Towards prosperous ASEAN SMEs

Philippine Star
Content provided by Asianet-Pakistan

When I am invited to speak in different forums and gatherings, I like to emphasize that the micro, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the Philippine economy. Truth be told, that is a reality not only for our country, but also for many of our ASEAN brothers.

In fact, the statistics read show MSMEs represent about 95 to 99 percent of ASEAN businesses, depending on which country you reside in. In the Philippines, we clock the number to 99.66 percent.

These numbers not only show the power of MSMEs to develop our nation and region, but also the urgency by which we should address it. Since the start of Go Negosyo, the advocacy has always been about promoting an entrepreneurial nation.

Today, it cannot be denied that entrepreneurs can be found everywhere. They permeate every facet of our daily lives.

From the street vendors you encounter on your daily commute, to online shops that invade your digital space, entrepreneurs can be found virtually everywhere. However, despite the proliferation of entrepreneurship in our country, why is then that only few benefit from a thriving economy?

4 percent control and truly benefit from the business culture in our country, there is much work to be done. The advocacy now of Go Negosyo has evolved from simply promoting an entrepreneurial culture into focusing on uplifting the micro and small enterprises to scale-up.

On July 14 at the Philippine International Convention Center, the Department of Trade and Industry will hold its MSME summit under the guidance of Secretary Ramon Lopez, the event’s keynote speaker. He worked for RFM Corporation for more than 20 years as a senior executive and was the executive director of Go Negosyo.

He has been a great partner of mine since the beginning of Go Negosyo’s crusade to help MSMEs scale. Thankfully, through his tireless efforts and dedicated service, MSMEs are increasingly becoming the center of trade and economic policy.

In the months leading up to the MSME summit, there have been rigorous roundtable discussions conducted with the brightest minds in various fields in order to determine the most important and immediate topics that would become the central focus of the summit. I was fortunate to be a part of the discussions where I heard the inputs of experts in the field of entrepreneurship, economics, agriculture, markets and technology.

As a result of the discussions, the pre-determined topics that will be discussed in the summit will tackle the 7Ms Towards a Shared Prosperity in ASEAN, meaning mindset, mastery, mentoring, markets, money, machines, and models. Those topics will be discussed in integrated sessions with panels of experts.

I am personally looking forward to joining the keynote forum entitled Promoting ASEAN MSMEs for Prosperity along with my co-panelists Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Rep.

With all these sectors, experts and government representatives coming together in the name of MSME development and prosperity for all, I am truly optimistic for a bright future ahead for our country and ASEAN brothers. On July 19, I will be speaking during the International Conference of the Philippine Franchise Association called Franchise Asia Philippines 2017. I will give the keynote address entitled “Replicating Prosperity Across the ASEAN Region” aligned with the conference’s theme “Innovate and Replicate: ASEAN Rising.