Archive for the ‘ASEAN’ Category

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.

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).

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

DTI Supports Women in Tech Meet in Manila

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) will bring together women from ASEAN member states for a conference focused on Technology and Innovation. Photo courtesy of DTI Facebook page.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) will bring together women from ASEAN member states for a conference focused on Technology and Innovation. Photo courtesy of DTI Facebook page.

In line with the celebrations for the International Women’s Month in March, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) will bring together women from ASEAN member states for a conference focused on Technology and Innovation.  The Steering Committee is composed of representatives from the DTI, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WomenBizPH) in coordination with the ASEAN National Organizing Council (NOC).

As part of the ASEAN Business and Investment Program led by DTI, the event tagged as S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology will be held on 16-17 March at the Microtel by Wyndham at the Mall of Asia in Manila. Delegates and speakers from the various ASEAN countries with representatives from Google and UPS are expected to be at the two-day event to give women more ideas about opportunities in careers centered on Technology and Innovation.

Studies have proven that women who pursue careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) are highly likely to earn 30% more income than in non-STEAM careers.

DTI, as a prime advocate of advancement of tech-driven businesses in the country, leads the conference as part of its SLINGSHOT program that aims to help the growth and development of the startup community in the Philippines.

ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) is a working group in ASEAN composed of women entrepreneurs and associations working to promote women’s economic empowerment in the region. The Philippines currently chairs AWEN which has a network of almost a hundred organizations in the 10 ASEAN member states.

USAID-ACTI, the co-sponsor of the Conference, supports AWEN’s policy advocacy plans to empower women through business and enterprise and to improve access to finance and markets. It also organized the network of women in 2014 and sees through its projects for sustainable action plans for regional integration through technology.

AWEN was first chaired by Vietnam until May 2016 when the leadership was turned over to the Philippines for the period 2016-2018. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and Philippines as the host country. ASEAN-BAC headed by Philippines Chair Joey Concepcion,  supports AWEN in all its activities in line with its private sector engagement.

Interested parties wanting to attend the two-day conference may log on to www.womenbiz.ph or www.dti.gov.ph.

ASEAN Business Awards: An Overview

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

ABA 2017 Web Photo v2
The ASEAN Business Awards is fast approaching and to give an overview of what the awards are all about, we’ve prepared a primer encompassing the background and objectives.

1. Background

Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council 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.

ABA was conceived to be the first of its kind in the region, with the dual objectives of recognizing outstanding ASEAN enterprises, and to serve as a platform to spread information concerning the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). In addition, ABA also brings to the spotlight promising ASEAN small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential of becoming global economic players.

A dedicated Working Group of ‘National Gateways’ consisting of ten ASEAN-BAC Members (one representative from each Member State) forms the foundation of ABA.  The roles of the National Gateways are to promote the event in their respective countries, as well as to select ‘National Judges’ who will be responsible in selecting the recipients of ABA.

Since it was first launched in 2007, ABA has recognised more than 100 companies throughout the region that excel in the categories of: Growth, Employment, Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In 2015, however, ASEAN-BAC expanded the categories of ABA to include the Priority Integration Sectors (PIS) of ASEAN element, as well as recognising outstanding young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs.

To ensure the high-quality and independency of such a prestigious event, ASEAN-BAC engages a Strategic Partner each year to administer the implementation of the ABA Framework; short listing nominations of companies; administering the Judges Meeting and assist in promoting the event throughout the ASEAN region.  This Terms of Reference (ToR) aims to briefly highlight the event’s objectives, categories and criteria, and tentative plan in carrying out ABA 2017.


2. Objectives

Aside from recognising outstanding ASEAN enterprises, ABA also has the objectives of serving as a platform to disseminate AEC-related information, as well as to bring to the spotlight SMEs that have the potential of becoming global economic players in their respective industries.


3. Categories

A. ASEAN 12 PRIORITY INTEGRATION SECTORS
Outstanding performance and presence in the ASEAN Economic Community Priority Integration Sectors. Includes the recognition of integration and connectivity between ASEAN businesses owned and operated by the applicant. Submissions should demonstrate exemplary track records in Growth, Employment, Innovation and CSR.
1. Fisheries
2.Electronic
3. E-ASEAN/ICT
4. Textiles
5. Logistics
6. Wood-Based
7. Rubber
8. Agri-Food
9. Healthcare
10. Tourism
11. Automotive
12. Retail

B. SPECIAL AWARDS

  1. Inclusive Business – Outstanding business models that sustainably create social impact through the company’s core business operations. Nominated business models should demonstrate financial viability, positive impact on poor and low-income people and communities, innovation within the value chain, and scale and replicability of the business model to alleviate the poverty and inclusion problem.
  1. Friends of ASEAN  A non-ASEAN owned enterprise that demonstrates a continuous and increased commitment in growing its presence within ASEAN

C. 2017 SMEs EXCELLENCE AWARD 

  1. Young Entrepreneur – Outstanding business owner below the age of 45 who have demonstrated significant success through leadership, market positioning and company performance. 
  1. Women – Female business owner who have demonstrated significant success through leadership, market positioning and company performance. 
  2. SMEs in 4 Categories
    – Growth
     – Have achieved outstanding commercial success and sustainable growth will be honoured with this award. Submissions should demonstrate initiative and a willingness to undertake bold new ventures and include evidence of sustainable growth and commercial success to levels that are outstanding for the size of the applicant’s operations. 

    – CSR  Demonstrate a high standard of commitment in the way they organise and integrate their responsible business practices will receive this prestigious endorsement. Submissions should provide evidence of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy that integrates responsible business practice into their mainstream operations resulting in a positive impact in the workplace, the marketplace, the environment or the community. 

    – Employment – Demonstrate the provision of a stimulating and supportive workplace. Qualifiers of this award are required to demonstrate how its people development strategies have created a committed, motivated and effective workforce. 

    – Innovation – Demonstrate a proven ability to create, nurture and develop new products or services. Qualifiers of this award are required to demonstrate how they have differentiated themselves from others in their industry. Achievements can include, but are not limited to the invention, design, production, performance, marketing and distribution of their product or service. 


4PROCEDURE FOR NOMINATIONS / SELECTIONS FOR ABA 2017

The nominations or selections for ABA 2017 can be made via one the following channels:

* Automatic nominations from national level ABAs;
* Application through national gateways; and
* Online applications, either through the website of ABIS or ASEAN-BAC

With regard to application to be made through national gateways, auditors in respective countries are expected to work with national gateways in determining the nominations or selections for ABA. In terms of online applications, appointed auditors’ office in Philippines will take the coordinating role to vet online applications. Auditors are also expected to formulate simple application process, preferably based on the standard of evaluation already accepted in ASEAN.


ASEAN BAC Sponsors

Manila Hosts ASEAN-EU Business Summit 2017

Friday, February 24th, 2017

The Philippines is all set to host the upcoming 2017 ASEAN-EU Business Summit happening on March 10 at The Conrad Manila in Pasay City. This is the country’s first big business event following its appointment to the ASEAN Chairmanship in September of last year. The fifth staging of the ASEAN-EU Business Summit coincides with the momentous occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 40th Anniversary of the ASEAN-EU relations. 2017 also serves as a banner year thanks to the on-going negotiations for EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

asean eu presscon

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion during the ASEAN EU press conference.

This year’s Business Summit aims to establish an even stronger relationship between the European Union and ASEAN, as well as strengthen the existing trade partnerships between the Philippines and the European Union. Since its inception in Indonesia in 2011, the Business Summit has become a formidable platform for business leaders, thought-leaders and policy makers to interact and discuss the key business and trade issues between the two regions. At the forefront of this year’s ASEAN-EU Business Summit is a distinguished panel of notable names, led by EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen, BSP Governor Amando Tentangco Jr. and several other ASEAN Trade Ministers, together with some of the notable names in business, trade and government from around the ASEAN region. The Summit will consist of a number of panel discussions focused on diverse topics such as finance in ASEAN, sustainable economic development and boosting regional trade

Topics that will be discussed during the summit include Financing the ASEAN’s prosperity: Sustaining economic development and protecting it; Developing a world class automotive industry in the ASEAN and enhancing road safety; CSR and role of business in achieving sustainable development; Making the ASEAN more competitive – tackling NTBs and boosting regional trade; and The AEC – How can governments and businesses work together in bringing economic prosperity to all. The 2017 ASEAN- EU Business Summit is jointly organized by the EU-ASEAN Business Council, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), with the support of the EU-Philippines Business Network and co-funding from the European Union.

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen.

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen.

The summit is expected to gather over 200 attendees representing EU and ASEAN countries, local and regional heads of multinational corporations and businesses and NGOs for the Summit. Speaking at the public launch of the Summit, the EU-ASEAN Business Council Executive Director, Chris Humphrey, said: “The EU remains the number one source of FDI to ASEAN and the region’s second largest trading partner. As a result, this Summit takes on added significance as a platform for the exchange of ideas on how to further deepen and extend the trading and investment relationship between these two complimentary regions.”

Florian Gottein, the Executive Director of ECCP, added: “2017 is an important and key year both for EU-ASEAN relations and EU-Philippine relations. We expect good progress to be made on the FTA this year, being the 40th Anniversary of EU-ASEAN dialogues. Progressing on FTAs between the EU and the ASEAN region will be key to expanding trade and investment.”

Meanwhile EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said: “This is an important anniversary year for the EU and ASEAN. The strength of our institutions is sometimes taken for granted: The EU is the world’s largest economy and trading partner and we benefit a great deal from our trade. But we also realize that trade is more than that, it is also a vehicle for promoting values: We can shape globalization, rather than merely submitting to it, or letting others shape it for us. This Summit is an example of EU-ASEAN partnership and leadership in the world.”

Joey Concepcion, Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council also adds: “As we celebrate a milestone year for ASEAN, the ASEAN-EU Summit will be a good platform to discuss and share the progressive business and investment relationship of ASEAN & EU regions. Moving forward, the program can serve as an opportunity to further widen and deepen our economic engagement with the EU community. This year’s Business Summit is also kindly supported by PRU Life UK, JTI, Swift Financial Messaging Services, Bosch, DHL and Invest KL Malaysia.