“What to expect for ABIS 2017”

November 10th, 2017

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Executive Director of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Gil Gonzales joined Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Senator Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla for an episode on the upcoming ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and to answer the most pertinent questions of ordinary businessmen regarding the ASEAN and how they can position themselves for success in the face of integration.

On November 12-14, 2017, state and business leaders from around the globe will converge in Manila to discuss the current state of development in our region with regards to business, infrastructure development, MSMEs, and human capital development. Furthermore, the event endeavours to form policy recommendations given the current assessment of what’s happening in order to better prepare the region for our collective futures.

The episode kicked off with Sen. Bam and DJ Cheska briefly having a discussion about their own knowledge of ASEAN and its private sector partner, the ASEAN-BAC. They clarified that the membership of ASEAN are only composed of 10 nations namely: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia,  Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The reason why we’ve been hearing about the participation of state leaders such as Donald Trump from the US or Justin Trudeau from Canada is because the ASEAN invited its dialogue partners to the upcoming summit.

DJ Cheska asked about the degree of integration the Association is aspiring for—are we also looking at a single currency similar to the European Union’s euro?

Mr. Gil shared that from the start, the ASEAN never really wanted to pattern itself after the EU. He shared that although we are opening our economy further and breaking down barriers, the ASEAN is committed to doing it on our own pace and our own way. To truly know what the ASEAN stands for, one can start by learning about its three pillars—the economic, political & security, and the socio-cultural.

DJ Cheska also asked regarding the selection of chairmanship. Why was the Philippines chosen as the host this year? Senator Bam volunteered to answer the question and shared that the process is quite simple—it’s a rotation of the member states according to alphabetical order. Since Myanmar served as host last year, the Philippines was next in line. So in 2027, the Philippines can expect to host the ASEAN events once again.

Another question that was raised was on what the common Filipino get out of ASEAN? Mr. Gil responded by sharing that the upcoming ASEAN summit is the culminating event of the ASEAN BAC. The main objective of the event is awareness. “We want businessmen to know what’s happening with the promises and plans of integration and to be able to compare with our neighbors. An output you can expect from the summit is that we give a set of policy recommendations to leaders on how to further deepen the aspiration towards integration. Sen. Bam interjected that what’s great about the current movement of the private sector is the the thrust of achieving Prosperity for All, something many Go Negosyo followers know about thru Angat Lahat and other MSME development programs. He also added that last year’s APEC had a similar theme of inclusive growth and prosperity for all and this is because it addresses a problem felt the world over—development/progress that only benefits the elite few rather than the majority. And integral to achieving prosperity for all is MSME development.

Mr. Gil shared about the current legacy project of the Council called the AMEN (ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network). “AMEN is based on the success of  Go Negosyo’s Kapatid Mentor Me Program (…) it didn’t stop at mentorship but it led to access to finance and market. When they [KMME mentees] graduate, they have a business improvement plan—hindi puro turo turo lang.

Mr. Gil later on adds that the mentorship is not the only great implication of AMEN. “When an expert goes around, they can become really aware of the production base in each area. When this happens, it can lead us closer to creating a single production base so that we don’t compete and kill each other. Rather, we will compliment and collaborate with each so we can provide to bigger markets such as Japan, the EU, China and America.”

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Visit www.abis2017.com to know more about the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit.