VP Leni Speaks on Behalf of the Last, the Least and the Lost

May 9th, 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo presented ways on how we can create an inclusive environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. She said, “This is why putting the welfare of MSMEs at the center of ASEAN’s agenda – essentially inclusive growth – is the challenge of our time.”

Vice President Leni Robredo presented ways on how we can create an inclusive environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. She said, “This is why putting the welfare of MSMEs at the center of ASEAN’s agenda – essentially inclusive growth – is the challenge of our time.”

In her stirring address to the most powerful and influential in the business community of ASEAN, Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo brought up the challenge of making “prosperity for all” centered on the poor.

Echoing the statements of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion and Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, Robredo also cited the promising future of ASEAN as one of the world’s largest economies. With this promise, Robredo said, is the true challenge of making the welfare of MSMEs and inclusive growth the center of the ASEAN’s agenda.

Robredo called into attention that at the other side of the growingly prosperous ASEAN is the startling fact that we are still home to many of the world’s poorest. If prosperity is not trickling down, then the problems of our brothers from the West, such as the crumbling of the European Union, will be inevitable for our region as well. This is why creating inclusive business environments is imperative in addressing growing gap between the powerful and the powerless.

With agricultural being one of the industries that directly impacts the poor, Robredo cites inclusive programs, both by public and private institutions, that have achieved positive change in the lives of farmers and fisherfolk. Examples included the World Food Programme’s Zero Hunger Program in Robredo’s former district Camarines Sur and Jollibee’s incorporation of farmers into their supply chain.

To close, Robredo highlighted the role of convergence in the public and private sectors across the ASEAN, in order to lasting prosperity for all. In a final reminder to the business community and government leaders, she voiced out that what happens to the last, the least and the lost is what will truly matter in the long-run.

Malaysian Prime Minister Razak Wants to Make ASEAN “Real & Relevant” to All

May 8th, 2017
Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak delivered the keynote speech in the morning session of the summit. His Excellency Prime Minister Razak said that ASEAN must “raise awareness… and to make it feel real, relevant, and tangible, to all our citizens.”

Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak delivered the keynote speech in the morning session of the summit. His Excellency Prime Minister Razak said that ASEAN must “raise awareness… and to make it feel real, relevant, and tangible, to all our citizens.”

Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia delivered the first keynote address at the recently held summit hosted by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) for MSME development. His speech focused on making the very theme of the event, “prosperity for all” a reality.

Painting a picture of the current economic landscape of the ASEAN, Razak gave positive indications that highlight the continued growth and progress ASEAN has schieved in its 50 years of existence. In fact, the ASEAN as a regional bloc is poised to become a US$2.7 trillion economy and the fourth largest in the world by 2050 (Razak said some experts even predict this happening by 2030).

With these optimistic projections, as Razak posited, comes the challenge of making them happen. Amongst the challenges towards ensured economic prosperity for our region such as trade barriers and the facilitation of further intra-ASEAN trade, is the most pressing issue of eliminating the rising non-tarrif barriers and measures.

To address these challenges, Razak brought the spotlight to the MSMEs — the heart of the summit and the backbone of the ASEAN economies. In Malaysia, Razak said SMEs accounted for 97% of their businesses and contribute 36% of their country’s GDP. Malaysia has taken great steps in ensuring that wealth and progress are felt by all their people — as Malaysia continues to prosper their incidence of poverty has shrunk into an infinitesimal 0.6%.

Razak also lauded the Philippines, the ASEAN-BAC and Go Negosyo for giving special attention to bring prosperity for all segments of society. Most importantly, Razak gave recognition to the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network. As MSMEs comprise more than 90% of all ASEAN companies, having them exposed to greater opportunities and to better management methods from big companies.

In hopes of making the regional bloc and all its benefits real to all ASEAN citizens, Razak asserted the call to make prosperity and wealth shared to all. To ensure the stability and further growth of the region, the ASEAN must become meaningful to all citizens and this can only be done through actualizing prosperity for all.

ASEAN BAC Brings Prosperity for All

May 8th, 2017

“If only few countries benefit and the rest will struggle, nothing will happen. Creating prosperity for all and leaving no nation behind is to me the most important objective of ASEAN.”

This is what I have shared to all the delegates and guests who attended the Prosperity for All Summit last Friday, April 28, 2017. It was a successful gathering of government partners, business leaders and entrepreneurship enablers. Together with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council members, we welcomed the Prime Minister of Malaysia, His Excellency Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak, and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.).

We are also fortunate to have former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Miguel Zubiri, and Sen. Bam Aquino. Secretary Bebot Bello also dropped by to witness the summit. Of course, my partner, Sec. Ramon Lopez also joined the discussion on creating an enabling environment. Science and Technology Secretary Boy Dela Peña participated in the forum on technology and innovation.

With more than 1000 guests, our objective to promote inclusive growth has been fulfilled. We hope that through the messages and forum discussions, we were able to present what needs to be done to bring greater success to our micro and small entrepreneurs.

Here are some highlights:

Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak delivered the keynote speech in the morning session of the summit. His Excellency Prime Minister Razak said that ASEAN must “raise awareness… and to make it feel real, relevant, and tangible, to all our citizens.”

Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak delivered the keynote speech in the morning session of the summit. His Excellency Prime Minister Razak said that ASEAN must “raise awareness… and to make it feel real, relevant, and tangible, to all our citizens.”

Rami Sharaf, Senior Vice President of the Royal Group (Cambodia) joined the discussion on enabling an environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. Cathy Yang, anchor-managing editor of ANC, moderated the first session.

Rami Sharaf, Senior Vice President of the Royal Group (Cambodia) joined the discussion on enabling an environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. Cathy Yang, anchor-managing editor of ANC, moderated the first session.

Secretary Ramon Lopez reiterated the 7Ms that need to be strengthened to support and enable our MSMEs.

Secretary Ramon Lopez reiterated the 7Ms that need to be strengthened to support and enable our MSMEs.

Former President and Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo talked about the history and conditions that led her to put forward the concerns of MSMEs as a key policy area for economic development.

Former President and Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo talked about the history and conditions that led her to put forward the concerns of MSMEs as a key policy area for economic development.

Dr. William Dar and Sen. Bam Aquino also took part of the first session. Sen. Bam talked about the Go Negosyo Act and how it has helped more MSMEs in all areas of the country. Dr. Dar highlighted the importance of modernizing and advancing the technology to enable MSMEs.

Dr. William Dar and Sen. Bam Aquino also took part of the first session. Sen. Bam talked about the Go Negosyo Act and how it has helped more MSMEs in all areas of the country. Dr. Dar highlighted the importance of modernizing and advancing the technology to enable MSMEs.

Vice President Leni Robredo presented ways on how we can create an inclusive environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. She said, “This is why putting the welfare of MSMEs at the center of ASEAN’s agenda – essentially inclusive growth – is the challenge of our time.”

Vice President Leni Robredo presented ways on how we can create an inclusive environment for micro and small entrepreneurs. She said, “This is why putting the welfare of MSMEs at the center of ASEAN’s agenda – essentially inclusive growth – is the challenge of our time.”

Coco Alcuaz, former business news head of ANC, moderated the discussion on ASEAN market trends.

Coco Alcuaz, former business news head of ANC, moderated the discussion on ASEAN market trends.

DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado and Sen. Miguel Zubiri participated in the discussion on strengthening the ASEAN market to access global markets.

DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado and Sen. Miguel Zubiri participated in the discussion on strengthening the ASEAN market to access global markets.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Member George Barcelon highlighted the collaboration of chambers to consolidate markets. He stressed that connectivity and going digital is important and crucial.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Member George Barcelon highlighted the collaboration of chambers to consolidate markets. He stressed that connectivity and going digital is important and crucial.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion greeted Myanmar’s Union Minister for Planning and Finance His Excellency Kyaw Win who represented H.E. Aung San Suu Kyi.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion greeted Myanmar’s Union Minister for Planning and Finance His Excellency Kyaw Win who represented H.E. Aung San Suu Kyi.

Alex Buenaventura of Land Bank Philippines and Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Tech Center joined the discussion on funding.

Alex Buenaventura of Land Bank Philippines and Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Tech Center joined the discussion on funding.

Raymond Kwong, CEO and Managing Director of Silverlake Axis Group (Malaysia) said that if MSMEs who comprise about 80% of the total business sector can have access to financing, they can increase their GDP contribution in 10 years. Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, Founder and Managing Director of CARD Inc. shared “I started CARD with just 20 pesos and an old typewriter. My vision was to establish a bank that was by and for the poor people in this country. I wanted to turn the traditional banking system upside down.

Raymond Kwong, CEO and Managing Director of Silverlake Axis Group (Malaysia) said that if MSMEs who comprise about 80% of the total business sector can have access to financing, they can increase their GDP contribution in 10 years. Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, Founder and Managing Director of CARD Inc. shared “I started CARD with just 20 pesos and an old typewriter. My vision was to establish a bank that was by and for the poor people in this country. I wanted to turn the traditional banking system upside down.

Maria Ressa, Founder and CEO of Rapper, moderated the discussion on disruptive technology and innovation.

Maria Ressa, Founder and CEO of Rapper, moderated the discussion on disruptive technology and innovation.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Boy Dela Peña shared the government’s initiatives to bolster innovation.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Boy Dela Peña shared the government’s initiatives to bolster innovation.

Dr. Robert Yap, Executive Chairman of YCH Group and ASEAN BAC Singapore Chairman together with Inanc Balci, CEO of Lazada Philippines.

Dr. Robert Yap, Executive Chairman of YCH Group and ASEAN BAC Singapore Chairman together with Inanc Balci, CEO of Lazada Philippines.

Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir (right) said that the mentoring is ‘not an act of charity’ but rather a way to link entrepreneurs to the value chain involving good relationships. Rico Hizon (left) hosted the event and moderated the last session.

Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir (right) said that the mentoring is ‘not an act of charity’ but rather a way to link entrepreneurs to the value chain involving good relationships. Rico Hizon (left) hosted the event and moderated the last session.

ASEAN BAC Philippines Member and SM Investments Vice Chairman Teresita Sy-Coson and PLDT Group Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan both agreed on the importance of mentorship for micro entrepreneurs to scale up.

ASEAN BAC Philippines Member and SM Investments Vice Chairman Teresita Sy-Coson and PLDT Group Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan both agreed on the importance of mentorship for micro entrepreneurs to scale up.

Jose Concepcion Jr., one of founding members of ASEAN Business Advisory Council was the chairman of the council 10 years ago. He was joined by his wife, Marivic Concepcion.

Jose Concepcion Jr., one of founding members of ASEAN Business Advisory Council was the chairman of the council 10 years ago. He was joined by his wife, Marivic Concepcion.

US Ambassador Sung Kim also attended the Prosperity for All Summit.

US Ambassador Sung Kim also attended the Prosperity for All Summit.

Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha highlighted the efforts of his government on supporting micro entrepreneurs. In Thailand, they initiated the “Pracharat”, an advocacy program for MSMEs involving tripartite collaboration between the government, large private businesses, and micro enterprises.

Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha highlighted the efforts of his government on supporting micro entrepreneurs. In Thailand, they initiated the “Pracharat”, an advocacy program for MSMEs involving tripartite collaboration between the government, large private businesses, and micro enterprises.

PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan and Atty. Mike Toledo.

PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan and Atty. Mike Toledo.

ASEAN BAC Lao PDR Chairman Oudet Souvannavong together with UK-ASEAN Business Council’s Max Colemen and Chris Humphrey.

ASEAN BAC Lao PDR Chairman Oudet Souvannavong together with UK-ASEAN Business Council’s Max Colemen and Chris Humphrey.

LT Group’s Michael Tan, French Baker’s Johnlu Koa, and Wilcon Depot’s William Belo.

LT Group’s Michael Tan, French Baker’s Johnlu Koa, and Wilcon Depot’s William Belo.

Former DTI Secretary Greg Domingo, Marissa Concepcion, Bernie Liu (Golden ABC Corporation), Joey Concepcion, Kazuo Okada (Okada Manila), and Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Corporation).

Former DTI Secretary Greg Domingo, Marissa Concepcion, Bernie Liu (Golden ABC Corporation), Joey Concepcion, Kazuo Okada (Okada Manila), and Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Corporation).

Hans Sy of SM Prime and Bernie Liu of Golden ABC Corporation

Hans Sy of SM Prime and Bernie Liu of Golden ABC Corporation

Labor Secretary Bebot Bello together with Teresita Sy-Coson.

Labor Secretary Bebot Bello together with Teresita Sy-Coson.

Douglas Foo, Founder and Chairman of Sakae Holdings and President of Singapore Manufacturing Federation was a panelist of the session on ASEAN markets.

Douglas Foo, Founder and Chairman of Sakae Holdings and President of Singapore Manufacturing Federation was a panelist of the session on ASEAN markets.

Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan, News Anchor of CNN Philippines led the discussion on financing options for micro entrepreneurs.

Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan, News Anchor of CNN Philippines led the discussion on financing options for micro entrepreneurs.

Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce H.E. Pan Sorasak stressed the importance of public-private sector partnership in making the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network possible.

Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce H.E. Pan Sorasak stressed the importance of public-private sector partnership in making the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network possible.

Chris Chilip (Tyremart), Marissa Concepcion, US Ambassador Sung Kim, Yati Adbullah (DHL Philippines), Myrna Yao (Richprime Global), Kevin Tan (Megaworld), and Felix Ang (Auto Nation Group)

Chris Chilip (Tyremart), Marissa Concepcion, US Ambassador Sung Kim, Yati Adbullah (DHL Philippines), Myrna Yao (Richprime Global), Kevin Tan (Megaworld), and Felix Ang (Auto Nation Group)

ASEAN BAC Chair Calls for ASEAN Brotherhood to Achieve Prosperity in the Region

May 5th, 2017
ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and current ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion led the hosting of the first Prosperity for All Summit. In his opening speech, Concepcion focused on relaying the essence and importance of creating prosperity for all.

After acknowledging the special attendees of the night such as Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Senators Miguel Zubiri and Bam Aquino, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez amongst many others, Concepcion gave special recognition to his father Jose Concepcion Jr. as his personal mentor and inspiration.

Thus, setting the tone for the event, the speech of Concepcion had the core message of mentorship and its role as a key driver for inclusive growth. In a room full of the country’s, and even the region’s, most powerful businessmen and organizations, Concepcion heeded the group to action. He said that it was about time they consciously balance their needs with the needs of the micro, small, and medium enterprises.

The greatest form of mentorship is when big businesses begin to adopt inclusive business model. in a sense, they are mentoring small businesses by incorporating them into their value chains and helping them scale. Concepcion cited the examples of SM, Rustan’s and Robinsons as supermarkets who have been directly sourcing goods from farmers.

Lastly, Concepcion presented the ASEAN-BAC’s adoption of mentorship as its main deliverable of the year. They will launch the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network this year, and this will hopefully be the start of an ASEAN-wide network of skills and knowledge sharing.

Be a partner for change and become a mentor for entrepreneurship in ASEAN! Visit www.aseanmentors.org and fill out the application form online.

The Beginning of a Greater Prosperity

May 4th, 2017
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion at the Prosperity for All Summit held last April 28, 2017.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion at the Prosperity for All Summit held last April 28, 2017.

Last Friday, we had a meaningful Prosperity for All Summit. It was a success with more than 1000 guests who attended the whole day discussion in pursuit of ways to achieve real and inclusive prosperity. We are grateful for the attendance of Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.). We also had Vice President Leni Robredo who gave an important message on how we can put the welfare of MSMEs in the center of inclusive growth. Myanmar also sent their Union Minister for Planning and Finance H.E. Kyaw Win to represent their State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi. H.E. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia also joined the session tackling mentorship.

For those who weren’t able to catch the summit, let me share with you the message I shared to all our guests:

Good morning,

I would like to greet our special guests of course, Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Secretary Bebot Bello, our favorite Labor Secretary, and of course, Senator Miguel Zubiri and Senator Bam Aquino. These two senators have been prime movers in the Senate in helping micro, small and medium enterprises. Sen. Bam Aquino was the one who enacted the Go Negosyo Act which led to the rise of more than 460 Go Negosyo stores. Thank you, Bam.

And of course, my partner, Ramon Lopez, stop the interview. Come in. Ramon Lopez has been with Go Negosyo for so many years. When we started, he was my Executive Director, and if not for him, Go Negosyo would not be here today. And today, he is the trade secretary, fighting for many of our small and micro entrepreneurs.

Of course, I would also like to greet our new partner, Mr. Okada. Mr. Okada will host all the next three summits, and the ASEAN Business Awards, in his new Okada Manila Hotel.

I would also like to thank our sponsors here — of course, Tessie Sy-Coson of SM-BDO, San Miguel Corporation and Ramon Ang, ICTSI, PLDT and many other sponsors out there who believed that ASEAN is the way to move forward.

I would like to give a special recognition to Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. She was the one who appointed me as a Presidential Adviser during her time. And that was the start of the Go Negosyo movement. If not for her, we all would not be in this room today.

I would also like to recognize my father Jose Concepcion, Jr. My father was a great mentor, although he has lapses in his memory, he has always been my inspiration all these years. 10 years ago, he was the Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. And many of the members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council who are all here today, were his colleagues. 10 years later, I find myself as the chairman of this year’s ASEAN Business Advisory Council. Talk about destiny and talk about mentorship.

Many of you here, within the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, and all the chambers have been very supportive of the private sector’s initiative of really changing the lives of the Filipino people. This event with the ASEAN BAC’s theme “Partnering for Change, Prosperity for All” is the most important thing in my mind that the ASEAN has to achieve. Why? If not all countries would benefit from the integration of ASEAN in the next 50 years, ASEAN might not last.

If only few countries benefit and the rest will struggle, nothing will happen. Creating prosperity for all and leaving no nation behind is to me the most important objective of ASEAN. Each brother helping one another in achieving a better life for their nation and their citizens.

Our President Rodrigo Duterte has, as he said, surprisingly won the election. Which means many Filipinos out there, do feel that they have not been part of the growing economy for the past years. We have seen that 99.6% of the entire business community, belong to the MSME sector and this goes to all other ASEAN countries who are also in the same boat where we are in.

We have appreciated countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore who have really progressed. Many of them, have lowered their poverty levels remarkably, especially Vietnam.

The biggest challenge in our country is agriculture. To me, agriculture is the game changer. It is what will change the lives of many Filipinos. We belong to the 0.4% of the entire business community. We can make decisions that will affect the lives of many people. Many of us control power, real estate, labor, ports, etc. But why are we all here as human beings? It is about time that we try to change and balance their needs and our own needs to really practice inclusivity.

As I shared with many of the businessmen and entrepreneurs in this room, being publicly listed and being in control of our business and all of that is sometimes hard since we have to share the profits we have because of our investors. We are always faced with the challenge to grow, to expand and to meet certain profit requirements. But then, how do we balance that with inclusive growth? We see SM, Rustan’s, Robinsons and other supermarkets buying more from our farmers. That is what we need. Many of you in this room, can control the destiny of your own suppliers by mentoring them.

The ASEAN BAC has adopted mentorship as its main deliverable this year. And the power of mentorship as we have seen it—you yourselves, your own parents who have mentored you to where you are today– made you successful. What made me successful is my grandparents, my parents, my school and my business partners who are with me today. And of course, the entire Kapatid movement that we have all started. Now is the chance to help.

In our country, the Department of Trade and Industry with Sec. Ramon Lopez and Go Negosyo have a massive mentoring program. We wish that this program will progress and really help our less fortunate entrepreneurs. But it will really take time and resources like in many other ASEAN countries.

I believe in the power of mentorship. This year, by November, the ASEAN BAC will launch the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN). This will be composed of hundreds of entrepreneurs from each country who will share their insights and knowledge on their respective fields and strengths.

Again, the event is not going to be successful if we will not achieve prosperity for all. We invited all of you today because we believe that you can connect and help build the unity to start changing the lives of many of our micro and small entrepreneurs. In the end, life is short, we are not here to last or keep our wealth forever. As we age, I’m aging and I’m sure many of you are aging as well, we all have to think of our next life and what it will mean. I guess, wealth, when used properly to help other people is what is asked of us. To those who are given the most, the expectation is far greater. I request that this hopefully is the beginning of really creating greater prosperity for every citizen of the 10 ASEAN countries.

Thank you!

Bringing Prosperity for All

April 27th, 2017

We would like to apologize for not being able to accommodate all the interested participants to the summit. We received an outstanding confirmation of around 2000 guests who are all eager to be part of this summit. Due to limited space and of course to ensure the security of our special guests, we were not able to accept all guests. However, the summit will be covered by ANC, Bloomberg, CNN and other media organization. You may view the livestreaming at tinyurl.com/prosperityLIVE or fb.com/gonegosyoofficial.

As the first Prosperity for All Summit hosted by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council approaches it is a great time to be reminded that at the heart of this event are the Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who comprise 95-99% of the ASEAN business community. These enterprises account to 25-58% of the overall ASEAN GDP making them a valuable part of the economy, as they continue to help alleviate poverty through employment opportunities and business innovations. Through partnerships with large enterprises, MSMEs continue to contribute to the economy both in the rural and urban communities.

In line with President Duterte’s goal for inclusive growth through MSME development programs that empower youth and women entrepreneurship, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council is also focused in promoting and developing these enterprises to bring them across the ASEAN regions and the global market.

I am both honored and glad that leaders from our country and across ASEAN have shown interest in this event. I’m looking for forward to meet Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak who has confirmed his attendance to the summit.

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Since 1996, Malaysia has been engaging in MSMEs and Startups by creating programs aimed to develop their skills and provide them with business opportunities. These programs are established through the SME Corporation Malaysia which formulates overall policies and strategies, as well as provides advisory services for SMEs. We hope to be able to get insights and further develop the programs for MSMEs in the Philippines through their strategies as well. The importance to further develop these programs for poor are an utmost concern, as Prime Minister Razak once said “In our national discourse and in pursuing our national agenda, we must never leave anyone behind.”

Also attending the event is Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.). Thailand, whose 2.7 million enterprises comprise 98.5% of SMEs, is focusing on four areas for the improvement of established enterprises, start-ups and social enterprises. These main areas of focus are on innovations to boost business value, marketing strategies, cutting cost efficiency while increasing revenue and providing financial support for expansion of businesses. Given that most SMEs in Thailand are also from the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors, these areas are the ones that need the most support and guidance. True to what Prime Minister Chan-o-cha said “We will work for the benefit of all and of future generations while leaving no one behind.” Thus I am also looking forward to share certain strategies already being implemented in the Philippines to further improve existing programs in our country.

These two leaders will be delivering keynote speeches in the summit as well.

With the theme, “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, this Summit aims to pursue genuine and inclusive growth and prosperity for the ASEAN peoples. It is important to give emphasis on the goal for inclusive growth as leaders from different fields both from the private and public sector are coming together to attend the event.

The one-day program will comprise of five sessions which will feature discussions from prominent speakers.

Session 1 discussion will discuss about ‘Creating an Enabling Environment in Achieving Prosperity for All’. The session will feature former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Sen. Bam Aquino, ASEAN Economic Ministers Chair and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Royal Group Vice President Mr. Rami Sharaf, and Inang Lupa Movement President Dr. William Dar.

‘Strengthening the one ASEAN market to access global markets’ will be the topic for Session 2 which will be discussed by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, International Container Terminal Services Chairman and President Mr. Enrique Razon, Sakae Holdings Ltd. Founder and Chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore Member Mr. Douglas Foo, and Undersecretary of the Trade and Industry Promotion Group Nora Terrado.

For session 3, one of the major challenges for MSMEs which is funding, will be the topic of the discussion entitled ‘Opening up innovative and inclusive financing options for micro and small entrepreneurs’. Mr. Alex Buenaventura of Landbank of the Philippines, Dr. Raymond Kwong of Silverlake Axis Group, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Mr. Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Technology Center will be sharing their insights in this session.

The fourth session will discuss on ‘Establishing efficient business practices through disruptive technology and innovation’ through the speakers DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, Lazada Philippines CEO Inanc Balci and YCH Group Chairman and Member of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Dr. Robert Yap.

The last session will be on initiating the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN). This program of the ASEAN BAC aims to provide a private-public partnership platform where mentors and world class teaching modules for MSME empowerment can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN Member States (AMS). To discuss this call to action for all mentors and enablers, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion will be joined by Ms. Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments Corporation and ASEAN BAC Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries President and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Member George Barcelon, Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Abdul Majid of Bank Muamalat Berhad and ASEAN BAC Malysia.

We will also be joined by Vice President Leni Robredo. We have also invited Ministers from Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Cambodia to be part of the sessions.

Enablers from both the private and public sector will be attending the summit with the common goal of bringing prosperity for all, thus it is only apt to also initiate the initial discussion of the ASEAN Business Advisory council’s regional mentorship program (AMEN), which will serve as an avenue for the heads of states and leaders to share their strategies in achieving inclusive growth for the whole ASEAN community.

Indeed, it is only through unity in striving for a common goal can we achieve prosperity for all.

Singapore’s Douglas Foo on MSMEs & the Global Market

April 26th, 2017
douglas_foo

MR. DOUGLAS FOO, Founder and Chairman, Sakae Holdings Ltd / President, Singapore Manufacturing Federation/ ASEAN Business Advisory Council (Singapore)

A business leader and celebrated philanthropist hailing from the prosperous nation of Singapore, Douglas Foo is a recipient of various awards and accolades due to his outstanding management and entrepreneurial efforts. In 2013, he was awarded the Public Service Star Award from His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Singapore and has been the country’s representative as member of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council since 2012. Beforehand, Foo has received numerous accolades—amongst them are the ASEAN Youth Entrepreneur Award (2004) and the ASEAN-China Young Entrepreneur Award (2011).

As the Founder & Chairman of Sakae Holdings, Ltd, Foo is well-recognized amongst the top business circles in the region. His company started out with Sakae Sushi in 1977 and has grown into a global food conglomerate with over 200 outlets worldwide. Foo at the helm of the Group, spearheaded the growth and expansion of Sakae Holdings. No stranger to the global market and building a business from the ground up, we asked Foo about his impressions on MSMEs, prepping for the global market, and the challenges this sets up for the ASEAN.

PFA Summit Panelists Per Session_02
Q: How can the business sector and national governments empower the MSMEs to better position them for the global market?

Foo: MSMEs are in exciting times because of the many opportunities created by globalization and technological advancements. There are two areas which our MSMEs can be empowered:

Collaboration – Our governments have laid a strong foundational framework of diplomatic ties for our businesses especially MSMEs to leverage in forging business alliances across ASEAN for mutual benefits. However, there could be more assistance in facilitating collaborations, whether it is helping small companies to collaborate with the larger ones or other MSMEs, or on the global front, with other MSMEs around the world. Such collaborative measures will empower and create opportunities.

Innovation – Our MSMEs are grappling with all these new technologies that are coming on stream. It is a disruption for most, but at the same time, it is a great opportunity where these enterprises can embark on scaling up into far larger businesses where they may not have been able to do without technology as an enabler. In Singapore, our government is providing assistance through various schemes and programmes for MSMEs to adopt innovative solutions with technological levers to remain competitive and relevant in a global market.

That said, MSMEs have to change their mindsets towards change and adopting new technology to innovate or to collaborate to internationalize. They must accept that they have limited resources and need to collaborate with other enterprises to augment manpower expertise and financial resource in a changing economy.

Q: In coming up with an “ASEAN” product, what areas for collaboration between the ASEAN Member States (AMS) do you see are readiest?

Foo: One area most ready is cyber security especially with the rise of the digital economy. If the whole of ASEAN can become more cyber-secure, it will become an attractive place to do business, and this is something which becomes a competitive advantage for this region as we move towards Industry 4.0 and the IoT.

3) In setting up regulations for the growing One ASEAN market, what do you suppose are the most pertinent challenges that AMS need to address?

Foo: The most pertinent challenge is the non-tariff barriers. Presently there are different standards and regulations within AMS. There needs to be in place a recognized ASEAN standard and agreement. For instance, Halal food definition varies from country to country within this region. In some countries, this certification is not recognized and it affects the seamless movement of goods especially at the customs clearance point.

Prosperity for All Summit Web Image
The Prosperity for All Summit is organized by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, headed by its current Chair and the Philippine Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. The summit is a one-day event focused on “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, and will be held in the City of Dreams, Manila, Philippines on April 28, 2017.

An Agricultural Take on MSME Development with Dr. William Dar

April 24th, 2017
InangLupa Movement President & Former Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. William Dar.

InangLupa Movement President & Former Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. William Dar.

The ASEAN region’s dynamic landscape and climate has led it to become an agricultural haven. In fact, the ASEAN is considered as one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. We are the leading exporters of rice, fruit, vegetable and coffee and majority of ASEAN countries depend heavily on the agricultural sector.

To shed light on the agricultural sector and its impact on MSME development, Dr. William D. Dar shares his insights on agripreneurship (agriculture + entrepreneurship) in the context of ASEAN. Dr. Dar is a champion of the poor, especially small farmers and fisherfolks. Recently, he was awarded The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award in cognizance of his servant-leadership, as he transformed the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) from a struggling institute to one of the top performing centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

He also founded the InangLupa Movement—an advocacy group that calls for agricultural modernization and rural industrialization anchored on four pillars: inclusiveness, science-based, resilient, and market-oriented development. As a champion of agripreneurship, he actively encourages the youth to become farmer entrepreneurs (agripreneurs).

“Realizing the need to engage youth in agribusiness, InangLupa partnered with a group of visionaries and launched the YEF Phils [Young Entrepreneur-Farmers Philippines] late last year. YEF Phils is a private sector initiative working in partnership with GoNegosyo. YEF Phils envisions ‘A food secure, resilient, and prosperous Philippines propelled by empowered young farmers-entrepreneurs,’ and whose mission is ‘To mentor and empower young farmers to become successful entrepreneurs in high value agriculture,’” Dr. Dar shares.

Another noteworthy initiative in light of agripreneruship is the AgriBusiness Incubation (ABI) Program. Dr. Dar expounds that the “ABI is a program undertaken by ICRISAT which I headed in India. It is a unique and highly flexible combination of business development processes, infrastructure, and people – designed to nurture MSMEs by helping them to survive and grow through the difficult and vulnerable early stages of development. ABI also provides considerable management support for many MSMEs and investments in technology transfer and marketing. Based on the success of the ABI program undertaken by ICRISAT, the following components should be put into place: (1) technology consulting; (2) capacity building and training; (3) access to funding; (4) business facilitation; and (5) infrastructure and facilities.”

Agripreneurship can bolster rural development and create sustainable economies in many rural areas. For micro, small and medium enterprises, agripreneurship and its game-changing potential can create a culture of economic self-sufficiency for the many ASEAN citizens that rely on this sector.

Dr. Dar stresses that an “Inclusive Market-Oriented Development or IMOD strategy should guide MSMEs in agriculture. IMOD is a development pathway in which value-adding innovations (technical, policy, institutional and others) enable the poor to capture larger rewards from markets, while managing their risks. IMOD builds on four powerful principles: (1) resiliency; (2) markets motivate growth; (3) innovation accelerates growth; and (4) inclusiveness ensures that the poor participate and benefit.”

A challenge however to the progress of MSMEs and agripreneurship is how to make them more competitive. “There are only 8,195 MSMEs in agriculture, forestry, and fishing or approximately 1% of the total 896,839 MSMEs,” Dr. Dar says. Furthermore, not many farmers are aware and interested in transitioning into agriprneurship. “Farmers must be given access to credit, capacity training, links to manufacture and trade, etc.”

Lastly, Dr. Dar imparts that the ASEAN can focus on certain regulations to further the agripreneurship agenda. These include improving and streamlining Biosafety, GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), SPS (Sanitary and Photosanitary Measures), and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) compliance, creating institutional mechanisms to support exporters through public-private investments, and reducing discrepancies of national food control systems among individual ASEAN Member States.

Prosperity for All Summit Web Image
PFA Summit Panelists Per Session_01
The Prosperity for All Summit is organized by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, headed by its current Chair and the Philippine Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. The summit is a a one-day event focused on “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, and will be held in the City of Dreams, Manila, Philippines on April 28, 2017.

Prosperity for ASEAN Region

April 24th, 2017
Prosperity for All Summit will happen on April 28, 2017.

Prosperity for All Summit will happen on April 28, 2017.

As we host the ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council is hosting the first Prosperity for All Summit on April 28, 2017 at the City of Dreams Manila. With the theme, “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, the Summit aims to pursue genuine and inclusive growth and prosperity for the ASEAN people.  At the heart of this summit are the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) where majority remain within the poverty line and whose means of livelihood and economic future remain uncertain despite developments in the establishment of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community).

We all know that 99.6% of the businesses in the Philippines are micro, small, and medium enterprises. It is a must for all of us to create an enabling environment where enterprises will be empowered to improve their products and services and compete in not just in the ASEAN market but also globally.

I am glad to share with you that Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General (Ret.) Prayut Chan-o-cha have both confirmed their attendance to the event. As we get closer to the date of the event, we are positive that we can get more leaders to attend. Vice President Leni Robredo will also attend the gathering of enablers.

We have invited speakers from the 10 ASEAN countries. Let me share with you our speakers for Prosperity For All Summit:

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak will attend the Prosperity for All Summit.

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak will attend the Prosperity for All Summit.

Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Session 1 discussion will feature former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Sen. Bam Aquino, Royal Group Chairman and ASEAN BAC Cambodia Chair Mr. Neak Okna Kith Meng, and Inang Lupa Movement President Dr. William Dar. We have also invited Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. They will be discussing the topic: Enabling Environment to Achieve Prosperity for All.

Session 1 discussion will feature former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Sen. Bam Aquino, Royal Group Chairman and ASEAN BAC Cambodia Chair Mr. Neak Okna Kith Meng, and Inang Lupa Movement President Dr. William Dar. We have also invited Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. They will be discussing the topic: Enabling Environment to Achieve Prosperity for All.

International Container Terminal Services Chairman and President Mr. Enrique Razon, Sakae Holdings Ltd. President and ASEAN BAC Singapore Member Mr. Douglas Foo, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries President and ASEAN BAC Philippines Member Mr. George Barcelon will share their insights on the topic: Strengthening the One Asean Market to Access Global Markets. We have also invited Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to join the discussion.

International Container Terminal Services Chairman and President Mr. Enrique Razon, Sakae Holdings Ltd. President and ASEAN BAC Singapore Member Mr. Douglas Foo, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries President and ASEAN BAC Philippines Member Mr. George Barcelon will share their insights on the topic: Strengthening the One Asean Market to Access Global Markets. We have also invited Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to join the discussion.

Funding, one of the major challenges for MSMEs, will be discussed by Mr. Alex Buenaventura of Landbank of the Philippines, Dr. Raymon Kwong of Silverlake Axis Group, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Mr. Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Technology Center.

Funding, one of the major challenges for MSMEs, will be discussed by Mr. Alex Buenaventura of Landbank of the Philippines, Dr. Raymon Kwong of Silverlake Axis Group, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Mr. Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Technology Center.

Forum on innovation and technology will feature Department of Science and Tecnology Sec. Fortunato Dela Pena, YCH Group Executive Chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore Chair Dr. Robert Yap, Lazada Philippines CEO Mr. Inanc Balci and ANZ Laos CEO Ms. Anna Green.

Forum on innovation and technology will feature Department of Science and Tecnology Sec. Fortunato Dela Pena, YCH Group Executive Chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore Chair Dr. Robert Yap, Lazada Philippines CEO Mr. Inanc Balci and ANZ Laos CEO Ms. Anna Green.

ASEAN BAC will also be launching the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which aims to provide a private-public partnership platform where mentors and world class teaching modules for MSME empowerment can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN Member States (AMS). To discuss this call to action for all mentors and enablers, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion will be joined by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Ms. Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments Corporation and ASEAN BAC Philippines, Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Abdul Majid of Bank Muamalat Berhad and ASEAN BAC Malaysia.

ASEAN BAC will also be launching the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which aims to provide a private-public partnership platform where mentors and world class teaching modules for MSME empowerment can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN Member States (AMS). To discuss this call to action for all mentors and enablers, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion will be joined by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Ms. Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments Corporation and ASEAN BAC Philippines, Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Abdul Majid of Bank Muamalat Berhad and ASEAN BAC Malaysia.

Sessions will be moderated by Rico Hizon, Maria Ressa, Cathy Yang, Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan, and Coco Alcuaz.

Sessions will be moderated by Rico Hizon, Maria Ressa, Cathy Yang, Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan, and Coco Alcuaz.

Vice President Leni Robredo will also attend the Prosperity for All Summit.

Vice President Leni Robredo will also attend the Prosperity for All Summit.

 

Prosperity for All Summit

April 20th, 2017
ASEAN Business Advisory Council hosts the first Prosperity for All Summit on April 28, 2017.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council hosts the first Prosperity for All Summit on April 28, 2017.

As you all know, Philippines is the host of ASEAN and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary.

10 years ago, my father was the chairman of ASEAN. 10 years after, I am in the same position as Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council. We have prepared a whole list of activities for this year’s chairmanship. The goal is to help more micro and small entrepreneurs. As you all know MSME development is close to my heart. For the past 12 years, we at Go Negosyo have been empowering and helping the micro and small entrepreneurs out of poverty. This year, ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s theme is Partnering for Change, Prosperity for All. Just like President Duterte’s goal of bringing inclusive growth in the country, we at ASEAN BAC supports the promotion of inclusive growth, not only in the Philippines but also across the ASEAN region.

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council is hosting the first Prosperity for All Summit on April 28, 2017 at the City of Dreams Manila. With the theme, “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, this Summit aims to pursue genuine and inclusive growth and prosperity for the ASEAN peoples.  At the heart of this summit are the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) where majority remain within the poverty line and whose means of livelihood and economic future remain uncertain despite developments in the establishment of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community).

We all know that 99.6% of the businesses in the Philippines are micro, small, and medium enterprises. It is a must for all of us to create an enabling environment where enterprises will be empowered to improve their products and services and compete in not just in the ASEAN market but also globally.

I am glad to share with you that Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.) have both confirmed their attendance to the event. As we get closer to the date of the event, we are positive that we can get more leaders to attend.

We are glad to have Vice President Leni Robredo as well.

Session 1 discussion will feature former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Sen. Bam Aquino, Royal Group Vice President Mr. Rami Sharaf, and Inang Lupa Movement President Dr. William Dar. We have also invited Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. They will be discussing the topic: Enabling Environment to Achieve Prosperity for All.

International Container Terminal Services Chairman and President Mr. Enrique Razon, Sakae Holdings Ltd. Founder and Chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore Member Mr. Douglas Foo, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries President and ASEAN BAC Philippines Member Mr. George Barcelon will share their insights on the topic: Strengthening the One ASEAN Market to Access Global Markets. We have also invited Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to join the discussion.

Funding, one of the major challenges for MSMEs, will be discussed by Mr. Alex Buenaventura of Landbank of the Philippines, Dr. Raymond Kwong of Silverlake Axis Group, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Mr. Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Technology Center.

Forum on innovation and technology will feature Department of Science and Tecnology Sec. Fortunato Dela Pena, YCH Group Executive Chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore Chair Dr. Robert Yap, Lazada Philippines CEO Mr. Inanc Balci and ANZ Laos CEO Ms. Anna Green.

ASEAN BAC will also be launching the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which aims to provide a private-public partnership platform where mentors and world class teaching modules for MSME empowerment can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN Member States (AMS). To discuss this call to action for all mentors and enablers, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion will be joined by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Ms. Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments Corporation and ASEAN BAC Philippines, Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Abdul Majid of Bank Muamalat Berhad and ASEAN BAC Malysia.

The fora will be moderated by well-known journalists such as Rico Hizon of BBC World News, Cathy Yang of ANC, former Business News Head of ANC Coco Alcuaz, Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan of CNN Philippines, and Maria Ressa of Rappler.

We are happy to have the interest of many entrepreneurs, enablers, advocates, and other supporters. Some students are also interested to be part of the Summit. We thank partners and sponsors for their outpouring support. Through this summit, we aim to encourage entrepreneurs and enablers alike to help bring prosperity for all sectors in ASEAN region.