Inquirer.net | 12 November 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his support to efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) to strengthen micro, small, and medium businesses (MSMEs), which he described as an important sector that “eliminates monopoly” in the market.

“I commend the ABAC chair and member of the council for their efforts in harnessing private sector feedback. I believe that mentorship, money, and markets are [important] to ensuring the success and security of any business enterprise,” Duterte said in the meeting held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on Monday.

“MSMEs are considering game changers in the economy as they can offer more options in the market and their presence eliminates monopoly to trade and fosters competition in the industry,” he added.

On Sunday, the ABAC launched its Asean Mentorship for Entrepreneurship Network (Amen), which allows over 140 business leaders to mentor MSMEs. Forty-eight of these mentors include Filipino entrepreneurs like Joey Concepcion, who is the chairperson of the ABAC and RFM Corp., Credit Information Corporation president Jaime Garchitorena, and Tokyo Tempura chief executive officer Jorge Wieneke.

The Asean, with the Philippines as its current chair, has recently urged for a boost in MSMEs as the backbone of the region’s economy. MSMEs make up 95 to 99 percent of all business establishments in Southeast Asia.

During the Asean MSME Development Summit in July, Asean Economic Ministers Chairman and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the sector could serve as the “prime mover of both domestic and regional growth.”

“Through innovation and digitalization, we are confident that MSMEs can leapfrog their status as globally-competitive enterprises, thus benefitting everyone in ASEAN,” Lopez said.  

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