The Philippines and Indonesia, through their respective ASEAN-Business Advisory Councils, started aligning initiatives to help the region’s micro-, small- and medium enterprises.
Among these initiatives is the Philippines’ own legacy project from its chairmanship of the ASEAN—the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network.
Go Negosyo founder and ASEAN-BAC Philippines chair Joey Concepcion said the recently concluded bilateral meeting between the two groups affirmed the importance of public-private partnerships in achieving progress for the region.
Public-private partnerships define the legacy projects that each country should implement following their chairmanship of the ASEAN-BAC.
The bilateral meeting is part of the ASEAN BAC Indonesia chair’s series of meetings held in the Philippines from Feb. 16 to 18 and is part of the roadshow Indonesia is conducting across the ten ASEAN member states.
The roadshow is in support of its chairmanship of the ASEAN in 2023 and aims to discuss with the ASEAN-BAC from each country the five key priorities and seven legacy projects of Indonesia’s ASEAN BAC chairmanship.
Among the ASEAN-BAC Indonesia’s legacy projects which present possible synergy with the Philippines include the Wiki Entrepreneur One-Stop Digital Platform, the ASEAN Cross-Border QR Code, the ASEAN Net Zero Hub, the Carbon Center for Excellence and the Inclusive Loop for Agriculture Products.
Concepcion underscored the importance of MSMEs in the ASEAN region’s development. “Moving forward toward progress centers on MSMEs. If we don’t develop them, we will have difficulty reducing the level of poverty. We have to scale them up and generate more jobs for the region,” he said.
M. Arsjad Rasjid PM, 2023 chair of the ASEAN BAC and chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or KADIN, said there is indeed a need to strengthen MSMEs, as the sector contributes more than 90 percent of the jobs in the region.
He said that the Indonesian group wants to hear from the business sector and the regulators from each country.
The ASEAN roadshow, he said, aims to understand what is expected of, and gain insights from, each ASEAN member-state.
“We also want to see how we can connect the legacies, the policies, and the involvement of each country in participating in the legacy projects,” he said.
He said an important objective is attaining sustainability and continuity for the ASEAN-BAC legacy projects.
Joining Rasjid in the Philippines roadshow were ASEAN BAC Alternate vhair Bernardino Vega, ASEAN BAC board member Mapisyono, executive director of ASEAN-BAC Secretariat Gil Gonzales, policy manager (Digital Transformation) Hans Lukiman, policy manager (Sustainable Development) Radju Munusamy, energy entrepreneur and startup investor Pandu Sjahrir, Legacy PIC (ASEAN Net-Zero Hub) Muhammad Yusrizki, CEO of Investree; ASEAN BAC PIC for Digital Lending Adrian Gunadi, PIC (Wikipreneurs) Aldi Haryopratomo, KADIN IR Manager Noto Suaneto and Maria Sutanto.
Joining the bilateral meeting from the ASEAN-BAC Philippines were Go Negosyo senior advisers Engr. Merly Cruz, Josephine Romero and Dr. William Dar; the Department of Trade and Industry’s Rhea Tan; and Go Negosyo executive director Mina Akram.
The Indonesian delegation met with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s George Barcelon and with Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga. The visiting Indonesian contingent also paid a courtesy call to DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual.
Rasjid, Sjahrir and Vega also volunteered to mentor select Filipino MSMEs during Go Negosyo’s 3M On Wheels which was held at the Robinson’s Galleria in the Oritigas Business District in Quezon City.
The ASEAN-BAC was established by the ASEAN heads of state and government at the 7th ASEAN Summit in November 2001. Launched in April 2003, ASEAN-BAC was set up with the mandate to provide private sector feedback and guidance to boost ASEAN’s efforts towards economic integration.
The ASEAN-BAC also identifies priority areas for consideration of the ASEAN Leaders. Accordingly, ASEAN-BAC’s activities are primarily focused on reviewing and identifying issues to facilitate and promote economic cooperation and integration.