“As Chair of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in its milestone 50th year, I consider it a privilege to usher in a new age in our regional economy — one that is motivated not by desire for profit, but by the drive and entrepreneurial spirit of our peoples,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as he led the presentation of the ASEAN Business Awards 2017 at the Solaire Resort and Casino Grand Ballroom in Parañaque City.
The President recognized the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) as instrumental in realizing inclusive growth and said, “It has served as a platform for the private sector to provide valuable guidance in empowering our entrepreneurs to become the bedrock of a stronger regional economy.”
President Duterte also congratulated the winners of the ASEAN Business Awards 2017 and reminded them of their responsibility to “help your fellow entrepreneurs do better and achieve more, to propel micro entrepreneurs to become small, and the small become medium and so on.”
“It is truly an honor for the Philippines to lead ASEAN towards this promising future for businesses,” said the President, and spoke about the administration’s push for the promotion and integration of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across all sectors in the country, the development of an innovation-driven economy, and the promotion of women and youth entrepreneurship in all sectors.
The President ended his speech by asking all ASEAN Member-States to continue “to support local businesses through governmental and private endeavors that would make it easier for them to grow, flourish, and contribute to the development of their communities, their countries and the entire region.”
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary and ASEAN Economic Ministers Chairman Ramon Lopez accompanied the President in the awarding ceremony attended by leaders of the ASEAN business industry and ASEAN Economic Ministers.
The ASEAN Business Awards 2017 gave recognition to the Most Promising ASEAN Companies, Most Excellent Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Most Inclusive Business, the ASEAN Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, the ASEAN Young Entrepreneur of the Year, among other prestigious awards.