(Note from MindaNews: This is the official transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech, released by the Presidential News Desk of the Presidential Communications Office)
Presidential Communications Office
Presidential News Desk
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
ASEAN LEADERS’ INTERFACE WITH ASEAN BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL (ABAC)[Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City | 13 November 2017]
Kindly sit down. Thank you for the courtesy.
Fellow leaders of the ASEAN member states; leaders of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council; ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh; honorable members of the Diplomatic Corps; Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and other members of the Cabinet; other distinguished guests; last but not the least, the World Economic Forum Asian Chair; ladies and gentlemen.
Your Majesty, Excellencies, members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, on behalf of my fellow ASEAN leaders, I wish to thank the ASEAN Business Advisory Council for initiating this interface.
The ASEAN leaders recognize the role in pushing forward ASEAN Economic Community Agenda for a freer trade relations and more intra-Asian investments.
I commend the ASEAN-BAC Chair and members of the Council for your efforts in harnessing private sector feedback and inputs.
I believe that mentorship, money, and markets are pre-requisites in ensuring the success and sustainability of any business enterprise.
That is why I support your strategy of strengthening and integrating these three Ms as one cohesive approach in empowering micro, small and medium industries.
We are eager to work and partner with you to prepare the MSMEs as a bridge to open pathways toward global value chains.
I likewise support the three interlocking elements that bind your Ms together, which are inclusive business, hard and soft connectivity, infrastructure and a conducive policy, environment for MSMEs.
I am particularly pleased to note your tremendous effort to forge alliances with big businesses, both at the national and across ASEAN to champion inclusive business.
MSMEs are considered game changers as they can offer more options in the market and their presence also eliminates monopoly of trade and fosters healthy competition in the industry.
The leaders stand in close partnership with you in reenergizing the ASEAN Economic Community.
We urge the ASEAN secretariats and all the consultative working committees under the economic pillar of ASEAN to work closely with the ASEAN BAC and its partners to fast track ASC reforms, especially the so-called low-hanging fruits.
In conclusion, we commit our deep resolve in putting our collective leadership behind your strategic action agenda.
The ASEAN way and your call for prosperity for all should now become one and [synonymous?].