The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) is gathering on February 16, 2016 representatives from various government agencies to generate their insights and recommendations on the proposal to integrate inclusive business (IB) in government policies.

IBs are innovative models where companies engage the poor and low-income communities as partners, customers, suppliers, and employees in their supply chains not out of charity, but because it makes good business sense. The integration of these communities into global value chains improves their quality of lives and makes for better business with diversified supply and distribution systems.

Dubbed as “Mainstreaming IB in Government Policies”, the forum, through the Trade and Industry Development Talks (TID Talks), will happen on February 16, 2016 at the Makati Diamond Residences Hotel in Makati City.  This follows the Public-Private Dialogue on IB held in August 2015, the IB session on APEC Women and the Economy Forum held in September 2015, and the APEC High-Level Dialogue on IB in November 2015, and aims to move forward the integration of IB into public policy.  The TID Talks will bring together representatives from the industry, other government agencies, and the DTI regional offices that have direct link with host communities.

Recognizing the power of IBs in achieving inclusive growth, government is promoting these models and encouraging more companies to adopt IB models or develop IB solutions. One such effort is the inclusion of IB policy in BOI’s 2014-2016 Investment Priorities Plan where registered enterprises are encouraged to adopt IB strategy that provides goods and services and income and decent work opportunities for the low-income segment of the society within the enterprise’s supply or value chain, directly contributing to the improvement of living standards and poverty reduction.

Such insights and recommendations are important to craft policies that will further enable local industries and sectors to be globally competitive while at the same time ensure that they also strike a balance between being profitable and taking into account social good by involving the host communities of their businesses in their value chains.

DTI Secretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr. will open the TID Talks on IB with a key message.  It will be followed by a panel discussion focused on how IB can be mainstreamed in government policies.  Among the speakers invited are Toshiya Masuoka, Director, Inclusive Business Team, International Finance Corporation, The World Bank Group; Marcos Neto, Team Manager, Private Sector and Foundations, United Nations Development Program; Markus Dietrich, Director, ASEAN Social Enterprise Incubator; and, Roehl Briones, Senior Research Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.  DTI Assistant Secretary for Industry Development Rafaelita Aldaba meanwhile will do a synthesis of the discussions towards the closing of the forum.

IB models help address different challenges in developing countries such as the Philippines, where poverty remains a problem.  In the Asia-Pacific region, more than 700 million people live below the US$1.25 per day poverty line, a group collectively called the base of the pyramid. IB models transform the base of the pyramid into a new market for goods and services, as well as a resource pool of talent, skilled labor, and entrepreneurs. This relationship strengthens value chains and ensures the sustainability of businesses and their host communities.