Enablers inspire the youth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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