Russian Federation Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
MANILA: November 13, 2017—Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev lauded ASEAN for opening up their borders in an age of increasing protectionism during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit where he gave a speech and answered questions related to the ASEAN Build, Build, Build panel. As Russia works towards recovering from economic hurdles such as trade embargoes or sanctions from the West, their gaze has turned towards its Eastern neighbors.
“Russia is looking for ways to adapt to the new economic reality,” Medvedev said in his keynote speech, “Growth is recovering in Russia with GDP expected to increase 2 percent by the end of the year.”
Medvedev shared that Foreign Direct Investment has also been pouring in to Russia, with a more than 100% increase reported in the first half of the year. However, Russia is now looking towards adapting to the digital economy and information age. In this end, Russia wishes to deepen its ties with the regional bloc.
“We see genuine interest within the business community of our countries to cooperate on energy, transport, agriculture, satellite navigation, high technology, financial services, and in almost all possible areas,” Medvedev said.
Connectivity seems to be a main priority of Russia with regards to ASEAN. “We are developing seaports and airport infrastructure in Russia’s Far East and are building cross-border oil and gas pipelines. The main goal of all these efforts is to ensure maximum efficiency in cargo transport between Asia and Europe and create a major transport and industrial hub in Russia’s Far East to serve the Asia-Pacific Region,” Medvedev said.
Another initiative for connectivity which Russia is spearheading is the Eurasian Economic Union—a new integration body that aims to create a large market wrought from Eastern Europe and Asia’s quest for a larger market and developed infrastructure. “Russia belongs to the Asia-Pacific Region in terms of its geopolitics, history and economy. Promoting cooperation with all countries within the region and contributing proactively to resolving regional issues is a strategic priority for us,” Medvedev said in closing.
ASEAN Build, Build, Build Open Forum
After his speech, Medvedev entertained questions from delegates of the summit. Prompted as to what Russia—with its achievements in infrastructure—can contribute to aid ASEAN in its Master Connectivity Plan, Medvedev said “[w]e are willing to provide our infrastructure capacities to all ASEAN economies. This includes airports and seaports, railways, roads, pipelines, powerlines and high-speed communication channels.”
Russian Federation Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev joins key business leader panelists for the first forum of ABIS2017, “Build, Build, Build (Infrastructure Development): Building for the Future.
Answering another question Medvedev said increasing trade relations with all ASEAN states was the strategic stance of Russia with regards to the economic community. Seeing that developmental gaps and increasing favoritism can threaten the stability and future of the economic union, Russia wishes to solidify ties with all.
Asked about how Russia plans to attract Asian businesses to their country, Medvedev said:
In October, Russia and ASEAN agreed on a plan of action in science, technology and innovation. I hope that the business community will also find a place in these plans. We have approved an energy development programme through 2020. There are programmes on agriculture, food security and tourism with ASEAN economies. All these programmes can make an additional contribution to our interaction.
Finally, Medvedev addressed a question raised by ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chair Joey Concepcion on Russia’s plans of helping small businesses in Russia move up the value chain. He shared that Russia’s small businesses make up 50-60% of their business community which low compared to that of ASEAN’s more than 90%. Nevertheless, the country has endeavoured to support these small businesses as key drivers of growth thru pushing legislation that promotes and supports small businesses.
Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi
During her keynote at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017, Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi centered her vision of prosperity for all on women economic empowerment and human capital development.
Suu Kyi was amongst the state leaders to be invited by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council to impart their own perspective on achieving inclusive growth in the region. To open the summit, Suu Kyi touched on ASEAN economic milestones paralleled with Myanmar’s distinct view on development and the central role women play.
“Since 2004, ASEAN’s GDP growth has reached 5%, outpacing that of any other region. Myanmar, as a member of the ASEAN family has been growing rapidly as we roll out rigorous reforms and structural changes in every sector. I would also like to mention that our young entrepreneurs are amongst the most vigorous of them all. I am very much happy to discover that in the recent seminar of young entrepreneurs, 49% of them are women,” Suu Kyi shared to delegates, eliciting applause.
Suu Kyi underlined the importance in investing on people-based initiatives and solutions in their nation’s course towards development and integration amidst years of isolation and turmoil. “As a responsible member of the ASEAN family, we will work together to be more connected and integrated economically and socially. In the process of such integration, human capital, and intellectual resources play a pivotal role in filling the gap between diverse ASEAN countries at different stages of economic and social development,” Suu Kyi said.
From this, Suu Kyi further elaborated on her people-based vision, founded on unleashing women’s latent economic power. “More and more women entrepreneurs have emerged to participate vigorously in [Myanmar’s] transformation, demonstrating the increasing importance of women not only in the social but also in the economic sphere,” she said.
H.E. Aung San Suu Kyi with members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC).
Many women entrepreneurs are classified as MSMEs; Suu Kyi recognized the multitude of challenges MSMEs face, and for women in this sector, there is the added crutch of gender discrimination. And gender discrimination leading to a gender gap in various opportunities is a stark reality many feel in the ASEAN.
“To achieve positive changes in women’s rights, it is important to increase number of girls enrolling in primary and secondary schools , improve the participation of women in the labor force, ensure better maternal care outcomes, provide social protection measures, and promote the role of women in decision making,” she proposed as steps to move towards gender equality.
Suu Kyi wrapped up her keynote by challenging the current popular view on development. “What is empowerment for? What is development about? Is it simply to develop our countries materially or to develop ourselves to become better human beings?,” she said, “Myanmar, as a young democracy started with many, many challenges has become fully aware to the need for development of peoples as human beings not just economic powerhouses.”
Education, global competencies, women, and affirmative action are at the forefront of ASEAN’s developmental agenda. The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit has dedicated a forum focusing on key areas in governance and business which leverage on the brilliance of women and other minorities.
The 50th year of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations sends the message of prosperity for all. The region’s leaders are pushing for inclusivity and connectivity by enabling all sectors to participate in various discussions and engagements towards achieving development goals.
The latest Projected Gender Impact of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) published by the ASEAN Secretariat, suggests that trade and non-trade policies and programmes should avoid bias toward a particular sex or social gender in order to reap the full benefits of trade expansion and economic integration.
It found that while the supply of women is the workforce is relatively stable, it is consistently lower than men due to a combination of social, cultural and institutional factors. Despite increase in women employment, other employment outcomes remain problematic such as wages, types of jobs and the sectors where women are currently employed.
With the expansion in regional trade and economic integration, women in AEC will feel the impact of opening up of trade opportunities. But it will be felt in varying degrees. Unfortunately, as the report stated, such drastic changes often exacerbate existing inequalities in the absence of counteractive measures and barriers.
How does the role of women strengthen AEC? How can the public and private sector ensure inclusivity for women in its processes and decision-making? What can the region’s leaders commit for the development opportunities for women?
The forum offers inspiration and support to the significance of women’s economic power and the development of human capital in the global setting.
The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 will gather prominent women leaders who will impart their knowledge and experience to shed light on the necessary measures addressing ASEAN’s gender gap, particularly in labor and entrepreneurial opportunities towards female economic empowerment.
ABIS 2017 is the biggest and most prestigious business event in ASEAN set to be a three-day conference presented by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council which will bring attention to the business, investment opportunities, global issues, and key strategic directions that impact on business opportunities for ASEAN member nations today.
On August 09, 2017, Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Nathaniel Lee (GoMoto), Dennis Ng (Mober), and Go Negosyo Angelpreneur Paulo Tibig (VCargo Group) for an episode tackling the the logistics industry and the innovations and challenges present in it.
On-demand, in demand Mober and GoMoto are tech startups hoping to change the game in logistics. VCargo’s Paulo Tibig, whose company addresses logitics in the country on a larger scale, says that these tech startups will be good for small businesses by helping them outsource services that are outside their core competencies.
Customers of Mober—the first ever Philippine tech startup that offers an on-demand platform for same day delivery service—have definitely felt the benefits of having Mober in their lives. Their client base includes SMEs, shoppers, and families hoping to move in to their new homes, looking for a cost-effective, safe and fast logistics service. Mober shares that the demand for their service is growing and that they even encountered customers with unique requests. “We pick up pets from the airport then we drop them off to a training center and then back again to the airport,” Dennis shared.
GoMoto similarly provides a fast on-demand service for many customers seeking movement of small packages. Enlisting a credible fleet of motorcycle riders and an easy-to-use iOS and Android app, GoMoto ensures delivery within 90 minutes of booking. Their courier fleets save many businesses the cost of hiring personal couriers, whilst allowing motorcyclists to maximize their assets.
In photo (L-R): Paulo Tibig of VCargo, Dennis Ng of Mober and Nathaniel Lee of GoMoto.
Mober and GoMoto aren’t only providing in demand service for their customers. They also hope to address current transport problems through a sharing economy model. Dennis said that Mober approached colorum UV Express owners and recruited them as part of their fleet. “We don’t accept people who say that they will buy vans then join us. We prefer owners who already have under-utilized vans.” With over 15,000 under-utilized vans in Metro Manila, Mober hopes to provide a win-win solution wherein van owners can maximize their vehicles and SMEs and other potential customers can minimize their costs.
GoMoto concurred with Mober’s principle of avoiding getting more vehicles on the road. The true objective is to maximize the vehicles that are already there so that many families can supplement their current income. “We target Facebook groups/motorcycle groups,” Nathaniel said about the couriers they enlist into GoMoto, “we give them livelihood or additional income through GoMoto.” Hoping to ensure the safety of cyclists and others on the road, GoMoto said that they are very strict with their riders in terms of adhering to road safety rules and regulations.
Fast feedback loops and a drive to always improve keep Mober and GoMoto at the top of their game. Hoping to provide better service to both their partners and clients, the two companies act fast and gather feedback from all parties concerned, regularly. For example, GoMoto shares that they’ve improved their riders facilities to ensure the safe delivery of all kinds of food. At the same time they ensure the safety of their riders by always knowing what’s in the package being delivered to ensure that their aren’t any contraband present.
Mober provides easy access to their services by allowing interested clients to take on their service through their website, mobile app and call center hotline. They offer GPS tracking so customers can track the movement of their goods and can avail of the VanPlus service wherein a helper can assist in unloading cargo for a more convenient drop-off.
GoMoto has also developed an easy and intuitive mobile interface that will allow anyone to book and track the delivery of their packages.
Photo (c) gomoto.ph
How to Apply
To apply as a partner of Mober, get in touch with their partner hotline: 0939-1282222, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook @moberph.
On June 14, 2017, Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Manny Valencia, Joel Yala and Rey Lapid – 3 inspiring men who’ve kept a balance between being negosyantes and fathers as well.
Before being a full-time entrepreneur, Joel Yala was once a construction worker, a tricycle driver and an ordinary employee. His wife, Marissa, was also an employee before they decided to quit their jobs and start their own business. The idea of Chocovron started when Joel was grocery shopping with his wife and was fascinated by all things coated in chocolate. He then thought of producing a similar product and called it Chocovron in 2003. Joel shares that starting Chocovron was definitely not easy. He had to make the products “mano-mano” with his wife while his taste testers were his neighbours and co-workers. Joel would place his Chocovrons at the locker for people to taste in the factory where he was working at and perform an inventory every break time. “Sobrang sacrifice talaga pero mahal ko ginagawa ko” Joel said. In late 2004, Joel decided to get a DTI permit to make his business official. DTI called for a meeting since they were intrigued with the product, they were soon asked “willing ba kayo lumaki yung business”? Today, Chocovron is importing their products to the United States and Canada and has market exhibits in Thailand, China and Hongkong. From the small enterprise, Chocovron now employs 50 employees, all hailing from Surigao – the same province of Joel and Marissa since it has been their mission to help improve the lives of fellow Surigaonon. Everyday, they are producing a total of 5000 packs of Polvoron of different variants; from the class chocovron to the flavoured polvoron (cookies and cream, milk), nutrivon (sugar free, ampalaya, malunggay). What makes men different from women in his experience in business? “Stricto ako, weakness ng mga babae mga sale lagi may distraction, pag lalake, naka lista dire diretso kung ano sadya” Joel says.
Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Manny Valencia, Joel Yala and Rey Lapid – 3 inspiring men who’ve kept a balance between being negosyantes and fathers as well.
At an early age of 12, Rey Lapid was already about getting down to business. Rey’s father used to work at a public market and he would always come along especially during summer, “Gusto kong binibigyang halaga ang oras” he said. Rey noticed that whenever people would buy meat, “Very observant ako, pinapatanggal yung balat. Sayang yung balat kaya inipon and tinabi ko yung tirang balat” Rey said. From there his dad started making chicharron to be sold at the public market. In 1974 Rey started his own business, R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbeque, at a small stall in Quiapo. Rey and his wife sold chicken barbeque, longganisa, tocino and his best selling chicharron. Today, Lapid owns more than a 100 branches of R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbeque around the country. He even owns 2 resort hotels in Laguna and managed to put up a six-story mansion for his family. Rey plans to re-name his famous chicharron to “Manila Fries”.
In a business, it is inevitable for entrepreneurs to encounter obstacles. Manny shared that his biggest challenge was when he had little to no capital but this didn’t stop him because of his strong faith in the Lord, “naniniwala naman tayo na may plano si God. Nagpray talaga ako. Based on Romans 31. Sumipa bigla yung business, nabayarn ko yung 3 milion na utang. Yung resto na pinapagawa ko natapos. Tiwala lang talaga and sundin and instruction ni Lord”. Joel recalled, “nung ilang months na chocovron, na hold up ako. Parang sabotage kasi alam niya pwesto ko. Natrauma ako, 1 week di ako makatulog. Tinutukan kasi ako ng baril. Inicip ko Lord pano mga anak ko. Mula nun, di ako nagpakita 1 week sa trabaho. Sinabi ko sa misis ko na itigil to kasi baka dito pako mamatay. Pero parang may bumulong sakin na ituloy padin. Icipin mo we started sa 35 sqm ngayon may factory na”. As for Rey, he went to America because he was invited by a friend to venture into a restaurant business. “I became so aggressive. May gusto mag partner sakin from USA. I became too excited, pumayag ako kaagd. Malaking good obstacle is opening up restaurant in san Francisco. Pagdating ko dun, nag invest ako. Ako tuloy nag operate lahat mag isa. Operated for 3 years ako lang mag isa. With that good experience, marami akong nalaman na tama at mali. Bumalik ako ng Pilipinas pero wala akong nabalik sa Pilipinas. Bago ko sinarado yung resto, nag trabaho ako dun bago umuwi para magka pera. Nung naka ipon nako, umuwi ako. I had to start from zero again. My wife was continuing my business for me here”.
How to balance being a father and a negosyante? All 3 answered that it was important to keep a good relationship with your wife and children. “Dapat may time sa asawa at pamilya. Ingatan ang relasyon sa pamilya, hindi yung puro negosyo tapos mapapabayaan yung pamilya” Manny said. As for their children, they make sure to train their children well before letting them in the business. “Tumutulong mga anak ko sa business, pero binabayaran ko sila parang empleyado” Joel said. “Mga anak ko very independent. Sabi ko subukan mo muna yung business natin dito, pag ayaw mo dun ka mag abroad” Rey told his children. “May bilin na sila ang mamana ng business, pero pinapa pasok ko muna sila sa ibang companya para makita and makasunod sa mga policy ng isang company” Manny shared.
As the segment came to an end, the 3 fathers left a few pieces of advice in how to be a father and negosyante at the same time. “May tatay din tayo sa langit na nakakakita satin at tutulungan tayo”, “Umasa sa taas pero wag kakalimutan nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa” and “Always keep a balance between negosyo and family”.