UP ISSI and the Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC-Philippines) held a consultation meeting last 18 May 2017 involving participants from the industry, government, private sector and the academe. Initiated by Dr. Benjamin Quinones, president of ASEC-Philippines, the half-day event was organized to formulate recommendations for strengthened roles of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the integrated Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional economy. In turn, the recommended priority actions are intended to form part of the Philippines’ new MSME Development Plan.
The May 18 meeting, one of many activities leading up to the ASEAN 2017 MSME Development Summit set in the middle of July 2017, was held in UP ISSI. Discussions were guided by three strategic measures: increasing trade and investment, integrating MSMEs into the global value chains and developing an innovation-led economy. These are the same measures that will be propounded in the July Summit.
During the breakout groups, the participants were tasked to answer two questions: The first was on what the government should do and the second was what they themselves should do.
Admittedly, Philippine MSMEs still face many age-old problems. With the suggested recommendations, it is hoped that the new solutions will address the sector’s many challenges once put into action.