Archive for November, 2017

Leaders’ Commitment for MSME Development

Thursday, November 30th, 2017
From L-R: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

From L-R: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

If we in the private sector are to pursue goals for the inclusive growth of ASEAN, we will need the support of the government and its leaders. Their initiative to start development plans coupled with the role of the private sector to contribute to these programs will greatly help in the pursuit for prosperity for all.

This is why we have invited a total of 18 leaders to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in order to hear their insights on growth and development in the region. Apart from the 10 ASEAN Leaders, we have requested the leaders of ASEAN’s dialogue partners such as Russia, Korea, Japan, Australia and United States of America.

Many have said that it is a feat to have the five leaders in ABIS 2017. We are honored to have Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, South Korean President Moon Jae-In, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi grace the biggest business and state leaders event staged in the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi who joined us during the opening day centered her speech on women economic empowerment and human capital development. She said that more women entrepreneurs participated in Myanmar’s transformation which contributed to the economic and social development of their country. During her speech, she said, “Empowering women is a form of human capital development… Because women are important part of our human capital.”

ASEAN BAC Philippines member Teresita Sy-Coson with Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

ASEAN BAC Philippines member Teresita Sy-Coson with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion welcomed Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion welcomed Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Korea’s President Moon Jae-in dealt on the 3Ps of their country which are People-centered, Peace-loving, and mutual Prosperity. He stressed that his political philosophy is to prioritize their people which corresponds to the vision of a people-centric community pursued by ASEAN. Additionally, President Moon said that Korea is the best partner for growth as they too strengthen partnerships with the regional bloc in areas like transportation, energy, water, and ICT.

I am impressed by Russia’s Prime Minister who not only shared his insights on development, but also joined the panel on infrastructure. Prime Minister Medvedev expressed that Russia is willing to provide infrastructure capacities to all ASEAN economies including airports, railways, roads, powerlines, and communication channels. I, too, was able to ask him directly on Russia’s plans on how they can help small businesses scale up in their country. He said that Russia’s small businesses make up 50-60% of their business community which is low compared to the ASEAN region’s 90%.

We also learned a lot from India Prime Minister Narendra Modi who shared that they have incredibly helped their small and medium enterprises through different programs. Industrial licensing in their country is simple and can be done online. They have also introduced a unique ID system for financial transactions and taxation. PM Modi added, “Using technology, we are enhancing responsibility and reducing discretion and corruption.” They have also created the Jan Dhan Yojana which is a program for financial inclusion.

Of course, our dear President Duterte led the formal launch of the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN). He commended the initiative of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council for its efforts to mentor the micro and small entrepreneurs not just in the country but also across the region. He also announced his commitment to help MSMEs by increasing the national budget allocated for this sector.

On the last day of ABIS 2017, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who knows by heart what ASEAN is about, discussed the projection of ASEAN in the next 50 years. She said, “Communities will be highly integrated and cohesive with enhanced connectivity and central cooperation with a more people-oriented community integrated with the global community.”

And to close the three-day conference focusing on prosperity, Vice President Leni Robredo focused on why inclusivity is vital to MSME development and poverty alleviation. VP Leni exclaimed, “Whatever we achieve on the negotiating table must be felt by those who have been left behind by globalization and progress.”

We are all glad to know that micro and small entrepreneurs are part of the vision of the leaders for prosperity. We indeed have to create programs for their development as they are the backbone of the economy.

Like what I have said during my closing speech, the theme of “Prosperity for All” should not stop as ABIS2017 has ended. Instead, it is the start of the real pursuit for inclusivity and prosperity. Tremendous work must be done in order to achieve this but I am confident that with ASEAN public-private partnership, we can all contribute to reaching this goal for the region. Cheers to the next 50 years of ASEAN!

SRW&Co;. Announces AGLP 2018 Scholars

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
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Daniel Wong (Chairman & Partner, SRW&Co.)

Jakarta, 27th November 2017. Regional Management Consulting firm SRW&Co. on Monday announced the granting of the 2018 AGLP (ASEAN Global Leadership Program) Scholarship to 2 ASEAN Business Award winners. The 2 AGLP Scholars are Nasha Jungkankul , ASEAN Business Award winner of the SME Excellence – Growth categoty, and Sirina Sisombat Hervy, who won the ASEAN Business Award Women Entrepreneur category. Launched in 2016, the AGLP scholarship is a CSR program initiated by SRW&Co. in collaboration with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. The scholarship is awarded to selected ABA winners who applied for the scholarship. The scholars will be attending a week-long ASEAN Global Leadership Program in NYU Stern School of Business in April 2018. The AGLP is a flagship leadership development program launched by SRW&Co. in 2009, conducted annually in collaboration with SRW&Co.’s global business school partners.

SRW&Co. Chairman Daniel Wong said, “…. we are very pleased to award the scholarship to 2 very deserving applicants who had met the stringent assessment and selection criteria and standard through interviews. The 2 scholars had demonstrated the qualities of visionary business entrepreneurs, and their firm commitment to grow their business beyond their home countries.. and more importantly, the scholars are committed to contribute to the entrepreneurial leadership development mission in the region,” added Daniel Wong.

AGLP 2018 Scholars (from left to right): Nasha Jungkankul , Sirina Sisombat Hervy

AGLP 2018 Scholars (from left to right): Nasha Jungkankul , Sirina Sisombat Hervy

Nasha Jungkankul, is the founder and owner of Kunna Groceries Co.,Ltd, a very successful healthy snack brand in Thailand. The company aims to grow and expand their business in health and well-being sphere. “Kunna will not just be the healthy snack brand, but also the brand that represents people well-being and healthy life style in every perspectives and our target customers would cover anyone who wants to live a longer and healthier life,” Nasha said. “I am honoured to be granted this scholarship to join the AGLP in 2018, as I believe in order to keep moving forward, we need to keep learning new things each day in our life and the AGLP will provide me the timely opportunity to improve my knowledge and share my experiences and to learn from the world class faculty of NYU Stern and my fellow peers in the class.”

Sirina Sisombat Hervy is the Managing Director of Sinouk Coffee, a leader player in the Coffee industry in Laos. She has been running the company jointly with her father Sinouk since 2014. The company aims to become a recognised player in the ASEAN market within the next 5 years, and raise the level of awareness about Lao coffee to the international stage. “AGLP comes timely to support my personal development in broadening my vision and improve my effectiveness as a leader in my company,” said Sirina. “The program in NYU Stern will allow me to interact and learn from the Stern faculty and senior leaders from ASEAN. It will be an inspiring experience for me and inspiration and learning from the others have always been my key motor to progress.”

The AGLP 2018 will be conducted in NYU Stern campus from April 16-20, 2018. The programs are conducted annually in the US and UK in collaboration with world class business schools which include Cambridge Judge Business School, the London Business School, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and NYU Stern School of Business. The AGLP alumni stands at 350, comprising senior leaders from the corporate and public sectors in the ASEAN countries.

“Sa Maliit na Puhunan, Tungo sa Malaking Kabuhayan!”

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

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Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla featured two entrepreneurs and CARD members who shared their success stories from Day 1 and how access to finance helped them grown their business. Go Negosyo Angelpreneur Armand Bengco joined the episode to shed light on money matters and how microfinancing works.

Princess Torres owns an agribusiness called Prince Rasec Garden and a proud member of CARD for 17 years. Princess started her business in 2000 with an initial loan of P2000.00 for a buy-and-sell business. in 2005, she decided to shift to the planting industry with the influence of her older sister. Eventually, her business grew exponentially. She currently employs 30 workers and managed to be one of the plant suppliers of Vista Land, Rockwell Land, and Bonifacio Global City.

Pilar Garcia is another successful entrepreneur thanks to CARD where she’s been a member of for more than two decades. She started her first loan at P3000.00 to set up a gift shop and was able to grow her loan cycle to P15000.00. In 2004, she moved to Australia for work but already began planting the seeds for a farming business. After a couple of years, Pilar came back to the Philippines to pay full attention to her farm.

After a few years, Pilar’s business evolved and became and Agri Tourism site and event venue where countless weddings, birthdays, and engagements have been held. She works with many other local businesses as suppliers and caterers for the events. Her farms regularly supplies vegetables to local organic markets and restaurants in Tagaytay.

Currently, Woodburn Garden & Farm is now a certified agri-tourism site by TESDA and ATI. The farm is also a partner of the Laguna State Polytechnique University and South Luzon State University wherein students take part in OJT programs for organic farm training.

The success stories of Princess and Pilar may not have reached the level it currently at today have it not been for CARD’s microfinance program which enabled the two to start small businesses that became the groundwork for bigger ventures. Fair access to capital is essential in any entrepreneurs growth. Mr. Armand Bengco elaborated further on the purpose and structure of microfinancing.

Armand Bengco is the Co-Founder and Executive Director for the Colayco Foundation for Education, Inc. as well as the Co-Founder and General Manager of Kapatiran sa Kasaganaan Service and Multi-Purpose (KSK-SMP) Cooperative. He hails from a family of established financial and investment practitioners and hosts a bevy of radio and TV programs geared at helping the public understand financial management.

View the full episode here: https://www.facebook.com/dzrhnews/videos/1574141469333979/

Global champions in the digital industry tackle challenges in ASEAN’s digital economy

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy. In photo (L-R): Manny Pangilinan (First Pacific Company Ltd./LDT), Goh Peng Ooi (Silverlake Axis Limited), Dr. Yuri Sato (JETRO), Richard Eldrige (Lenddo) and Nick Nash (SEA Group).

Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy. In photo (L-R): Manny Pangilinan (First Pacific Company Ltd./LDT), Goh Peng Ooi (Silverlake Axis Limited), Dr. Yuri Sato (JETRO), Richard Eldrige (Lenddo) and Nick Nash (SEA Group).

MANILA, November 14, 2017 – The forum entitled “Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy” concluded the five forums of the three-day ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.  It centered on the different challenges the digital economy is facing in its aim to promote more inclusion in the region.

The panelists are Manny Pangilinan, Managing Director of First Pacific Holdings, Nick Nash Group President of SEA Group, Dr. Yuri Sato Executive Vice President of Japan External Trade Organization, Goh Peng Ooi Founder and Executive Chairman of Silverlake Axis Limited, Richard Eldridge CEO of Lenndo. Yasu Ota Columnist of Nikkei Asian Review and Editorial Writer of Nikkei moderated the discussion.

Nick Nash, Group President of SEA Group opened the discussion as he imparted three key dimensions on why ASEAN is a unique destination for global investors. First, it is unique because of its great sense of optimism for the future. Second because of its young population. And lastly, the ASEAN is attractive because of its great ability in solving problems.

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With more than half of the world’s population now online, the digital economy is considered as a dominant force in the world economy. The forum leverages on the idea of ASEAN’s vast untapped potential and the different ways this can be addressed.

“Instead of just looking at digital alone, it is very important to look at the techno-economic evolution – the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Goh Peng Ooi of Silverlake Axis shared how focusing on the different aspects of the digital revolution can help ASEAN as it is at different stages of development.

Financial inclusion remains to be one of the major challenges in the digital economy. Richard Eldridge tackled the solutions on how more people can gain more access to banking system   “Slowly people are starting to get some sort of banking relationship…the challenge is how do you get them on top of that a full range of financial services to have them fully included have the maximum opportunity in life,” he said.

Manny Pangilinan of PLDT discussed how startups and big businesses  can cope with each other in today’s digital economy. He shared that big companies such as PLDT are providing not only intra but as well as the platforms needed for startups in this digital economy to prosper. “[In the end] The objective is to make people’s lives easier to do,” he added.

On the role of the government in promoting digital economy, Dr. Yuri Sato Executive Vice President of Japan External Trade Organization explained the ways in which government organizations such as JETRO can build bridges for enterprises through policy making and researches. She also shared findings from a research on the bottlenecks of utilizing e-commerce in the region. Among these challenges are in human resource, logistics, financial services, internet infrastructure.

To wrap up the discussion, Manny Pangilinan summed up the challenges that needs to be addressed in areas such as infrastructure, consumer mindset and financial inclusion. “At the end of the day, we in the internet world should be judged not by the profit we make. If we could say that so many years from today we can say we improved the lives of so many people by ways of the internet, then I think we’d done a good job,” Pangilinan said.

Enablers inspire the youth

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion with wife Marissa and 10-year old daughter Isabella.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion with wife Marissa and 10-year old daughter Isabella.

Isabella, my youngest daughter who is just ten years old had a choice during the long ASEAN week to either play with her cousins all day or attend the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit with her older siblings. I told her that ABIS 2017 is the biggest event that her dad is putting up. Additionally, I told her that she will meet many entrepreneurs from across the ASEAN region. Eventually, she said she’ll join her siblings, my other 3 daughters and my eldest only son.

Five days after the summit, my daughter Isabella was in Shopee, an online platform where customers can shop for various items. I did not even know how popular this market place is until I found out after speaking to Nick Nash, the founder of Shopee. He said that they have the biggest number of micro and small entrepreneurs who are using
their platform to sell and buy products.

As I have mentioned in my column three weeks ago, I was fortunate to meet Jack Ma and was able to moderate a session with him in a live program. During my private meeting with him prior to the program, he shared that his vision for Alibaba is to provide a platform for MSMEs to prosper through online markets like Lazada. Now, his plan is to set up mentorship centers where they can help MSMEs market their products.

Going back to Isabella, the other day, she came to me asking me to set her a bank account as she has sold something in Shopee. She might be following my footsteps before I know it and soon she might be selling her mother’s clothes and her toys which is not in use.

ASEAN is indeed shifting to digital world. We are all adapting to the new technologies that will help our micro and small entrepreneurs scale up but can be a threat for brick and mortar businesses. That is why the digital space is one of the hot topics we discussed during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

ASEAN BAC Philippines members Joey Concepcion, George Barcelon and Tessie Sy-Coson.

ASEAN BAC Philippines members Joey Concepcion, George Barcelon and Tessie Sy-Coson.

Speaking of ABIS, we are still grateful to the private sector and the members of the government for the support they have given us all throughout the chairmanship year.

But more than them, I would like to express my appreciation for my Philippine council members – Tessie Sy-Coson and George Barcelon. In the past few months of my stint as ASEAN BAC Chairman, I had a great opportunity of working with these two business leaders who are both advocates of helping micro and small entrepreneurs.

Tessie, despite her huge responsibilities in SM Group, has been supportive of the direction and vision of ASEAN BAC Philippines since she has been a council member much longer than myself. She participated in meetings and shared her thoughts on how to move forward with our plans and programs. She has also been a long partner of Go Negosyo and its programs for inclusivity in agriculture, trade and services.

George, who is also the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, has been a long partner of Go Negosyo prior to being part of ASEAN BAC. PCCI has the largest contingent of mentors in Go Negosyo and Department of Trade and Industry’s Mentor Me Program. Some of their members are also mentors in our Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program with Department of Agriculture. George is a good leader and understands why and how we should help our MSMEs.

Their commitment goes beyond their roles as ASEAN BAC members, they are both dedicated to help pursue growth for our MSMEs.

The efforts and contributions of Tessie and George greatly helped ASEAN BAC in its endeavor to pursue a clear roadmap towards prosperity in the region. They made the Philippine chairmanship successful and gave me the great leeway of executing the vision of shared prosperity.

We also would like to thank Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano, Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez, Communications Sec. Martin Andanar, DFA Asec. Hellen De La Vega, DTI Asec. Anne Robeniol, ASEAN National Organizing Committee (NOC) Director General Amb. Jun Paynor, ASEAN NOC Deputy Director General Aracelli Villanueva,
DFA Usec. Dondi Teehankee, Socials Secretary Annalyn Tolentino among others for their assistance in all our programs throughout the year.

We would like express our gratitude to Russia Ambassador Igor Khovaev, India Ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar, Korea Ambassador Kim Jae-shin, and Myanmar Ambassador Win Naing for their assistance in bringing their leaders to ABIS 2017. US Ambassador Sung Kim also made great efforts in trying to invite US President Donald Trump but due to his tight schedule, he was not able to attend.

All these people are partners for change and are committed to bring prosperity to the regional level. May their dedication inspire us all in our journey on inclusive growth.

ABIS 2017 panel, see rise of the ASEAN shared economy

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
Dr. Robert Yap (ASEAN BAC Chair Singapore), Mario Pezzini (OECD), and Robin Kwok (Airbnb Country Manager for Southeast Asia).

Dr. Robert Yap (ASEAN BAC Chair Singapore), Mario Pezzini (OECD), and Robin Kwok (Airbnb Country Manager for Southeast Asia).

MANILA: November 14, 2017 – The fourth forum of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017, “Shared Economy,” held on the final day of the summit, tackled the growing pervasiveness of shared economy in the region and the unprecedented disruptive innovations in the market.

Business leaders, policy makers and state leaders called for heightened collaboration to safeguard the benefits of this emerging business model in the world’s fourth largest internet market, the Southeast Asia.

The panelists are Dr. Robert Yap, Chair of ASEAN BAC Singapore and Executive Chairman of YCH Group (Singapore), Mr. Mario Pezzini, Director of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Centre (Italy), and Robin Kwok, Country Manager for South East Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan of Airbnb (Hong Kong/ Taiwan), moderated by Robert Yap Min Choy, ASEAN Business Advisory Council Singapore Member, Chairman of Fullerton Systems and Services and Chairman of Sunseap Group (Singapore).

 In photo (L-R): Dr. Robert Yap, Mario Pezzini, Robert Yap Min Choy (ASEAN BAC Singapore member/moderator), Robin Kwok, ASEAN BAC, Tessie Sy-Coson and Joey Concepcion.

In photo (L-R): Dr. Robert Yap, Mario Pezzini, Robert Yap Min Choy (ASEAN BAC Singapore member/moderator), Robin Kwok, ASEAN BAC, Tessie Sy-Coson and Joey Concepcion.

“86% of people who use Airbnb say they use it to live like a local, they want to be immersed with locals, they eat what the locals eat, and they want to see what the locals see,” Kwok said. She added that in terms of preparedness, entrepreneurs in her field should embrace the spur of innovation providing opportunities for innovative tourism projects.


“It is not a question whether we are ready. But a statement that  we need to be ready. Whether we want it or not, we need to be ready as the market is growing,” Kwok emphasized.

Dr. Yap stated that on whether ASEAN is ready for shared economy,  “We should level the playing field since other companies are doing big things. More happens if we compete and we will have more benefit.”

On risks that abound with the emergence of shared economy, Pezzini warned that “If it cannot reach expectations, it can create frustration and tension.”

Pezzini articulated that for MSMEs, this business  model can help facilitate entry of small scale investments to businesses despite the presence of tensions experienced in other countries.

“The sky’s the limit for millennials. There are incredible opportunities for new ideas. You know better what your preferences are,” Kwok encourages to spur new and young entrepreneurs to be in business. She urged entrepreneurs to get creative as growth is inevitable in the ushering in of shared economy.

ABIS  2017 is  the biggest and most prestigious business event in ASEAN  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.

Key to Prosperity for All: Inclusive Financing and Right Regulations

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017
Forum 3: Right Money + Open Markets = Prosperity for All. Robbie Antonio (Revolution Precrafted), Davis Foote (Zennya), Anthony Thomas (Mynt), Nazir Razak (WEF ASEAN Regional Business Council), Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN & East Asia, BSP Gov. Nestro Espeilla, Alexander Feldman (US-ASEAN Business Council) and Dato Timothy Ong (moderator).

Forum 3: Right Money + Open Markets = Prosperity for All. Robbie Antonio (Revolution Precrafted), Davis Foote (Zennya), Anthony Thomas (Mynt), Nazir Razak (WEF ASEAN Regional Business Council), Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN & East Asia, BSP Gov. Nestro Espeilla, Alexander Feldman (US-ASEAN Business Council) and Dato Timothy Ong (moderator).

MANILA: November 13, 2017 – The Right Money + Open Markets = Prosperity for All forum of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit highlighted the necessity of better access to inclusive financing, importance of resilience, and right regulative frameworks for the growth of MSMEs in light on the promises of digital revolution and without disregarding the human aspect.

The panelists for the Money segment were Gov. Nestor Espenilla, Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippines), Razak, Inaugural Chair of the World Economic Forum (WEF) ASEAN Regional Business Council (Malaysia), Anthony Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Mynt (Philippines). For the Markets aspect, the panelists were Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Senior Policy Fellow of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (Malaysia), Alexander Feldman, President and CEO of US-ASEAN Business Council (USA), Robbie Antonio, CEO of Revolution Precrafted (Philippines), David Foote, Founder and CEO, Zennya (USA), moderated by Dato Timothy Ong, Chairman of Asia Inc. Forum (Brunei Darussalam).

Identifying the central challenges faced by various sectors in achieving financial inclusivity was the springboard of the discussion. It touched on  innovative and inclusive financing options and discussed the accessibility of these programs for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.

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For BSP Governor Espenilla, the lack of financial policy framework led to the prolonged inability in achieving financial inclusivity. In order to address the problem, he said, “We need to recognize that it is a multifaceted approach with a lot of collaboration between the government and the private sector. It is not just access to credit but increasing capacity of MSMEs. We need to collaborate within and outside the government to facilitate this.”

Dato Razak suggested that the way banks are built play a role in ensuring inclusivity, emphasizing the need to change the value systems in business since the old framework of mere competition should shift towards  the new framework of compassion.

For Thomas, “The central challenge [in the fintech industry] is having cost-efficient model for banks to really serve MSMEs and individuals below the economic threshold.”

In order to move toward financial inclusion, Tan Sri Sta. Maria emphasized that other aspects should not be left out but rather they should be done parallel with such efforts such as facilitating logistics and e-commerce.

The emergence of data as a key currency is one of the considerations in understanding how the ASEAN will par in the digital economy. Seen as one of the opportunities for financial inclusion, Feldman tackled how the digital economy is a game changer that allows MSMEs bring themselves to the economic ladder.

The panelists were also asked to do a sample pitch to ASEAN policy-makers. Antonio said that for him, “In the equity side, there is a need to create a more robust ecosystem of capital firms alongside other side other Southeast Asian nations. Availability of capital will help creative entrepreneurs who were not able to have a chance.” He expounded that when faced with funding constraints, micro entrepreneurs should learn how to be resourceful.

“Help encourage investments, through subsidies in the form of innovation thereby raising the bar on technology,” Foote answered suggesting that ASEAN has to keep in mind: Innovation and Competition.

ABIS  2017 is  the biggest and most prestigious business event in ASEAN 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.

The Biggest ASEAN Business and Investment Summit Ever Mounted

Monday, November 20th, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion together with the 143 ASEAN Mentors who pledged their commitment to the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network.

President Rodrigo Duterte and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion together with the 143 ASEAN Mentors who pledged their commitment to the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network.

Planning and organizing the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit was a taxing yet one of the best experiences in my life. The grueling months of hard work all paid off as we all welcome the delegates on our first day last November 12, 2017.

We started inviting all the state leaders in the first quarter of the year and all these months of coordination with their embassies made it possible for five out of 18 state leaders to attend. Even the attendance of business leaders and entrepreneurship advocates made the ABIS 2017 truly an insightful conference.

All these would have not been possible without the support of Tessie Sy-Coson, George Barcelon, and all the members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. I also would like to thank the Go Negosyo advocates who have been with us since 2005, members of the government, our mentors, and of course, my family.

Here are some photos I wish to share with you.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion launched the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network which will create the largest pool of mentors across the region to better guide micro and small entrepreneurs.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion launched the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network which will create the largest pool of mentors across the region to better guide micro and small entrepreneurs.

 

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion shared a chat with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion shared a chat with President Rodrigo Duterte.

 

Myanmar’s icon of democracy Aung San Suu Kyi together with ASEAN Business Advisory Council Member Teresita Sy-Coson.

Myanmar’s icon of democracy Aung San Suu Kyi together with ASEAN Business Advisory Council Member Teresita Sy-Coson.

 

ASEAN BAC Chairpersons welcomed Her Excellency Aung San Suu Kyi to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017.

ASEAN BAC Chairpersons welcomed Her Excellency Aung San Suu Kyi to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017.

 

143 ASEAN Mentors are all ready to mentor micro and small entrepreneurs in order for them to scale up not just in their respective countries but also across the region.

143 ASEAN Mentors are all ready to mentor micro and small entrepreneurs in order for them to scale up not just in their respective countries but also across the region.

 

World Economic Forum Chairman Nazir Razak and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla.

World Economic Forum Chairman Nazir Razak and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla.

 

ASEAN BAC Philippines’ members Joey Concepcion, George Barcelon and Teresita Sy-Coson.

ASEAN BAC Philippines’ members Joey Concepcion, George Barcelon and Teresita Sy-Coson.

 

Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Union Minister Aung San Suu Kyi discussed women empowerment and human capital development.

Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Union Minister Aung San Suu Kyi discussed women empowerment and human capital development.

 

Her Excellency Aung San Suu Kyi together with ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion.

Her Excellency Aung San Suu Kyi together with ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion.

 

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion encouraged everyone to embrace inclusivity.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion encouraged everyone to embrace inclusivity.

 

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepion, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and wife, Malou Lopez, and ASEAN BAC member George Barcelon.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepion, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and wife, Malou Lopez, and ASEAN BAC member George Barcelon.

 

President Duterte expressed his support to the micro and small entrepreneurs by adding budget to the MSME development.

President Duterte expressed his support to the micro and small entrepreneurs by adding budget to the MSME development.

 

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion being interviewed by the media prior to the program.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion being interviewed by the media prior to the program.

 

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion with India Ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion with India Ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar.

 

Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was welcomed by ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion.

Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was welcomed by ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion.

 

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corporation joined the panel on infrastructure development.

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corporation joined the panel on infrastructure development.

 

Maria Ressa of Rappler and Enrique Razon of International Container Terminal Services Inc.

Maria Ressa of Rappler and Enrique Razon of International Container Terminal Services Inc.

 

His Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India.

His Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India.

 

 His Excellency President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of South Korea.

His Excellency President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of South Korea.

 

 Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo together with former Trade Secretary Jose Concepcion Jr., and wife, Marivic.

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo together with former Trade Secretary Jose Concepcion Jr., and wife, Marivic.

 

Vice President Leni Robredo closed the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit with a message on poverty alleviation.

Vice President Leni Robredo closed the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit with a message on poverty alleviation.

Unleashing Women Economic Power and Human Capital Development

Monday, November 20th, 2017
In photo (L-R): Chloe Cho (moderator), Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo (Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. Philippines), Dr. Shamshad Akhtar (United Nations), Teresita Sy-Coson (ASEAN BAC Philippines & SM Investments Corp.), Datuk (Dr.) Hafsah Hashim (SME Corporation) and Sirina Sisombat-Hervy (Sinouk Coffee).

In photo (L-R): Chloe Cho (moderator), Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo (Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. Philippines), Dr. Shamshad Akhtar (United Nations), Teresita Sy-Coson (ASEAN BAC Philippines & SM Investments Corp.), Datuk (Dr.) Hafsah Hashim (SME Corporation) and Sirina Sisombat-Hervy (Sinouk Coffee).

Manila: November 13, 2017 – The second forum during the second day of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 entitled “Unleashing Women Economic Power and Human Capital Development” revolved around identifying the important role of women in ASEAN, addressing gender disparity and promoting women empowerment. It also brought to light the remarkable success of women from various industries across the region.

The panelists were Teresita Sy-Coson, Council Member of the ASEAN BAC and Vice Chair of SM Investments (Philippines), Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and the 10th Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific/ UNESCAP (Pakistan), Datuk (Dr.) Hafsah Hashim, Chief Executive Officer of SME Corporation (Malaysia), Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (Philippines) and Sirina Sisombat-Hervy of Sinouk Coffee (Lao). The panel was moderated by Chloe Cho, presenter and Executive Producer of Channel News Asia (Singapore).

Significant to the success of the ASEAN today is the participation of women in the business industry. Dr. Shamshad Akhtar of UNESCAP and United Nations, pointed out the exceptional position of women in the region, “Outstanding relative to the other countries is that the number of women in business is close to 60 million. This is quite impressive. Definitely high compared to the other countries,” she said.

Forum 2 panelists with ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion.

Forum 2 panelists with ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion.

On strategies employed to promote women empowerment, Datuk (Dr.) Hafsah Hashim of SME Corporation shared that there are several programs by the Malaysian government geared toward women, such as the PEAK program which stands for Performance, Empowerment, Acceleration, and Knowledge. This is  done through the Malaysian Women Innovation Academy. “The idea is to make a leadership powerhouse for innovation,” she said. In addition, a 12 months tax rebate is given to women who are trying to get back to the workforce. All these are in collaboration with the Malaysian government, in line with its goal to make 2018 the year of empowerment for women.

Although there remain existing challenges on gender inequality, ASEAN women continue to be resilient. The panel tackled the ways in addressing crises in business and life in general. “Crisis will always come, but it’s a matter of how you look at life,” said Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments.

The women in the panel also gave emphasis on the vital role of education in achieving gender equality. “The number one thing that women can have is education. Being educated is important in order to shatter perceived or wrong perceptions on women.” said Ma. Fe-Agudo of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.

To bring an end to the discussion, Sirina Sisombat Hervy of Sinuok Coffee highlighted the importance of investing in human capital development, “Our focus is truly betting on our people. Our people meaning – the young and women, we are supporting them by giving them access to education while they are working with us too.” Hervy believes that true empowerment can be achieved by focusing on the development of human capital.

ASEAN business and policy leaders, urge to boost infrastructure development

Monday, November 20th, 2017
Forum 1: ASEAN Build, Build, Build (Infrastructure Development): Building for the Future. In photo (L-R): Tony Fernandes (AirAsia), Diwakar Gupta (Asian Development Bank), Thomas Hardy (U.S. Trade and Development Agency / USTDA), Maria Ressa of Ralppler (moderator), Enriue Razon (ICTSI), Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Corporation) and Shinya Ejima (Japan International Cooperation Agency).

Forum 1: ASEAN Build, Build, Build (Infrastructure Development): Building for the Future. In photo (L-R): Tony Fernandes (AirAsia), Diwakar Gupta (Asian Development Bank), Thomas Hardy (U.S. Trade and Development Agency / USTDA), Maria Ressa of Ralppler (moderator), Enriue Razon (ICTSI), Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Corporation) and Shinya Ejima (Japan International Cooperation Agency).

MANILA: November 13, 2017 – The first forum of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017, entitled “ASEAN Build, Build, Build (Infrastructure Development): Building for the Future” focused on the creation of a more connected region by strengthening infrastructure capacities of each country and mechanisms that embody inclusive growth.

The panelists were Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, CEO of Ayala Corporation (Philippines), Dr. Shinya Ejima, Senior Vice-President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (Japan), Diwakar Gupta, Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank (India), Enrique Razon, Chairman and CEO of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (Philippines), Tony Fernandes, Group CEO, AirAsia (Malaysia), and moderated by Maria Ressa, Founder and CEO of Rappler (Philippines).

The forum is anchored on the ASEAN Master Plan that envisions an integrated ASEAN, through an enhanced physical infrastructure development or physical connectivity, by effective institutional arrangements or institutional connectivity and via empowered people or people-to-people connectivity.

To be able to respond to the demands in the market, policy and business leaders call for the need to increase capacities of governments through strong infrastructure development policies across the region.

“Some governments have been more proactive. Those that are accessible and willing to listen have made the most progress. What makes [ASEAN] great is that there is competition. When one country goes ahead, the other wants to improve as well.” Tony Fernandes, Airasia Group CEO said. Fernandes encouraged that more private investment should be funneled into infrastructure and emphasized the importance of the public sector in the drive towards success.

In discussing how ASEAN countries can move forward, Dr. Ejima pointed out that since all the ASEAN countries have been democratized and share a common value, the fair and transparent decision making system can be easily achieved by all.

“You need to increase your capacity if you want to grow. The trickle down sustainability is about having the ability to accommodate all the economic activities.” Enrique Razon, Chairman and CEO of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (Philippines) stressed.

As the roadmap towards prosperity is not without challenges, Zobel de Ayala underscored that, “The financing needs are tremendous. In the end, we need to get a serious private sector and have a global set of standards to live by. While our country is still low in the FDI list, the potential is definitely there. One the basic moves is to regularize the rules. It needs cooperation from all of us.”

In the application of an effective development framework, Gupta said that, “Level playing fields should be created. If not, there are going to be issues. There should be proper control. It’s about a level playing field, ownership is not important. Governments should be there to provide the superstructure.”

“At the end of the day, PPP, goes back to having transparency and a commitment to both sides.” Thomas Hardy, Acting Director of U.S. Trade and Development Agency said.

ABIS 2017 is  the biggest and most prestigious business event in ASEAN presented by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council bringing attention to the business, investment opportunities, global issues, and key strategic directions that impact on business opportunities for ASEAN member nations today.