Seven representatives of the Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation (SERDEF) participated in the ASEAN 2017 MSME Development Summit held on July 14, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
SERDEF Trustees Paz Diaz, Serenidad Lavador, Zafrullah Masahud, Editha Reyes, Benigno Ricafort, Jose Tabbada, and SERDEF Member and Miriam College Professor Ma. Luisa Gatchalian attended the event alongside representatives of ASEAN MSMEs, multinational corporations, private sector organizations, SME agencies, regulatory agencies, and business experts.
With the theme “The 7Ms Towards Shared Prosperity in ASEAN,” the Summit aimed to “strengthen ASEAN Integration and the ASEAN Economic Community, and to engage and recognize our MSMEs as partners for economic growth and national development,” according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which organized the event.
The DTI chairs the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion (ASEAN CBIP) which developed the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program with events and activities supporting Regulatory Coherence, Championing Women, Youth Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and the MSMEs.
The day-long regional summit focused on the following topics: 1) Promoting MSME Development Mindset; 2) Mastery and Mentoring Toward Competitiveness and Resilience; 3) Accessing Domestic and Regional Markets; 4) Overcoming Money Hurdles; and 5) Machines and Proactive Business Models Toward Productive and Responsive MSMEs.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez delivered the keynote address while Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya gave the welcome remarks and an overview of the summit. Panelists in the keynote forum were Jose Concepcion, Chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship; Datuk Hafsah Hashim, CEO of SME Corporation Malaysia; Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Chair of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship; Kurt Wee, President of the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises in Singapore; and Nestor Espenilla, Jr., Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.