Biz groups seal covenant for inclusive growth

A list of Who’s Who in the country’s business community has pledged to collaborate religiously with the government to achieve inclusive economic growth, particularly those engaged in micro, small and medium enterprises.

Thirty-seven groups from various segments of the business community, calling themselves members of the Kapatid Angat Lahat Program and organized by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, have committed to the consensus goal of shared prosperity, eyeing inclusive growth for the country.

“To increase the number of jobs in our country, we need to help scale up our MSMEs. This is where the public-private partnership with the government is key. We should help our MSMEs become bigger. Any effort here will contribute to creating more jobs. This is the Circle of success we create when everyone in the ecosystem grows and where no one is left behind,” Go Negosyo chairperson Joey Concepcion said.

Kapatid Angat Lahat program is one of the priority programs of Concepcion in his role as the lead of the jobs group of the Private Sector Advisory Council. It is part of the proposals presented to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The public-private sector partnership initiative aims to promote inclusive economic growth using Go Negosyo’s framework of providing MSMEs access to money, markets and mentoring.

The group’s pledge of commitment was cemented during the MSME Summit, organized by Go Negosyo, in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry, on Friday at the Manila Hotel and graced by Marcos Jr.

“We shall endeavor to harness private-public partnership to help MSME development by building linkages, pooling business opportunities and supporting government policies and programs that help create an enabling and sustainable business environment for MSMEs,” the signatories of the pledge of commitment said.

Further, the business organizations also dedicated themselves to developing programs anchored on the 3Ms—Mentorship, Money and Market— “to realize for our country and the Filipino people the goal of achieving prosperity for all.”

Signatories of the covenant include Concepcion for Go Negosyo, George Barcelon of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Henry Lim Bon Liong of the Federation of Filipino Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.; Rosemarie Ong of the Philippine Retailers Association; Rogelio Singson of the Management Association of the Philippines; Eric Teng of the RestoPH; Lars Wittig of the European Chamber of Commerce; Chris Nelson of the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines; and Jack Madrid of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, among other business organizations.

MSME revitalization

Marcos, during the event, promised the revitalization of MSMEs as among his administration’s top priorities.

“I assure you that MSMEs will be protected and provided ample opportunities to recover from these extraordinary times and grow and thrive. I am pleased that the focus of the MSME Summit is the post-pandemic recovery and the promotion of digitization aligned with the priorities of the administration,” the President said.

The government, through the DTI, has recently formulated and implemented strategic goals for five key business areas benefiting MSMEs: business climate, access to finance, management and labor, technology and innovation, and access to the market.

“This multi-dimensional approach will allow us to bring new light to our MSMEs and help them move forward to a more resilient and prosperous future,” Marcos added.

US government support

Meanwhile, United States Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson also assured that the US government would be supporting efforts to support MSMEs and help local economies transform from the pandemic-induced slowdown.

“The USAID has partnered with American companies and non-profit organizations to assist 10,000 Philippine MSMEs during the economic downturn. The USAID also partnered with Philippine microfinance institutions to disburse P14 million micro-grants to 3,500 deserving MSMEs,” Carlson said.

Also, the US Ambassador said her country supports the growth of the digital economy, which promises to be a strong driver for job growth and income generation, encouraging MSMEs to participate and take advantage of its benefits.

“As your enduring friend and ally, the US is honored to collaborate with the government and the people of the Philippines to support MSME businesses so that they continue to grow and propel the country’s economic transformation,” Carlson averred.

Hearing this, Go Negosyo chairperson Concepcion was delighted by the Philippine and US governments’ assurance to further the welfare of the MSMEs, which comprise 99 percent of the country’s total enterprises and 63 percent of local jobs.

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