Duterte urges ASEAN firms to help small businesses

By Kris Crismundo

September 6, 2017, 10:33 pm

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte has challenged large companies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to make the region’s business environment more inclusive.

In his speech during the ASEAN Business Awards 2017 here Wednesday evening, President Duterte has urged ASEAN firms to integrate micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in their value chain.

“We have also challenged those who achieved success and wealth to embrace inclusivity by helping our MSMEs,” said President Duterte, who is also the ASEAN chair for this year.

“I now extend this call to other big businesses in the region. Embrace MSMEs in your supply chains, open up your retail stores, and integrate these small entrepreneurs into the way you do business,” he added.

He noted that partnering with the MSMEs is a concrete action to eradicate poverty and eliminate inequities in the region.

Moreover, President Duterte recognized the winners of this year’s ASEAN Business Awards, noting their outstanding performance, especially those adopted inclusive business model that makes significant social impact enabling the region to achieve inclusive growth and prosperity for all.

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council acknowledged nine Legacy Awardees in the region including Brunei Darussalam’s Haji Musa Bin Hj Adnin of Adnin Group of Companies; Indonesia’s Dr. (H.C.) Sudhamek AWS of GarudaFood; Laos’ Rattana Prathoumvan of EDL Generation Public Company; Malaysia’s Goh Peng Ooi of Silverlake Axis Limited; Myanmar’s Aung Ko Win of Kanbawza Bank; the Philippines’ John Gokongwei, Jr. of JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; Singapore’s Wee Cho Yaw of United Overseas Bank; Thailand’s Sakchai Unchittikul of Srichiengmai Industry Company; and Vietnam’s Le Thu Thuy of BRG Group.

“For serving as role models and mentors to other ASEAN enterprises, you have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN Economic Community,” he said.

Duterte likewise urged other entrepreneurs in the region to follow the example of successful ASEAN businesses and lead innovation towards sustainable economic development in ASEAN.

“Let the accomplishments of our honorees serve as an example of the whole region that MSMEs are key drivers and contributors to greater employment opportunities and more resilient economies in ASEAN,” he added. (PNA)