Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry, unveils business programs that champion the promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), youth and women entrepreneurship at the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program (ABIP) Launch at the at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall in Malacañang on 24 January 2017.

The development of MSMEs is among the priority areas in terms of ASEAN’s policy focus and resources. ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2025 Pillar 4 (“Resilient, Inclusive, People-Oriented, and People-Centered ASEAN”) reinforces the MSME-oriented mandate and supports the significant work of ASEAN in providing an enabling environment for MSME development and internationalization. 

“Philippines, through DTI, wants to highlight business programs and events that will complement the ASEAN efforts to champion the inclusion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the international trade, and the strengthened promotion of youth and women entrepreneurship,” said DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

During the ASEAN Business and Investment Program launch, DTI Secretary Lopez shared programs developed which provides the business component of the priority themes and policies that the Philippines is advocating under the AEC pillar with an ASEAN perspective.

The following programs were developed by DTI as chair for the ASEAN 2017 Committee on Business and Investment Promotion:

  • ASEAN MSMEs-Mentors Conference 2017;
  • ASEAN Creative Cities Forum and Exhibit ;
  • ASEAN at International Food Exposition Philippines 2017;
  • ASEAN Women’s Business Conference;
  • Inclusive Business Summit;
  • 2nd ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival;
  • Creative Marketplace;
  • Slingshot ASEAN; and
  • ASEAN MSME Summit.

Further to this, through the priority agenda of “inclusive, innovation-led growth”, the Philippines is poised to champion the MSME mandate in the ASEAN through the following strategic measures: (1) increasing trade and investment; (2) integrating MSMEs in the digital economy; and (3) developing an innovation-driven economy.

High on Philippines’ hosting agenda for the economic pillar are deliverables geared toward instituting an enabling environment that allows MSMEs to develop and internationalize through policies that ease the cost of doing business and through support activities that nurture their continuous growth.

“As ASEAN, we are highly aware in the need to increase participation from all sectors to ensure that the benefits of integration are fully realized and shared by everyone in the region,” added Secretary Lopez.

DTI as chair for ASEAN 2017 Committee on Business and Investment Promotion, an inter-agency committee established by the Philippines’ 2017 ASEAN National Organizing Committee (ASEAN NOC). CBIP is responsible in engaging the international business community, government, and other parties; and as well as in organizing business and investment-related activities.

The Philippine Chairmanship of ASEAN 2017 was formally launched on 15 January in SMX Convention Center in Davao City with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”