Bringing Prosperity for All

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

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 or

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.

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.