Ramon Lopez, Manny Osmena (Manny O. Group), and Cong. Arthur Yap.

Dato Ramesh Kodammal, Joey Concepcion, Rey Rapid (R. Lapid’s Chicharon), Dr. Robert Yap (ASEAN BAC Singapore), Sec. Ramon Lopez, Manny Osmena (Manny O. Group), and Cong. Arthur Yap.

George Barcelon, DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya,Tessie Sy-Coson (ASEAN BAC Philippines) Malou Lopez, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Henry Lim Bon Liong, Cong. Arthur Yap and Joey Concepcion.

George Barcelon, DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya,Tessie Sy-Coson (ASEAN BAC Philippines) Malou Lopez, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Henry Lim Bon Liong, Cong. Arthur Yap and Joey Concepcion.

Secretary Ramon Lopez introduced the ASEAN Economic Ministers to the business community during the cocktails and networking event.

Secretary Ramon Lopez introduced the ASEAN Economic Ministers to the business community during the cocktails and networking event.

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion and Enrique Razon.

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion and Enrique Razon.

Dr. William Dar and Dr. Aristotle Alip.

Dr. William Dar and Dr. Aristotle Alip.

Former DTI Secretary Greg Domingo and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Former DTI Secretary Greg Domingo and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Manny Osmena (Manny O. Group), Rikki Dee (Foodlink Group), and Rex Daryanani (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

Manny Osmena (Manny O. Group), Rikki Dee (Foodlink Group), and Rex Daryanani (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

Dr. William Dar, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Malou Lopez, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Rosalind Wee.

Dr. William Dar, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Malou Lopez, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Rosalind Wee.

(L-R) Dr. Aristotle Alip, DTI USec. Nora Terrado, Sen. Bam Aquino, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Rey Lapid, Manny Osmena, Michael Escaler, Michael Tan, and Joey Concepcion.

(L-R) Dr. Aristotle Alip, DTI USec. Nora Terrado, Sen. Bam Aquino, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Rey Lapid, Manny Osmena, Michael Escaler, Michael Tan, and Joey Concepcion.

ASEAN BAC Presents 2017 and Medium Term AEC Agenda to ASEAN Economic Ministers

Saturday, March 18th, 2017
ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion led the presentation of plans and programs of ASEAN BAC during the engagement with the ASEAN Economic Ministers headed by its Chair, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion led the presentation of plans and programs of ASEAN BAC during the engagement with the ASEAN Economic Ministers headed by its Chair, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

On the occasion of the Philippine hosting of the 23rd ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Retreat and Related Meetings, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC), led by its 2017 Chairman Joey Concepcion, presented its priority agenda to the AEM last March 9, 2017 at Conrad Hotel Manila.  Mr. Concepcion briefed the AEM on the elements and motivation behind ASEAN BAC’s 2017 theme of Engaging the World, Prosperity for All. He said “The economic integration effort would be meaningless if the economic rewards of growth and prosperity will exclude the MSMEs which account for almost 95-99% of total enterprises across ASEAN.”  As the backbone of the region’s economic engine, he explained that the following three key pillars will have to interplay and complement each other:

a.) Promote and deepen the role of Inclusive Business where big corporates serve as big brothers to micro and small enterprises and likewise deliberately integrating the poor and low-income communities as suppliers, customers and employees as part of their core businesses;

b.) Empower and prepare MSMEs thru effective mentoring provided by successful entrepreneurs covering access to finance, markets, innovation, and other requirements to make them more productive and competitive;

c.) Continued government support both in policy reforms and programs to provide the enabling environment where MSME competitiveness can thrive.

Dr. Munir Majid, ASEAN BAC Chair for Malaysia, presented to the AEM alternatives for MSME financing which is IT based and is more responsive to the needs and conditions of MSMEs. He said “The current interest rate levels in ASEAN has given rise to small investors who are more open to invest outside their countries and are willing to invest or provide lending at credit-worthy MSME projects and which have big potentials in penetrating the ASEAN market.”

Another exciting fast and easy-to-access finance platform for MSMEs that Malaysia is pursuing across the region is the setting up of the Growth Accelerator Exchange or GAX.  It’s a digital and data mining infrastructure that puts together the three basic solutions necessary for MSME growth, namely e-Financing, e-Payment and  e-Logistics Services.

Dr. Robert Yap, ASEAN BAC Chair for Singapore, presented to the AEM the concrete actions plans in establishing genuine ASEAN Connectivity.  He enumerated the connectivity related legacy projects of ASEAN BAC starting with Financial Connectivity (Malaysia in 2015); followed by the Laos Land-Based Connect Project (Laos in 2016); the Philippine Maritime Connectivity Project with Indonesia (2017) and the establishment of A Knowledge and Skills Connectivity thru the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN).

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion (right) and member Douglas Foo (2nd from left) and Dr. Robert Yap (middle) chatted with Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez (left) and Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang (2nd from right).

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion (right) and member Douglas Foo (2nd from left) and Dr. Robert Yap (middle) chatted with Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez (left) and Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang (2nd from right).

(LEFT) Dr. Robert Yap, ASEAN BAC Chair for Singapore, presented to the AEM the concrete actions plans in establishing genuine ASEAN Connectivity. (RIGHT) Dr. Mohd Munir presented before to the AEM the alternatives for MSME Financing while ASEAN BAC Executive DirectorASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales updated the AEM on the progress of deepening private sector engagement with various private public consultative working groups.

(LEFT) Dr. Robert Yap, ASEAN BAC Chair for Singapore, presented to the AEM the concrete actions plans in establishing genuine ASEAN Connectivity. (RIGHT) Dr. Mohd Munir presented before to the AEM the alternatives for MSME Financing while ASEAN BAC Executive DirectorASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales updated the AEM on the progress of deepening private sector engagement with various private public consultative working groups.

Lastly, Mr. Gil Gonzales, ASEAN BAC Executive Director, updated the AEM on the progress of deepening private sector engagement with various private public consultative working groups.  He reported that ASEAN BAC’s 5 priority and people-centric sectors of Healthcare, Agri-Food, Logistics, Tourism and Retail are now aligned with corresponding consultative working groups.  For cross-cutting issues, he said that “ASEAN BAC is happy to report the very enthusiastic support of other Business Council Dialogue Partners in taking leadership in key areas as Trade Facilitation, Financial Inclusion, and in Innovation.”  He also impressed the continuing clamor from business to facilitate completion of other key pending reforms and recommendations which the council has presented over the years such as the ASEAN Single Window, ASEAN Business Travel Card and all pending 2015 deliverables, among others.
The AEM Chair, Sec. Ramon Lopez of the Philippines and different Economic Ministers took turns in expressing their gratitude and commendation to the Council for its focus on MSMEs and Connectivity as effective drivers of change that should lead to faster and more inclusive prosperity in ASEAN.  They also highly appreciated the deeper engagement of ASEAN BAC in putting together the voice and strength of its private sector partners in helping push and hasten the realization of AEC goals and aspirations.

Other members of the Council who were in attendance were:  Mr. Arin Jira (Thailand Chair), Mr. Douglas Foo (Singapore), Mr. Somyod Tangleemalep (EABC Thailand), Mr Xaybandith Rasphone (Lao PDR), Dato’ Ramesh Kodammal (Malaysia).

Prosperity for the ASEAN Region

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

“The economic integration effort would be meaningless if the economic rewards of growth and prosperity will exclude the MSMEs which account for almost 95-99% of the total enterprise across ASEAN.”

This is what I have shared to the economic ministers during the ASEAN Economic Ministers Retreat last week in relation to ASEAN BAC’s theme of “Partnering for Change, Prosperity for All.” I, together with some ASEAN Business Advisory Council members, presented the agenda of the council to the economic ministers on how we can all bring about prosperity in the ASEAN region. As mentioned before, we want to bring inclusive growth not just for the selected few but for all sectors across 10 countries.

The retreat and related meetings was successfully hosted by the AEM Chair, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and his team in DTI. This is just one of the many activities of DTI this year as Philippines hosts ASEAN for its 50th anniversary.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council chairman Joey Concepcion together with ASEAN Economic Ministers Chairman Secretary Ramon Lopez during the engagement of ASEAN BAC Members and ASEAN Economic Ministers last week.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council chairman Joey Concepcion together with ASEAN Economic Ministers Chairman Secretary Ramon Lopez during the engagement of ASEAN BAC Members and ASEAN Economic Ministers last week.

During the engagement with the economic ministers, I explained the three key pillars of ASEAN BAC. First, we are promoting Inclusive Business in the region where large corporations will play as big brothers to the micro and small entrepreneurs. Big brother companies will help these small players have access in their value chain and the global market.

Second, aside from giving micro entrepreneurs access to a bigger market, we are also pushing for the goal of mentorship for them through the help of successful ASEAN businessmen. These entrepreneurs can provide not only their inspiring stories but also essential business knowledge and acumen.

Inclusive Business and Mentorship are relevant to Go Negosyo as these are also the things that we are pushing for since we launched the Kapatid, Angat Lahat program in August 2016.

Lastly, ASEAN BAC aims to continue its government interventions in policy reform and executing programs consistent with the Strategic Action Plan for MSMEs which was launched by the ASEAN Leaders in 2015.

Dr. Mohd Munir Majid, ASEAN BAC Chair for Malaysia, also participated in the discussion by giving a presentation on the initiatives of ASEAN BAC to create a platform where small investors can help fund MSMEs in the region. This can be done through lending or investments. He said that there are more small investors who are looking for credit-worthy MSME projects which have growth potentials in the ASEAN market. He added that this will need the collaboration of banks who can provide the credit evaluation.

Malaysia is also pursuing a finance platform for MSMEs called Growth Accelerator Exchange or GAX. It is a digital platform that provides basic solutions necessary for MSMEs growth – ecosystem e-financing, e-payment platform integration, and ASEAN wide e-logistics services.

Many micro and small entrepreneurs are surviving entrepreneurs because they lack the needed financial support. So these programs of funding for them will be a boost to their growth and development. In our country, there are many microfinance companies such as CARD-MRI and banks which have funding programs for micro entrepreneurs.

ASEAN BAC Chair for Singapore, Dr. Robert Yap, also discussed the plans of ASEAN BAC in completing and strengthening the ASEAN Connectivity. Four projects comprise this plan which includes Malaysia’s Financial Connectivity project, Laos’ Laos Connect project, Philippines and Indonesia’s ASEAN Maritime Connectivity through the RORO Project, and lastly Philippines’ ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network.

The ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network or AMEN gathers a pool of mentors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders across ASEAN who will provide mentorship to micro and small entrepreneurs. We are creating a group of mentors already from the previous winners of ASEAN Business Awards. Soon, we will be launching this in November.

ASEAN BAC’s Executive Director Gil Gonzales updated the ASEAN Economic Ministers on the progress of deeply involving the private sector in private-public consultative working groups which addresses the sectors of healthcare, agri-food, logistics, tourism, and retail. He said, “ASEAN BAC is happy to report the very enthusiastic support of other business council dialogue partners in taking leadership in key areas as trade facilitation, financial inclusion and integration, and innovation.”

We are glad to hear the commendation of the ASEAN Economic Ministers most especially AEM Chair, Sec. Lopez. They appreciate the strong involvement of the private sector in building a more inclusive region for MSMEs. We are one with the economic ministers in making the ASEAN Economic Community work and be felt by the Filipinos and other ASEAN members.

Sec. Lopez said, “Public-private sector engagement not only reduces the gap of understanding of the private sector and the general public on ASEAN, it also promotes intra-ASEAN and global trade and investment and reduces current and future impediments faced business enterprises.”

It is an exciting year for the Philippines. Hopefully all plans will materialize and create a stronger and inclusive ASEAN region.

ASEAN Business Awards 2017: Philippine Nominations Now Open

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The search is under way for the best Philippine companies that will go on to compete in this year’s ASEAN Business Awards.

As the hosts of ASEAN 2017, the ABA will take place in Okada Manila, Parañaque City, Philippines on September 6, 2017. ASEAN-BAC Philippines, comprised of the current ASEAN-BAC Chair, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, and members Teresita Sy-Coson (SM Group) and George Barcelon (Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry) will spearhead the event.

Nominations are on-going and will be accepted by the Philippine secretariat of the ASEAN-BAC until June 15, 2017.

In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

The contest is open to large corporations, as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs). There are three main categories broken down into further sub-categories. The SME Excellence Awards will award businesses according to the sub-categories of Growth, Employment, Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Another category is the 12 Priority Integration Sector Awards. Qualifiers for this award must exhibit outstanding performance in the sectors of Fisheries, Electronic, e-ASEAN / ICT, Textiles, Logistics, Wood-Based, Rubber, Agri-Food, Healthcare, Tourism, Automotive, Retail.

Lastly, the Special Awards category is composed of the Inclusive Business Award — given to business models that help alleviate the poverty and inclusion problem — and the Friend of ASEAN Award, which will be given to a non-ASEAN enterprise growing its presence within the region.

ABA brings to the spotlight promising and outstanding ASEAN companies that have the potential of becoming global economic players. “It is a privilege for our country to host the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. For this year, ASEAN Business Advisory Council is celebrating the 10th ASEAN Business Awards. This Awards recognizes outstanding ASEAN enterprises which have exemplary record of growth and success not only in their home country but also in our ASEAN member countries. Many companies and entrepreneurs have been awarded in the past years and we want to showcase more SMEs in the ASEAN platform. We encourage more enterprises from the ASEAN region to join this year’s search,” ASEAN-BAC Chair Joey Concepcion said.

The contest is part of the activities to mark ASEAN integration which brings the bloc’s 10 economies closer together.

ASEAN is made up of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

For inquiries on ABA and the application process you may contact support@aba2017.com or visit the official website at www.aba2017.com. Application period is from March 13 to June 15, 2017.

ABA Timeline
ASEAN BAC Sponsors Updated March 13

First Seeds of Hope in Sulu

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Sulu—an island province of lush greens, bountiful waters, and great potential. Yet it is also beset by conflict and poverty. Such is the irony that exists there. Last February 23, the Go Negosyo team led by Ginggay Hontiveros and representatives of our Big Kapatids visited the island of Sulu to witness the first seeds of promise being planted. This is in fulfillment of the pledges made last December 19, 2016 in the presence of our beloved President Rodrigo Duterte, DA Secretary Manny Pinol, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Sulu Representative Datu Shah Sakur Tan in Malacañan Palace.

The team were welcomed by Governor Toto Tan in his office together with several mayors. Datu Sakur Tan also joined, and once more they emphasized the value of what our Kapatids are doing to help the people on the island. It was the first meeting of Sulu officials with Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Inc. (FFCCCI), Harbest, SM Foundation, Metrobank Foundation, and Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc.

Groundbreaking ceremony for classrooms and buildings in Maimbung, Sulu.

Groundbreaking ceremony for classrooms and buildings in Maimbung, Sulu.

Their first stop of the day was the launch of SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program, in partnership with Harbest and DA Sulu. KSK is an intensive 12 week agri-training program that would benefit 200 farmers from various municipalities and help provide them with new skills and knowledge necessary to give them a better chance at life by learning how to plant and harvest high value crops such as vegetables.

Following this, they went to visit the HBSAT site in Jolo City. Renamed in 1963 through RA3707, Sulu Trade school was changed to “Hadji Butu School of Arts and Trade”, or HBSAT to locals. It is one of projects being considered by Metrobank Foundation in its efforts to support Sulu. The school is one of the oldest institutions in the province, and shows multiple buildings in varying states of dilapidation. The façade of these structures tell the story of HSBAT’s rich history and the struggles that students of the school face day by day.

One such student, Shaina Musa, a 9th grade senior high school student, spoke to them. They spoke just outside of her handicraft’s class. At 14 years old, she displayed maturity beyond her years. In a room that could fit thirty students, less than twenty were in attendance. Our team observed that most—if not all—of them had their hands on folded arms, looking as if they would rather be someplace else. “Labas po sila [mga kaklase] ng classroom, (They [classmates] keep going in-and-out of the classroom)” she shared, and when asked for the reason why, her answer was heartbreaking; “Kasi wala silang gusto. Wala silang pangarap. (Because they don’t have anything. They don’t have dreams.)” Perhaps one of the biggest factors would be the state of their classrooms: wooden chairs that look like they came from recycled wood, ceilings with no insulation that look like it would collapse during a storm, and shadows that cover their faces because they don’t have electricity. It’s a miracle that this young girl could still dream. Shaina still dreams big. She wants to study Computer Science in Mindanao State University and one day become a teacher. Perhaps with the newly donated classrooms, our Kapatids can bring her closer to her dream.

The second site visited was the Kapatid Village in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan, Sulu, where donations from Manny Osmeña, Natividad Cheng, Manny Pangilinan, William Belo, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce, and other Big Kapatids will fund homes for the beneficiaries. Governor Tan headed the showcase of the model house to the beneficiaries.

One of the Kapatid Villages will be in Barangay Anuling Patikul, Sulu.

One of the Kapatid Villages will be in Barangay Anuling Patikul, Sulu.

Another heartbreaking scene met them when they arrived at Sultan Jamalul Kiram School in Kulasi, Maimbung. There was a large open field where Governor Tan and Enrique Chua, representative of FFCCCI, surrounded by the school officials, broke ground for the site of new school buildings. FFCCCI donated thirty classrooms in total. Following the advice of Governor Tan to spread out new building to different barangays, eight buildings each with 2 classrooms will be built. The deepest gratitude could be felt from the school officials, and especially the teachers. One teacher approached them. She brought them to the rooms and showed them the state of their classrooms; peeling walls, incomplete shutters, and ceilings that are drooping. We are building more classroom so that more children could have a better future. It’s truly a labor of love for them to continue teaching despite these conditions. The classrooms would help elevate the quality of learning that their students will experience.

Finally, the last stop of the day was in Patikul. Known for incursions over the past months, Patikul is near the mountains, and the Kapatid Village rests just along the road which leads to Barangay Anuling. Military personnel surrounded the area but the delegation of Kapatids were welcomed by the Barangay Captain Ging Hayudini. People watched from afar. It felt like a desolate place but hopes remain for the rehabilitation of this area will bring more peace to the town.

The trip to Sulu was successful overall. For now, we’re starting with Negosyo thru the KSK Program, two Kapatid Villages and thirty-two Kapatid Classrooms in Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, and Jolo. More will follow in the coming months.

This project brings forth another unique example of how progress can be achieved with the combined efforts of the public and the private sector. We, of the private sector, must support programs like this in places like Sulu where our help is needed the most. This is where we will start bringing peace through business and entrepreneurship that will elevate the whole country towards an age of prosperity.

Mentor Me to Launch in 16 Regions this 2017

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Menter Me Program helps micro and small business scale up thru weekly coaching sessions done by their mentors.

Menter Me Program helps micro and small business scale up thru weekly coaching sessions done by their mentors.

March 8, 2017– Today marks the launch of the Kapatid Mentor ME (Micro Entrepreneur) Program or KMME for 2017. Last year, the program gained wide success and acclaim with the program rolling-out in 11 regions with over 200 business owners benefiting from the comprehensive program on entrepreneurship.

KMME began its roll-out on August 2016, as one the of three pillars of the Kapatid program. Go Negosyo, in collaboration with the DTI, launched this program as an initiative to bolster sustainable inclusive growth across enterprises of all sizes. The program consists of 1) the Mentor ME Program 2) Adopt-an-SSF (Shared Service Facility) and, 3) Inclusive Business.

Menter Me Program helps micro and small business scale up thru weekly coaching sessions done by their mentors. Mentors are business owners or practitioners across different functional areas of entrepreneurship. The sessions are held in DTI’s Negosyo Centers across the country and are stretched over the course of 12 weeks.

This year, the program will tackle 10 modules on topics such as — but not limited to —Marketing, the Entrepreneurial Mindset and Values Formation, Product Development and Innovation, Human Resource and Organization Management, Operations Management, Taxation and even Business Law.

“The Mentor Me Program feels like “modern bayanihan,” where entrepreneurs go hand-in-hand to help each other. It greatly helped a young & enthusiastic entrepreneur like me, acting not only as a guide but also as a way for me to be connected with people who have been in the business world for years,” says Sofia Tricia Zosa, business owner of Sofia’a Home Baked Goodies and 2016 mentee from DTI Davao, Region 11.

KMME will begin its roll-out this March in Mindanao and will spread out to other regions across Luzon and Visayas and Mindanao in the following months. The complete schedule for the months of March and April are listed below:
KMME_sched