As inclusive, innovation-led growth remains a thematic priority and championing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the ASEAN region stands as a key deliverable of the Philippines during its ASEAN chairmanship in 2017, the Board of Investments (BOI) in partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), is conducting a Business Conference in Manila Hotel on October 19, 2017 that aims to further strengthen the linkage between ASEAN MSMEs with ASEAN and global multinational enterprises (MNEs).

FAST Action Agenda on Investment

Dovetailed with PCCI’s 43rd Philippine Business Conference (PBC) where around 200 participants from the business community and government are expected to participate, the BOI partnered with the PCCI for the region’s micro, small, and medium enterprises to meet and discuss with big companies for possible supplier tie-ups through one-on-one meetings and business networking and matching.

To date, around 73 MSMEs and MNEs from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, and Myanmar, have signified interests to participate in the business matching activity initially in the areas of automotive, engineering services, supply of agricultural products, and manufacturing.

“Our goal is to showcase the region’s MSMEs as possible suppliers of products and services to international companies. As we further encourage them to enhance their competitiveness, in the same way, we also want them to expand their markets and link them to more business opportunities by participating in regional and global value chains,” said Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez.

The BOI is closely coordinating with PCCI and the DTI’s Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED) in identifying more local participants in the business conference and with the ASEAN’s Coordinating Committee on Investment (CCI) and the ASEAN’s Coordinating Committee on Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (ACCSME) for additional regional participants.

The linking of ASEAN MSMEs with ASEAN and global MNEs is one of the four key deliverables under the Focused and Strategic (FAST) Action Agenda on Investment, an initiative of the Philippines that the ASEAN CCI agreed to adopt as a priority deliverable in its 69th Meeting in Manila last February 2017.

The three other key deliverables of the FAST Action Agenda include ASEAN-wide assessment of the outstanding issues on Trade Related Investment Measures, assessment on the establishment of an ASEAN Investment Tribunal, and an in-depth assessment of the business registration among ASEAN in support of the investment facilitation goal of the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement.