Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma “Joey” Concepcion III on Thursday, April 27, announced the holding of the first Prosperity for All Summit of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) during a press briefing held at The Conrad Manila.
PA Concepcion, also the Chairman of the ASEAN – BAC, hopes to convince the more developed countries in the region to help those countries lagging behind, and for big business to give a lending hand to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“ASEAN stands as 10 countries and it is my belief that 10 countries can co-exist to continue beyond 50 years if everybody is a winner, and not just a few countries are winners. It is important that ASEAN remembers that the inclusivity especially for those who are at the bottom countries will try to aspire to be successful as Singapore, Malaysia, by more successful countries,” Concepcion said stressing that ASEAN is inclusive.
“It is to benefit all nations, and every Filipino and every nationality in the 10 countries. This is the reason why we chose Prosperity for All,” Concepcion underscored. “And it is very clear from the council members today as we had our meeting, is that they want each and every country to rise together and nobody is left behind.”
The Prosperity for All Summit, with the theme, “Partnering for Change, Creating Prosperity for All,” is set Friday, with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha in attendance.
“Prosperity for all also falls to the citizens of each nation, especially the Philippines. We all see that poverty is our biggest problem. Poverty is the cause for major problems like drug addiction and a lot of crimes,” PA Concepcion pointed out.
President Duterte’s adviser for entrepreneurship likewise mentioned the importance of creating awareness in the importance of an inclusive environment, particularly in getting big business to help the small businessmen such as the micro and small entrepreneurs.
MSMEs play an important role in alleviating poverty by providing much-needed livelihood activities for those who live below the poverty line.
“Our MSMEs who basically like in the Philippines comprise 99.6% of the entire business community. 0.4% belongs to the large companies. We are really encouraging all these 0.4% largest corporations to really help the 99.6% of micro and small. This is the same scenario that we receive in many of the other countries in the ASEAN who are less or not in the same footing in terms of economic prosperity. One program that we feel that really can create and help our many micro and small entrepreneurs is the mentoring program that we have started to embark,” Concepcion said.
Mr. Concepcion added that one of the deliverables for the ASEAN in 2017 is to create the ASEAN Mentoring Entrepreneurship Network where volunteer mentors of each country that can pooled together and be shared by each member country as to specific areas of expertise, such as in the fields of agriculture and technology.
Prosperity for All Summit is one of the related ASEAN meetings this Summit Week that will culminate on the 30th ASEAN Summit on Saturday, April 29.