PHL to put forward MSME initiatives in ASEAN 2017

DAVAO CITY -- The Philippines will be putting forward initiatives to strengthen the capacity of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the 2017 ASEAN Summit.

During the launching of the country's chairmanship for 2017 ASEAN Summit here in Davao City on Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned that the regional organization should pursue mechanisms and initiatives on MSMEs which will have significant impact in the lives of ASEAN people.

Duterte noted that the ASEAN should provide opportunities for its people by making the region more open for businesses and improving connectivity.

"We must continue working on a bigger, more open, rules-based market for business and trade to thrive," he said.

"We must forge the increased people-to-people interaction through commerce, travel, education," he added.

On the sidelines of the event, Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado told the Philippines News Agency that the country's MSME initiatives will also give focus on women and youth.

"It is more of employment and entrepreneurship for women and youth of ASEAN," said Terrado.

In fact, an ASEAN Youth Entrepreneurship Awards and ASEAN Women Entrepreneurship Forum will be held here in the third quarter of the year.

The official added that the 7Ms for MSMEs pushed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez will also be put forward during ASEAN meetings.

These 7Ms for MSME development are mindset, mastery, mentoring, market access, money access, machine, and models of business.

In the same event, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President George Barcelon said in an interview that the ASEAN-Business Advisory Council (BAC) will continue discussions on facilitating help to MSMEs through infrastructure and financing, among others.

Barcelon added that the ASEAN-BAC also targets to enhance connectivity between ASEAN and its free trade agreement partners through roll-on/roll-off vessels.

"A multilateral agreement is needed to have facilities, such as ports, among our FTA partners," he said.

MSMEs share over 90 percent of ASEAN's business establishments and contribute to the growth of its economy. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency