January 19, 2021

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ASEAN BAC Brings Prosperity for All

MANILA, 28 APRIL 2017 – State leaders, public sector representatives, business leaders and various enablers from the ASEAN all gathered at the City of Dreams Manila’s Grand Ballroom during the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC)’s Prosperity for All Summit headed by ASEAN-BAC Chair Jose Ma. “Joey” Concepcion III. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak of Malaysia and Prime Minster General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.) of Thailand were the honorable guests of the summit. Vice President of the Philippines.Leni Robredo also did a keynote speech. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Sen. Bam Aquino, Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña all joined the discussion on helping micro entrepreneurs.

The summit focusing on micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSME) development was attended by more than 1,000 delegates from across the ASEAN region. Five sessions were conducted tackling topics such as driving growth through trade, services and agriculture; strengthening and opening up markets; funding and financial inclusion; technology and innovation; and most notably the ASEAN-BAC’s initiative called the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN).

“This event and its theme prosperity for all is the most important objective the ASEAN should hope to achieve—leaving no nation behind and growing together, hand-in-hand, as ASEAN brothers. Inclusivity is the reason why you have all been invited here today,” said ASEAN-BAC Chair Concepcion.

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion

Prime Mnister Dati Sri Najib Razak of Malaysia said during his speech, “Ladies and Gentlemen, another challenge that ASEAN faces, and we should bear it in mind particularly in this 50th anniversary year, is the need both to raise awareness of ASEAN and to make it feel real, relevant and tangible to all our citizens.”

“For our Community to be real, it must be something that is part of our people’s lives. It must be something that touches their hearts. ASEAN must be seen as a source of cohesion, solidarity, support, unity, friendship and strength and of course greater prosperity (…) As we celebrate a half century of ASEAN, what better way for us to do so than working towards making the theme of this summit – Prosperity for All – into a reality,” he added.

Vice President Leni Robredo also addressed the theme of prosperity and inclusivity in her speech: “Putting the welfare of micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises at the center of ASEAN’s agenda—essentially inclusive growth—is the challenge of our time. I believe that unless progress reaches the farthest, poorest barangays, our job is not yet done. (…) So as we go back to our drawing boards to think about coming up with inclusive business models, or how to rethink our structures and institutions, let us all remember that the final scorecard is what happens to the last, the least, and the lost. Prosperity for all and inclusive growth will heal our conflicted world.”

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.”

Thailand Prime Minister General Chan-o-Cha (Ret.), was the final speaker of the Summit. In closing, he said “I commend the ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s constructive role in organizing today’s Summit, especially for initiating a network of mentors who will help design world-class training modules for ASEAN MSMEs. With rising challenges in the global market, we need to focus more efforts on the development of human capital. (…) I hope you will all be inspired to come together to support, promote and develop MSMEs in this people-centered Community and work together for the benefit of all and of future generations, while leaving no one behind.”