By RD Velasco

Published in Business Mirror

18 July 2017

In Photo: Agnes Perpetua Legaspi, assistant director of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau, speaks during the Asean multisector forum held on June 30 at the Provincial Capitol of Benguet. She discussed opportunities in Asean for micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as free trade and investments.

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—As the Philippines holds the chairmanship of the Asean this year, the Public Information Agency (PIA) of the Cordillera Administrative Region organized a multisector forum on Asean on June 30 at the Benguet Provincial Capitol.

The forum was led by the PIA in partnership with the Benguet provincial government as part of the information campaign to spread awareness on the Asean Economic Community at the grassroots level.

UP Associate Professor Arellano Colongan said, “The impact of [the] Asean is just around us, perhaps closer than we may realize. There are challenges, but there are also good things.”

The forum brought more than 300 participants from various sectors in the province of Benguet.

Assistant Director Agnes Perpetua Legaspi of the Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) was invited to discuss micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) opportunities on trade and Investments under the Asean Economic Pillar.

In her presentation, Legaspi underscored the value of being part of the Asean not only economically, but also politically and socially.

She said, “The three pillars of [the] Asean all tie together. It is important we work on these three pillars to achieve the quality of life that we want for Filipinos.” The other two pillars of Asean, namely, the Political-Security Community and Socio-Cultural Community, were also discussed by speakers from the regional government offices.

The resource speakers presented the size, characteristics and scope of these markets where exporters can take advantage from, considering the preferential tariffs these countries provided.

The forum is a response to the call of President Duterte to take active support and participation in the various Asean activities as the Philippine chairmanship of Asean coincides with its 50th founding anniversary.