Archive for the ‘KAPATID: Angat Lahat’ Category

Addressing Money Concerns for MSMEs

Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Tessie Sy-Coson, Joey Concepcion, Justo Ortiz, and Atty. Benedicta Baladad.

Tessie Sy-Coson, Joey Concepcion, Justo Ortiz, and Atty. Benedicta Baladad.

Last time, I shared about the keen interest of the private sector to contribute to the infrastructure development in the country through a stronger partnership with the government.  These infrastructure projects or Build Build Build programs will better link micro and small entrepreneurs to wider markets. This time, we are also bridging money gap and financial issues for our micro and small entrepreneurs.

Over a casual breakfast meeting, I invited the main stakeholders of the financial sector in the Philippines to discuss inclusive money for Filipinos.

The meeting was joined by Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. and Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), Josephine Romero (ASEAN BAC Philippines and Magpie), Teresita Sy-Coson (ASEAN BAC Philippines and BDO), Benjamin Castillo and Abraham Co (Bankers Association of the Philippines), Atty. Benedicta Baladad (Financial Executives of the Philippines), Justo Ortiz (Union Bank of the Philippines), Orlando Vea (Voyager Innovations), Fr. Jovic Lobrigo (Microfinance Council of the Philippines), Ernest Cu (Globe Telecom), Raj Uttamchandadni (Esquire Financing Coporation), Jaime Garchitorena (Credit information Corporation) and Ronnie Tan Tai Ngee (Silverlake Gax Holding Sdn Bhd).

As the Chair of ASEAN BAC, main convenor of public and private partnership, I was honored to sit with these passionate and dedicated men and women who are all eager to help in making future-ready enterprises.

This breakfast meeting was hosted for ASEAN BAC Malaysia Chair Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid who brought Malaysia’s ABA 2017 Legacy Awardee Mr. Goh Peng Ooi of Silverlake Axis.

Goh Peng Ooi and Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid.

Goh Peng Ooi and Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid.

Grounded on mathematical models, Silverlake Axis creates technologies to enable the Digital Economy since 1989. The company has built an impeccable track record of successful core banking implementations. True to its success in refining, expanding, and inventing technologies in the region, Silverlake Axis was listed on Singapore’s Stock Exchange (SGX) SESDAQ in 2003 and moved up to SGX Mainboard in 2011. Today, over 40% of the top 20 largest banks in South-East Asia run Silverlake Axis’ core banking solution. Silverlake Axis is the core system platform partner of choice for 3 of the 5 largest ASEAN super regional financial institutions.

We arrived at a conclusion that way forward is inclusive lending, inclusive access to finance and INCLUSIVE MONEY.

Right after, I spoke at the Angat Buhay, a poverty alleviation platform launched by Vice President Leni Robredo. Similar to the Go Negosyo’s Kapatid Angat Lahat, the program Angat Buhay seeks to uplift the lives of many micro and small entrepreneurs. Our advocacy work in Go Negosyo was strengthened even more with the support of Senator Bam Aquino when the Go Negosyo Act was legislated.

Vice President Leni Robredo with ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion.

Vice President Leni Robredo with ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion.

Our quest for poverty alleviation and creating prosperity for all brings me to the 3Ms or the Mentorship, Money, and Market.

Like what I have mentioned in all my previous articles and speaking engagements, Mentorship is a powerful tool in helping micro and small entrepreneurs move up from survival to sustainability.

The Kapatid Mentor Me that we have been doing has now 1700 mentees and close to 450 mentors engaging with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture.

We are also formally launching AMEN or the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network on November, which will be the biggest network of mentors from all the 10 ASEAN countries. We want to share AMEN to all ASEAN countries to tap their mentors who can help us in areas like technology, agriculture, and logistics.

Helping MSMEs get access to that market is important that is why we are eager to be part of the infrastructure development programs of the country. But apart from these bridges, airports, and ports, the future market is going be the digital economy.

We will also push for new platforms like e-commerce. The success of mobile applications such as Uber, Grab, and many other platforms for people to market themselves directly to the consumer will change the game in the future.

As a game changer that can help the poor entrepreneurs, we must also learn how the digital economy thrives. At first it looks like a threat to many who are in the brick and mortar business, supermarkets or department stores, but it is an opportunity for many micro and small entrepreneurs to have a chance to be the next millionaire or multi billionaire.

This time we are focusing on Money. Our MSMEs still face a big challenge when it comes to financing. That is why it is important to address this situation for the growth of our micro and small entrepreneurs. We are glad to hear Goh Peng Ooi’s insights on how we can help finance the micro and small entrepreneurs.

We shall update you with the progress of these 3Ms. We are zealously working on creating programs that will bring prosperity not just to the large corporations but most importantly to our MSMEs.

Given that the bottom of the pyramid is huge, it’s about time that we all come together, regardless of political affiliation. The quest of fighting poverty is not won whether you are yellow, blue, or red. It is just about being a Filipino who is compassionate about the future. The programs that we need to achieve will be enormous because it will not be a quick fix. But any of us are already part of the enabling community. Each is key in the initiative towards prosperity for all.

The Legacy of Mr. Wash

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017
PA Joey Concepcion with Mr. Washington Sycip during Go Negosyo's book launch last 2016.

PA Joey Concepcion with Mr. Washington Sycip during Go Negosyo’s book launch last 2016.

This week we are saddened by the news that the great Washington Sycip who co-founded SGV & Co., one of the top auditing and accounting firms in Asia has died quietly while on his flight to Vancouver.

Born in Manila on June 30, 1921, to Albino and Helen SyCip, Wash Sycip is one of the inspiring Go Negosyo entrepreneurs that we look up to today.

While he simply thinks of himself as a humble bookkeeper, Wash is a man of astounding accomplishments even from the beginning. He passed the licensure examination for Certified Public Accountants at the age of 18. As he was too young to get the professional license and practice as a CPA in the Philippines, he went to the United State and earned a PhD at the Columbia University. While he was working on his doctoral dissertation, the Pearl Harbor and Clark Air Base were bombed prompting him to go back to his family in Manila at the war’s end.

The promising opportunities during the nation’s postwar reconstruction encouraged Wash to set up his own accounting firm, W. SyCip & Co., in Binondo. With the growth of his first venture, SyCip along with his longtime friend Alfredo M. Velayo, renamed the firm to SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV).

Wash is also a known advocate for the improvement of public education, micro finance and entrepreneurship, and public health in the Philippines. He has a strong belief in the Filipino talent and he hopes to alleviate poverty in the country through various initiatives.

After his retirement from SGV in 1996, he sought to be active in both his business and civic endeavors. Among his last involvements was the Zero Dropout Program, an initiative funded by SyCip’s WS Family Foundation and implemented by social development institution CARD MRI.

Since 2011, the initiative provides parents an opportunity to access quality education for their children through an education loan program. It enables parents to secure a loan from P1,000 to P3,000, payable in three to six months, in order to augment their means for the school expenses of their children. Its low interest allows parents ensure that their sons and daughters will be able to finish their studies.

With his fervent desire to address poverty in the country by eradicating illiteracy, the Zero Dropout Program is designed to be reliable educational loan program that unlocks educational opportunities normally unavailable to the financially disadvantaged. The project banks on improving the ability of children to read and write thereby increasing their chances of coping in a competitive world.

In our recent interview with Wash for the Go Negosyo’s inspiring entrepreneurs book, he said, “While the Philippines enjoys strong economic growth, many Filipinos still suffer from immense poverty. It is our duty to help them surpass this struggle with the tools provided by education so that they may experience new opportunities in our rapidly-changing country.”

Go Negosyo deeply mourns the passing of an icon, mentor leader, and advocate of entrepreneurship in the country. Go Negosyo is honored to have Wash in its past events, as he had been very supportive of the Go Negosyo’s mission of uplifting lives through entrepreneurship. His story of triumphs and challenges was even featured in one of Go Negosyo’s books.

Whenever he attends our events, he always has this warm smile for everyone. In fact, less than a month ago, he attended the successful ASEAN Business Awards in Solaire. With no trace of any illnesses, he graced the event and was a magnet to other entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs would often take photos with him which he will gladly oblige to.

I remember during our book launch for the inspiring women entrepreneurs in 2016, he was about to leave when we asked him of his simple wish for the country, he said, “By the end of another six years, when the new president comes in, half of the Senate, half of the House will be women!”

As one of the foremost practitioners of accounting in the Philippines and Asia, we are certain that his inspiring entrepreneurial journey and passion will forever be remembered and his legacy will remain in our hearts and minds.

Build Build Build for our Country’s Prosperity

Thursday, October 5th, 2017
Among the members of the private sector who attended are Michael Tan, Lucio Tan, Manny Pangilinan, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, PA Joey Concepcion, Enrique Razon, James Go, Alfred Ty and George Barcelon.

Among the members of the private sector who attended are Michael Tan, Lucio Tan, Manny Pangilinan, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, PA Joey Concepcion, Enrique Razon, James Go, Alfred Ty and George Barcelon.

In establishing inclusive growth in the country, it is vital to foster excellent relations with stakeholders who will work together to create programs to achieve the common goal. Good thing to have a government that is eager to deliver results to its constituents.

Recently, I and the Department of Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez presided over a meeting between the presidential economic team and members of the private sector to discuss programs where the private sector can contribute and collaborate with the government.

The meeting was attended by Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Department of Budget Management Secretary Ben Diokno, National Economic Development Authority Secretary Ernie Pernia, Department of Public Works and Highway Secretary Mark Villar and Bases Conversion and Development Authority President Vince Dizon.

BCDA President Vince Dizon, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, DOF Secretary Sonny Dominguez, DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and DPWH Sec. Mark Villar.

BCDA President Vince Dizon, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, DOF Secretary Sonny Dominguez, DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and DPWH Sec. Mark Villar.

Joining me from the private sector are Edgar Saavedra (Megawide Construction), Josephine Yap (Filinvest Land), Manny Pangilinan (Metro Pacific Investments Corp.), Tessie Coson (SM Investment Corp.), Sabin Aboitiz (Aboitiz Equity Ventures), Ricky Delgado (Citadel Holdings), Ricky Razon (International Container Terminal Services), Michael Tan (LT Group), Alfred Ty (GT Holdings), Jaime Augusto Zobel (Ayala Corp.), George Barcelon (ASEAN BAC Philippines and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), James Go (JG Summit Holdings, Inc.), Lito Alvarez (Philippine Airlines), and Leo Virata (CLSA Exchange Capital Inc.).

The meeting was a venue for key cabinet members who oversee the administration’s economic and infrastructure development agenda to listen to the business conglomerates’ position in supporting and cooperating with the government’s Build, Build, Build program. It is also the Filipino businessmen’s venue to learn in finer detail about the government’s direction – on whether the government is open to private sector collaboration in order to accelerate the execution of its infrastructure program.

The Build, Build, Build projects will then create jobs, spur economic growth and attract foreign investors. It created the Philippine infrastructure portal ( that lists high impact projects envisioned to increase economic productivity, create jobs, increase incomes, and strengthen investment climate which could lead to sustained inclusive growth. It serves as the government’s tool for project monitoring and tracking.

With Build, Build, Build, the public has access to relevant information about public spending on infrastructure projects. It provides information on the status of each project such as the development, procurement, and implementations of Public-Private Partnerships.

It is worth noting that since President Duterte’s government took over 18 months ago, they have been fast moving on the projects that will strengthen the connectivity of the country. In this series of coordination, my role is to hasten the partnership and collaboration of the private sector and the government.

I am honored to be part of both sectors, in the private sector and in the public sector with my role as the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship. I intend to bridge the gaps between the two sectors.

I have been advocating for the 3Ms which we believe will help an entrepreneur succeed. These 3Ms are Mentorship, Money, and Market. The role of the Build Build Build is connectivity which links entrepreneurs to its markets. Access to market is vital to the growth of micro entrepreneurs. Roads, bridges and ports which provide easier transportation of goods and services will support the economic and trade activities of MSMEs. And since the Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7000 islands, we can maximize these infrastructures to strengthen the tourism sector which many MSMEs are involved in.

One of the projects that the private sector would want to contribute to is the development and extensive improvement of airports in key cities outside of Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

The economic team encourages the private sector to develop the plans and present these so the team can integrate and streamline these into the administration’s development agenda.

Other infrastructure projects along the way are the building of ports, MRT connections, bridges, railways, expressways, power, and water utilities. The economic team acknowledges the interest of the private sector in helping the government’s goal of creating a better community.

As we promote prosperity for all, it is high time to create tools and systems such as hard structures that can pave the road of inclusive growth for all Filipinos.

Agriculture is a Game Changer

Thursday, September 28th, 2017
The ASEAN Agriculture Summit will be held on October 4, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center Manila.

The ASEAN Agriculture Summit will be held on October 4, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center Manila.

Back in April, when we held the first Prosperity for All Summit, one of the highlighted sectors is agriculture. As we all know, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, are some of the leading agriculture countries in the region.  But despite the unceasing development programs, there are a lot of things to be done to help strengthen the sector.

Next week, we are staging the ASEAN Agriculture Summit, an initiative to bring together agriculture stakeholders to craft an integrated framework for agripreneurship which can inspire and connect the entire ASEAN agriculture ecosystem. The goal is to connect all agri champions and share key strategies in creating a more sustainable environment for farmers and other agri players. We are pleased to have speakers who are experts in their fields and can contribute to the meaningful discussion on agriculture. I am sure that the Philippines and its farmers can learn a thing or two from the speakers.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion with China Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and ASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion with China Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and ASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales.

Just recently, I met with Chinese ambassador Zhao Jianhua to update him on the upcoming ASEAN Agriculture Summit happening next week, October 4, 2017 and the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit this November. The ambassador expressed his full support in both programs and will even provide renowned Chinese speakers for this agriculture summit. China produces 25% of the global food supply which means that they are not only self-sufficient but also a net food global provider. Young farmers are even using social media for directly marketing their produce. Ambassador Zhao congratulated us as this will be the first ever agriculture summit in ASEAN. The meeting lasted for two hours as I also explained our programs in helping MSMEs through the 3Ms – Money, Market and Mentorship.

Going back to the ASEAN Agriculture Summit, we are fortunate to have Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol to open the program. We are working closely with his office since launch of the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) which brought mentoring programs to farmers in different regions. This program is patterned after the Kapatid Mentor ME program that we are doing with the Department of Trade and Industry.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, Chairman of Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, will also be there to share her insights relating on agribusiness and food production.

Dr. Rolando Dy, the vice president of the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, will be discussing the state of competitiveness of the ASEAN agriculture. Since agriculture is one of the thriving sectors in the region, it is best to know how competitive are we in the world map.

Five fora will feature agriculture advocates.

A forum which will present case studies on successful land use models that support globally competitive agri enterprises and rural development will be discussed by two panels. The first panel will feature Dato’ Dzulfilki ADB Wahab, chairman of Felda Technoplant Sdn Bhd.; Henry Lim Bon Liong, CEO of SL Agritech Corporation; Dr. Hengky Novarianto, senior scientist of Indonesia Palm Crops Research Institute; Winston Uy, President of Universal Leaf; and will be moderated by Karen Davila. The second panel entitled Farm Consolidation as Rural Development Strategy will feature Saran Song, founder and CEO of Amru Rice; Alex Buenaventura, President and CEO of Landbank of the Philippines; and Pablito Sandoval, Board Director of Active Batangas Integrated Multipurpose Cooperative. The second panel will be moderated by Quintin Pastrana.

A forum on agri value chain and value-added agri extension services will be discussed by Ruth Novales of Nestle Philippines, Dr. Kamolrat Intaratat of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Dante Muyco Jr. of Cacao Industrial Development Association of Mindanao, Isabela Vice Mayor Roberto Agcaoili, and Clint Coo of Siam Organic Co., Ltd. Amor Maclang, CEO of Geiser Maclang will lead the discussion.

Oudet Souvannavong of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Business Council, Usec. Ariel Cayanan of Department of Agriculture, Cong. Arthur Yap, Gigi Gatti of Grameen Foundation USA, and Dante Delima of Agri-Tech Integrated Services Corporation will help identify the roles institutional and large scale agri enterprises in promoting agripreneurship.

Agritech incubators and accelerators such as Dr. Kiran Sharman of ICRISAT, Usec. Bernadette Puyat of Department of Agriculture, Joseph Calata of Krops Agri Mobile App, Dr. Dileepkumar Guntuku of Iowa State University, and Jos Van Der Knaap of Rjik Zwaan Seeds will discuss technology and innovation for the agriculture sector. Bettina Quimson, our adviser on ICT and Economic Affairs will help moderate the discussion.

Former agriculture secretary Dr. William Dar will then proceed to share what insights on what can we do to better improve the pathway for farmers.

I still believe that agriculture is a game changer. The goal is to empower all farmers and turn them into enterprising agri-preneurs. Through this ASEAN Agriculture Summit, we hope to create a stronger network and community for farmers, accelerators, innovators, and other agri-stakeholders.

Big Brother Knows

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion talked in the ASEAN Youth Carnival last September 5, 2017.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion talked in the ASEAN Youth Carnival last September 5, 2017.

ASEAN was created on the basis of having a shared prosperity among its 10-member countries. Today, 50 years after its foundation, the ultimate goal of ASEAN is to continuously bring inclusivity to all its citizens. I know that in our country, and perhaps in our neighboring countries as well, it is still a challenge to make citizens feel the growth and success that governments or large corporations are claiming. It is in this reason that we in ASEAN Business Advisory Council staunchly pursue prosperity for all.

While our government tries to negotiate the right tariffs to be able to compete to other countries, one has to be reminded that in these negotiations, everybody has to win. Not just one, two, or three nations. The macro structure must be well prepared in order for businesses to expand.

I was honored to share the mission of ASEAN BAC to all sectors including the women, youth, and inclusive business stakeholders.

Last August 31, I shared to the women entrepreneurs who attended the ASEAN Women Business Conference the reason as to why we are pushing for the 3Ms which we think will help all entrepreneurs, men or women, scale up.

First of the 3Ms is Mentorship. This is the most powerful tool in helping entrepreneurs especially the marginalized micro and small entrepreneurs move up from survival to sustainability. This is the reason why we are launching the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network which will be the biggest mentoring network in ASEAN. To date, the Philippines has around 450 registered mentors going around provinces and municipalities helping train micro and small entrepreneurs. We want this to be ASEAN-wide so that we can also tap mentors from other countries who can guide us in areas like agriculture, technology, and logistics.

Next is Money which is needed by all start-ups. The challenge for them today is the collaterals asked by finance institutions. We are trying to address this issue with the government and hopefully we can all make financing easier for the entrepreneurship community.

Lastly, Market. Micro and small entrepreneurs are burdened as to how they can tap the medium and large corporations. But with platforms like e-commerce, micro and small entrepreneurs can reach a wider market. The success of Uber, Grab, and other platforms shows that technology will indeed change the game in the future.

We are proud that all these are being supported by women entrepreneurs. Indeed, women play a very important role for the betterment of their community.

I was also asked to have a dialogue with Rommel Gerodias, President of the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Network, during the ASEAN Youth Carnival. It was a hip and modern conference discussing empowerment of the youth sector. It was great to see hundreds of young enterprising individuals actively participated this event.

Somehow, I felt that I need to impart the wisdom that I have learned in the past years. The wisdom comes from the numerous mistakes we have done in life and the lessons we acquired during the process. I have briefly shared my story to them.

At 19, I started my first business. This is because my father is an advocate of creating business. He was mentored by my grandfather and then, he mentored me. The power of mentorship is really immense. It does not stop. And it starts on the day that one is born and how he is raised by his parents.

I told the young entrepreneurs: “Earning a degree in college does not assure you of success. 80% of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country are not the brightest in their class.” Some did not even finish their studies. But because of their enterprising attitude, they made it to the top. But I am not telling them that they should stop studying. Instead, I encourage them to maximize their creativity and innovativeness.

I usually ask my 10-year old daughter whenever I have to learn things about mobile applications. How did she learn this? Nobody taught her. It’s a gift many young people today possess. Youth today are not afraid to experiment things. That is why the most creative ideas today come from the young people. Amazon, Uber, Grab, are all outputs of young and creative minds.

I advised all of the young entrepreneurs, do not be scared to fail. We are all given one big chance in life and when you fail to take that chance, you would have missed that one big opportunity. If you are scared to make a mistake, you will never succeed for you have never tried.

Inclusive business models are also important. That is why we are encouraging all medium and large entrepreneurs to include micro and small entrepreneurs in their supply chain. During the ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit, I shared that through inclusive business models, large corporations embrace inclusivity and creates a faster and greater magnitude for the smaller entrepreneurs. Large corporations are crucial in this models. Why? Because they will provide support, market and the mentorship. And again, mentorship is important for these micro and small entrepreneurs.

We are an ally of the government in pursuing prosperity for all. Our unification will enable an environment that will help entrepreneurs reach sustainability. Through these talks, like a big brother, I wish to impart our goal and encourage them to be part of the inclusive growth across the ASEAN region.

A Night to Remember

Thursday, September 14th, 2017
Jose Concepcion Jr., one of the founding members of ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines, was given a special recognition during the ASEAN Business Awards. President Duterte handed the specially-crafted trophy.

Jose Concepcion Jr., one of the founding members of ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines, was given a special recognition during the ASEAN Business Awards. President Duterte handed the specially-crafted trophy.

It has been a week since we successfully staged the biggest and grandest ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) since its inception in 2007. For the past 12 years, Go Negosyo has been doing its annual awards to recognize women, youth and other inspiring entrepreneurs because I always believe that these are the people we can draw inspiration from.

Many Filipinos, especially our millennials, are still not aware of what ASEAN is all about. Ambassador Delia Albert, former foreign affairs secretary who is still active in promoting ASEAN, laments over this during my discussion with her. I felt that under the Philippine chairmanship this year, the private sector needs to take that lead in creating awareness and presenting the importance of ASEAN. Considering the fact that it is President Duterte’s first and only international event that will be hosted by the country in the duration of his term since APEC was already hosted in 2016 under president Aquino. The next time we will host APEC will be after 20 years and the next time we will host ASEAN will be in 10 years.

The ABA gala night was so close to perfect. I told Sec. Mon Lopez that the events of DTI with ASEAN BAC as partner and the ASEAN Business Awards, which happened back-to-back, was just perfect in timing. I guess it was the many years of Sec. Mon working for the private sector and as Go Negosyo’s executive director that this partnership has blossomed to what it is today.

The economic ministers, Cabinet members, ambassadors, and the entire entrepreneurship community were awed at by the outcome of the ASEAN Business Awards. Even I was surprised to see the overflowing number of guests, which was close to 1000, and the carefully selected winners of each category. I was even more inspired to be seated beside Mr. John Gokongwei Jr. Talking to him was like receiving a precious mentorship that I will never forget.

And of course, President Duterte supported me all the way in bringing the private sector as a staunch partner of the government. With our teamwork, it will now lead to greater progress. The President was very happy that evening. So many have congratulated us for the success of the event. Sec. Martin Andanar even told me that this was the most impressive ASEAN event for the year. US Ambassador Sung Kim and the economic ministers were all inspired with what transpired during the gala night.

Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council chairman with President Duterte and Philippines’ Legacy Awardee John Gokongwei Jr.

Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council chairman with President Duterte and Philippines’ Legacy Awardee John Gokongwei Jr.

During my speech, I shared, “Tonight, we honor very inspiring entrepreneurs from different business sectors, many of which started very small. We also honor nine legacy awardees who have shown great commitment to growth and excellence in their respective nations.

“All my life, I’ve looked up to many entrepreneurs who have succeeded and have been an inspiration to me and to the countless of you in this audience. This inspiration is what fuels our drive to succeed, and for every award we receive, the recognition has to be put to good use. It is time that we, who are part of this large business enterprises, give back to those who are not part of the growing economy.”

This is why I said during the ABA, “So I call on all our awardees today to face and accept this challenge. The fastest way towards inclusive growth is to embrace them as part of our supply chain, and as they become part of our supply chain, many of the banks will start to lend. I also call on the banking community, it is time to lend not only to large corporations, but also to many of our struggling entrepreneurs out there, many of who do not have the right collateral or enough collateral, to be able to borrow money.”

As I look back at events that has led me to this role as an entrepreneurship adviser to the President, focusing on MSME development and my role as chair of ASEAN BAC, a role my father had 10 years back, I did not expect that it could happen. It was not a mere coincidence that Sec. Mon Lopez, our former executive director was chosen as President Duterte’s trade secretary. I believe it is destiny and it is God’s plan for all of us. That all roles, may it be big or small, is given to us to help humanity. It is how we take these roles that determines our real faith.

Thank you to all who have made it a memorable night for the awardees, but more importantly may this be a rallying point for all of us to help bring about a better life for many ASEAN citizens who still live below the poverty line.

ASEAN Business Awards 2017 Legacy Awardees

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
John Gokongwei Jr. will be one of the legacy awardees in the upcoming ASEAN Business Awards on Sept. 6.

John Gokongwei Jr. will be one of the legacy awardees in the upcoming ASEAN Business Awards on Sept. 6.

John Gokongwei Jr. one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, will be given a legacy award by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council in the upcoming ASEAN Business Awards Gala Night on September 6. Legacy awardees are iconic entrepreneurs who helped shape and strengthen not just their national economies but also made positive impact to the ASEAN Economic Community. They are those whose commitment and perseverance led them to their success today.

For aspiring and young entrepreneurs, Mr. Gokongwei is definitely one of the idols in the business community. I’m sure many entrepreneurs today admire his wisdom and passion.

But before becoming the Philippines’ 2nd richest man, he started small in the province of Cebu.

Gokongwei’s family was one of the richest families in Cebu back in the day. His grandfather, Pedro Gotiaoco operated one of biggest trading firms while his father owned the largest cinema house in the province. Unfortunately, his father died and the family lost everything.

With only a few pesos, he started selling threads, soaps, and candles in the local market of Cebu. Eventually, he expanded his business by selling rice, corns and other goods that can be traded. He would even travel via batel, a small sail-powered outrigger, to Lucena to sell Cebuano products. By the time the war ended, he had a sum of 40,000, a substantial amount at that time.

John Gokongwei Jr. then opened his first company, Amasia, which imports textile, flour, onions, magazines, and used clothing from US. This could be considered as the first ukay-ukay (secondhand) shop in the country.

In 1954, he started the Universal Corn Products in Manila which manufactures cornstarch, a raw material needed in other products such as beer, ice cream, and paper. This is now known as the Universal Robina Corporation. Competitions are considered as challenges. John Gokongwei Jr. and his company Consolidated Food Corporation which launched the coffee Blend 45 competed with the giants, Procter and Gamble and Nestlé.

This then launched the successful business of the Gokongwei family. The family diversified into different industries such as retail, real estate, publishing, petrochemicals, textiles, banking, food manufacturing, and airline. In 1992, the JG Summit Holdings was established.

John Gokongwei Jr. is not afraid to venture into new business opportunities. Back in 1990s, he considered opening a low-cost carrier airline after seeing the success of Southwest Airlines. Philippine Airlines dominated the market but he is sure that this new venture would become successful. Cebu Pacific, now the county’s number one airline, has connected Filipinos through budget-friendly domestic and international flights.

His children – Lance, Robina, Lisa, Hope, Faith and Marcia are all involved in the family business.  Lance who is the President of JG Summit Holdings shared in his interview for the Go Negosyo book: 50 Entrepreneurs of Passion, “I was running the food business at that time. And when he asked me if I knew anyone, I knew he was indirectly asking me if I could help.” Lance now leads Cebu Pacific as its President and CEO.

Today, the group distributes manufactured food in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and other Asian countries.

Aside from John Gokongwei Jr., Haji Musa Bin Hj Adnin of Adinin Group of Companies (Brunei) will also be a legacy awardee. Adinin Group of companies started in 1982 which was solely a trading company but today, it has diversified their profile and product offering in industries such as manufacturing, interior design, information technology, travel agencies, and manpower.

Garuda Food led by its chairman Bp Sudhamek AWS is also considered as an icon entrepreneur in Indonesia. Sudhamek is the Ernst & Young Indonesia Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004. Garuda Food manufactures snacks, biscuits, confectioneries, basic food and dairy all throughout Indonesia.

Rattana Prathoumvan, managing director and CEO of EDL Generation Public Company (Laos), will receive an award as well as one of the inspiring legacy entrepreneurs in the region. Her company engages in the generation and wholesale of electricity.

Silverlake Axis Limited’s Founder and Executive Chairman Goh Peng Ooi (Malaysia) has led the company to its success today. Silverlak Axis Limited is a provider of digital economy solutions and services to banking, insurance, retail and other industries. The company is now a multi-billion-dollar organization represented in 20 countries.

Another legacy awardee is Aung Ko Win, Chairman of KBZ Group. He founded the company in 1994 and is one of the largest privately owned diversified group of companies in Myanmar. They are present in various industries including manufacturing, finance, aviation, insurance, agriculture, and real estate among others.

Wee Cho Yaw is the chairman emeritus and adviser of the Singapore’s 3rd largest lender, Universal Overseas Bank. The company was founded by his father but he eventually took over and ran it for three decades. United Overseas Bank is the market leader in credit card and home loan businesses. It also offers loans for small and medium enterprises in Singapore.

Thailand’s Sakchai Unchittikul of Srichiengmai Industry Company will also be awarded. Srichiengmai Industry was the first manufacturer of tomato products in Thailand which started in 1978. Today, the company has also been exporting to Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

And last but not the least, Le Thu Tuy, Vice Chairwoman of BRG Group is also part of the roster of legacy awardees. Thu Tuy was named as 2016’s Most Active Banking Leader of the Year by the International Finance Magazine. BRG Group is a multi sector economic group which is involved in real estate, finance, hospitality and commerce.

Because of these entrepreneurs’ outstanding and inspiring entrepreneurial journey, it is befitting to recognize them as our legacy awardees. They have become icons of the business community across the ASEAN region.

We will recognize other awardees for various categories in the ASEAN Business Awards. We are all excited to name this year’s awardees!

ASEAN Business Awards Regional Finalists

Thursday, August 24th, 2017
The ASEAN Business Awards 2017 will be held on September 6, 2017.

The ASEAN Business Awards 2017 will be held on September 6, 2017.

As another week has quickly passed us by, we are getting closer to the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) Gala Night this coming September! Last week, I have shared with you the Philippine finalists chosen by the Philippine deliberation steering committee.

Through the help of ASEAN Business Advisory Council members, each member country identified a national gateway or the point person who promoted and pursued applicants from their country to each category of the ABA 2017. Aside from encouraging applications from their country, each national gateway appointed an independent judge who became part of the regional committee which have chosen the rightful winner per category. The process was backed up with score sheets and deliberations were collegial and quite thorough. The entire process was transparent and diligently observed by the ABA Secretariat and the KPMG, our strategic partner.

Like any other awards, the elimination process was one grueling task. But our regional judges were able to identify the outstanding companies who can best represent ASEAN in the various categories to be awarded on September 06.

For the SME Growth category, five finalists made it: Dato’ Lee Wai Kok of Savan Pacifica Development Co., Ltd. (Laos), Noor Mohd Helmi Bin Nong Hadzmi of IX Telecom Sbn Bhd (Malaysia), Dr. Thein Naing of Zenith Treasure Trading Co., Ltd. (Myanmar), Dr. Maynoll Montalbo of Mont Albo Wellness Corporation (Philippines), and Nasha Jungkankul of Kunna Groceries Co. Ltd. (Thailand).

For the SME Corporate Social Responsibility category, five finalists made it: Ramasamy Aravendashan of VG Offshore Containers International (Malaysia), Zarni Htwe of Adventure Myanmar Tours and Incentives (Myanmar), Cecilio Pedro of Lamoiyan Corporation (Philippines) and Fang Koh Look of Absolute Kinetics Consultancy (AKC) Pte. Lt (Singapore).

SME Employment category has identified finalists including Hong Leang Y of Lotus Green Team Co., Ltd. (Cambodia), Vernon Tee of Natural Health Farm Marketing (Malaysia), Dr. Aung Kyaw Win of Jewel Collection Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Myanmar), John Titan of Titan Barong of Lumban (Philippines), and Dato Jasudasen Thambynathan of Zico Holdings Inc., (Singapore).

Vantha Kheng of Biz Solution Inc., (Cambodia), Sirina Hervy of Sinouk Coffee (Laos), Dato’ Zakri Abdullah Kuah of Builders Biomass Sdn Bhd (Malaysia), Dr. Khin Maung Lwin of FAME Pharmaceuticals Industry Company Limited (Myanmar), Lester Yu of Fruitas Group (Philippines), and Sarapee Yuadyong of Chiwadi Product Co., Ltd., (Thailand) are all finalists to the SME Innovation category.

Seven thriving young entrepreneurs made it as regional finalists. While there may be more than one country representative like in the Philippines, only one made it as regional representative. Young entrepreneurs vying for the award include Okhna Sok Piseth of G Gear Co. Ltd. (Cambodia), Kevyn Mcgraw of ASEAN Contact Center (Laos), Raj Ridvan Singh of Science of Life Systems 247 Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia), Aung Zaw Oo of Aung Naing Yoma Thitsar Co.(Myanmar), Dennis Uy of Udenna Corporation (Philippines), Chew Boon Thong of Chew Group Holding Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), and Asada Thepyos of Quality Plus Aesthetic International (Thailand).

Seven passionate women entrepreneurs will compete with each other to get the ASEAN Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award. These includes Seng Takakneary of Sentosa Silk (Cambodia), Sirina Hervy of Sinouk Coffee (Laos), Dr. Jessie Chung of Natural Health Farm Marketing Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia), Htet Yie Win of Brand You Co. Ltd., (Myanmar), Evelyn Palomo of Great Image Service Corporation (Philippines), Juthamad Yangyuen of DE Empress (Thailand), and Dang Thi Thanh Van of Savvycom Joint Stock Company (Vietnam).

Three small enterprises and three big enterprises made it as finalists to the Inclusive Business category. Small enterprises such as Batik Boutique of Amy Blair (Malaysia), Coffee for Peace of Felicitas Pantoja (Philippines), and Siam Organic of Peetachai Dejkraisak (Thailand) will compete with big enterprises including KP Company Limited of Sunepha Detvongsa (Laos), Erikagen Inc. of Teodoro Ferrer (Philippines), and Olam International of Neelamani Muthukumar (Singapore) for the Inclusive Business Award.

Five most promising companies of ASEAN will also be awarded including Printmartz Advertising of Adrian Tan Vui Shung (Brunei), Wing Ltd. Specialised Bank led by Jojo Malolos (Cambodia), Phouvong Jewelry of Phouvong Phamisith (Laos), Myanmar ComBiz Trading Co of Aung Soe Tha (Myanmar), and Nghia Nippers Corporation of Thi Thu Huang Nguyen (Vietnam).

Three companies will be recognized as Friends of ASEAN: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group led by Anna Green (Australia), Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte. Ltd. led by Martin Hayes(Germany), and Prudential Corporation Asia led by Nicolaos Nicandrou (Hong Kong).

One company will also be given a recognition for integrating environment-friendly practice in their business model.

We are also recognizing Legacy entrepreneurs who have greatly contributed positive impact to the ASEAN community, have surpassed challenges and have inspired others towards prosperity. Rattana Pathomvan of EDL Generation Public Company from Lao PDR, Goh Peng Ooi of Silverlake Axis Limited, Aung Ko Win of Kanbawza Bank of Myanmar, Wee Cho Yaw of United Overseas Bank of Singapore, Sakchai Unchittikul of Srichiengmai Industry Company of Thailand and our very own John Gokongwei Jr. of JG Summit Holdings Inc. I will share with you Mr. Gokongwei’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey next week.

Eight companies made it as finalists to the Priority Integration Sector categories. This includes DeClout Limited of Kok Khun Wong (Singapore), Asian Marine Transport Corporation of Paul Rodriguez (Philippines), Nature’s Legacy Eximport of Pete Delantar (Philippines), Kossan Rubber Industries of Kuang Sia Lim (Malaysia), Destileria Limtuaco & Co. of Olivia Limpe-Aw (Philippines), PT Kalbe Farma of Vidjongtius (Indonesia), Air Asia of Tony Fernandes (Malaysia), and Golden ABC of Bernie Liu (Philippines).

The trophy which will be given to all our winners and special awardees is specially sculpted by an award-winning and well-known artist Jaime Nepomuceno. The masterpiece which we call “hand-in-hand” signifies the connection of all companies in the ASEAN region. We are after all brothers in the industry working together to provide prosperity for all. Like big brothers to their small brothers, these companies who will be recognized in the ABA Gala Night will be mentors and inspirations to the aspiring and micro, and small entrepreneurs across the region.

I’m sure all of you are excited to know who are this year’s batch of ASEAN Business Awardees. On September 06, we invite you all to watch out for the winners.

ABA Cover photo footer

The ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) aims to recognize the outstanding ASEAN enterprises in the region. It brings to the spotlight businesses that have contributed in the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy and have the potential to become global economic players in their respective industries.

The ASEAN Business Awards 2017 will be on September 6, 2017!

Visit our official website here:

Philippine Finalists to the ABA 2017

Thursday, August 17th, 2017
The ASEAN Business Awards 2017 will be held on September 6, 2017.

The ASEAN Business Awards 2017 will be held on September 6, 2017.

This coming September 6, we shall name the latest winners of the ASEAN Business Awards 2017. The ASEAN Business Awards is a regional search for exceptional enterprises who have contributed to the economic and socio-cultural development of the region. These enterprises have grown not just in their home countries but have conquered and made marks other ASEAN countries. Hopefully soon, these companies will reach global markets and we can all proudly say that they are all ASEAN-grown.

But prior to the announcing of winners, we had a deliberation of Philippines’ finalists to the ASEAN Business Awards. Let me tell you, this is one of the exciting parts of an awards search. We received more than 200 applications from all countries and each country has to deliberate on who will represent their country in the award categories.

Philippines had its own deliberation with Sen. Bam Aquino, Johnlu Koa, and Jose Magsaysay Jr. as judges. Over 100 Filipino companies applied for the ABA 2017. After some grueling discussion, the judges identified 20 companies who will vie for regional awards.

Nature’s Legacy Eximport Inc. is one of the Philippine finalists to the ASEAN Business Awards. The business led by Pedro and Catherine Delantar proudly manufactures high-end home and hotel furniture made from sustainable materials since 1997. Nature’s Legacy Eximport is a finalist to the Wood-Based and Innovation categories.

One of the San Miguel Pure Foods Company’s subsidiaries, San Miguel Foods also made it as a finalist in the Agri-Food category. San Miguel Foods is engaged in agro-industrial manufacturing producing commercial feeds, poultry, pork, and beef. Over the years, the company has built a network of third-party owned and operated facilities such as feed mills, farms, processing plants and other infrastructure nationwide.

Another finalist to the Agri-food category is the Destileria Limtuaco & Co which is headed by Olivia Limpe-Aw. The company produces quality wines and liquors crafted with Philippines’ fruits. The company has rationalized the product portfolio from mass market to a niche mid-range market in the country and across ASEAN.

I’m sure we all know Bernie Liu of the Golden ABC, one of the leading retail companies in the country. His company is a Philippine finalist to the retail category. Golden ABC is a multi-awarded fashion enterprise which is composed of several brands including Penshoppe, Oxygen, Forme, Memo, Regatta, Tyler, and Red Logo. Started with an initial capital of P5000.00, the company rose into an ASEAN brand well loved in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

One of the leading photography brand in the country, Great Image, will also be finalist to the ASEAN Business Awards under the retail category. Founded in 1983 by Robert and Evelyn Palomo, the company is the leading photography brand for the last three decades. It has provided a professional, reliable, and creative photography services available to most Filipinos. Evelyn Palomo is also a finalist to the Women Entrepreneur category.

Gandang Kalikasan Inc. which is founded by sisters Anna Meloto-Wilk and Camille Meloto also made it as a finalist in the Healthcare category. The brand is known for producing natural, eco-friendly, green wellness and cosmetic products. It is one of the recognized inclusive businesses in the country which has tapped poor farmers and low-income communities.

Connecting markets across the ASEAN region is important that is why Logistics is one of the priority industry sector in the ASEAN. Asian Marine Transport Corporation is the country’s representative in this category. Asian Marine Transport Corporation started its small operations in 1999 penetrating countryside ports. Just recently, it is the first logistics company to heed to the call of the government to connect the ASEAN region through the opening of Davao-Bitung route.

Mont Albo Wellness Corporation is one of the finalists for Growth category. Since 2007, the company specializes in Filipino traditional massage and home therapy. Nol Montalbo started the business with only P1,500 but is now employing 500 masseuse and therapists thus providing livelihood opportunities to many Filipinos.

Another Philippine contender in the Growth category is Human Resource Innovations and Solutions which is provides human resource solutions to businesses. HURIS began in 2005 with the firm mission of delivering quality services to its clients.

One of the two corporate social responsibility category finalists, Lamoiyan Corporation provides employment to the deaf community. Its CSR framework is based on the principles of human dignity and promoting self-worth anchored on the company values of building integrity and cultivating respect. The company started in 1987 and is the first Filipino toothpaste brand launched in the market.

Lamoiyan Corporation’s co-finalist is the NCST Institute of Industrial Research and Training. The company provides quality education and industrial capacity building. Through its program Study Now Pay Later Zero Cash Out Scheme, economically-challenged students are given access to quality and relevant industry-based training. From an initial 10 trainees, more than 30,000 students have benefited from this CSR program.

Fruitas Group Inc., is a finalist to not just one category but two. The company is competing for the award on either Innovation or Employment. Fruitas Group has been founded in 2002 by Lester Yu and has provided the local market with affordable fresh fruit beverages. Since its establishment, the brand has grown to include other concepts such as Buko Loco, Black Pearl, Friends Fries, and many more.

Another contender in the Employment category is the Titan Barong of Lumban which is a quality producer and retailer of barong tagalog. Few years ago, the company is only selling hundreds of their special barong tagalog, but today, they are now producing and selling an average of 100,000 pieces per year. The company has hired and provided employment to 178 employees in total.

Young entrepreneur Dennis Uy founded the UDENNA Corporation in 2002 which established a single independent filling station in the retail fuel industry. Under UDENNA are its two subsidiaries Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation. Phoenix Petroleum is the 3rd biggest oil company while Chelsea Logistics in now a dominant player in the shipping industry.

Contending against Dennis Uy is Richard Sanz of FoodAsia Group. The company is involved in various businesses such as restaurant and bakery operations, food retail, food manufacturing, franchising, and real estate. From one employee, the company now has more than 500 employees.

Another women entrepreneur finalist is Nannette Medved-Po which leads the Friends of Hope, a business of purified bottled water established in 2012. The company’s program Hope in a Bottle donated 100% of its profits to the building of public school classrooms. Their brand empowers Filipinos to participate in building schools by buying their water bottles.

These are just the Philippine brands that will compete in the ASEAN Business Awards. While some are competing for two categories, a company cannot win in both. Watch out for the 2017 ASEAN Business Awardees!

Alliance For Prosperity for All

Thursday, August 10th, 2017
PA Joey Concepcion and President Rodrigo Duterte briefly talked after the speech of the President. President Duterte commends the ASEAN BAC's Alliance for Prosperity for All.

PA Joey Concepcion and President Rodrigo Duterte briefly talked after the speech of the President. President Duterte commends the ASEAN BAC’s Alliance for Prosperity for All.

Fifty years ago, five foreign ministers formed an organization of an inter-government cooperation towards economic, social and cultural progress.  This is what we call today as Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The founding fathers of ASEAN were Adam Malik (Indonesia), Narciso Ramos (Philippines), Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia), S. Rajaratnam (Singapore), and Thanat Khoman (Thailand). ASEAN then gradually expanded and grew as Brunei, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam joined one by one completing the current 10-member countries.

Fast forward to 2017, we are celebrating a milestone in ASEAN – the 50th jubilee of the Association. Philippines is fortunate and honored to host the golden year of ASEAN together with the ASEAN foreign ministers, delegates, and members of the government and private sectors. We honored the founding fathers of ASEAN for starting an organization of countries that has united amidst its diversity. Indeed, we overcame differences and stood together with one vision.

After all the impeccable performances, President Rodrigo Duterte shared in his speech the background of ASEAN and how its history of cooperation has advanced the collective values and interests of each member country. He added, “We proved that regionalism developed on our pace, our terms and values will work in our favour.”

We are glad that President Duterte also recognized the efforts of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and the whole private sector.

PRRD said, “Public-private partnerships must be harnessed fully to lift up our people from poverty. Indeed, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s Alliance for Prosperity for All is showing how an inclusive business model will help achieve the growth of our MSMEs and our people in the grassroots.”

Alliance for Prosperity for All was established with the mission to bring poverty alleviation to a bigger scale by tapping business organizations and chambers to be part of a dedicated working committee that will push for MSME Development. We are keen on working closely with the government in bringing prosperity not just to the MSMEs but also to those who are in the low lying communities in the country.

Together with the members of the Alliance for Prosperity for All and the entrepreneurs, we will develop programs which will create an enabling and sustainable environment for all enterprising individuals.

Alliance for Prosperity for All is composed of business organizations and chambers who pushes for MSME development.

Alliance for Prosperity for All is composed of business organizations and chambers who pushes for MSME development.

I have shared this many times already but I think it is destiny that I am here today as the chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council. Ten years ago, it was my father who is part of this dynamic institution that has created a better cooperation and communication with the member countries and its dialogue partners.

Prior to our celebration, Malaysia had their own festivity last August 4. I was part of the ASEAN@50 Conference hosted by the ASEAN BAC Malaysia led by Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Majid. It was only a half-day conference but it was filled with insights from ASEAN entrepreneurs. In a forum, I shared the importance of putting MSME development at the center of ASEAN integration in order to alleviate underprivileged people out of poverty through the promotion of inclusive growth. The conference also underlined the vision of ASEAN for the next years which will depend on our young entrepreneurs and the continuous technology innovation.

Afterwards, a dinner was hosted by ASEAN BAC Malaysia which was graced by Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak. It was a grand celebration where they showed a historical account of ASEAN milestones. Awards were also given to 10 outstanding Malaysian companies who have grown and expanded in the ASEAN market.

ASEAN has proved that by putting differences aside and focusing on what bonds us – one goal of prosperity, will create an inclusive environment where no one is left behind. It is in our roots that we continuously grow together to bring more economic and social progress for all our people.

Moving forward, we look towards a more prosperous region. We should see ahead the lives of our people to be better than what they experience today. In our fast-changing and innovative state, we hope that all the 10-countries shall experience the growth that we all pursue.