Archive for the ‘ASEAN’ Category

DFA Letter of Support for AMEN

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

LOOK: The Department of Foreign Affairs lauded ASEAN BAC’s contributions to the success of the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN this year and encouraged ASEAN BAC to sustain the legacy project AMEN as a continuing platform to suport our MSMEs. #ASEAN2017

 

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duterte Launches AMEN and Commits to Increase Supports for MSMEs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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