PH pursues inclusive business agenda in APEC Cebu meeting

CEBU CITY –The Philippines stressed the need to promote inclusive business in the APEC Region   to build inclusive economies, increase job generation, and provide affordable services to low income people, during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Investment Experts’ Group (IEG) Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on Inclusive Business on 27 August 2015. The forum aims toraise awareness through the exchange of information and best practices on Inclusive Business models in agribusiness, manufacturing, housing and services.


Inclusive business is defined as profitable core-business modelsof private sector companies that provide – in scale – systematic and innovative solutions to the relevant problems such as poverty. Inclusiveness requires a specific type of companies, companies that not only engage the poor but create quality jobs, & provide affordable goods & services to the poor.


However, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary RafaelitaAldaba, very few private sector companies address the needs of the marginalized sector which makes it necessary for APEC to embark on various initiatives to stimulate inclusive growth and development, particularly for micro, small, medium and enterprises (MSMEs).


“I urge member economies to further the cause of the inclusive business agenda through public sector action, and work towards the endorsement of this agenda to the high level leaders’ meeting in November,” said Aldaba.


She added that private sectors, on the other hand, should align their industrial promotion policies and programs in a way to prioritize inclusive business models be it through capacity building facilities or incentives. A need for innovative policy to achieve inclusive growth is necessary to be in place. Despite the need for reinforcement to further the objectives of inclusive business, the Philippines is still steadfast in its aim to promote inclusive growth.


Meanwhile, according to Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras, it is important to talk to, work with, and coordinate with the private sector to help improve lives and alleviate poverty. He said, “the Philippine government has started investing in infrastructure and other anti-poverty programs. What we now need is for the private sector to come in with solutions that are efficient, effective, and thus, make the anti-poverty programs sustainable.”


Resource speakers from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Development Program me (UNDP), the World Economic Forum (WEF), Kennemer Foods International, Dow Chemicals Corporation, CEMECX Philippines, and the Indonesia Business Council also shared their experiences and insightson inclusive business.


The dialogue is the first among three events on Inclusive Business, the others being a forum focusing on Women in the Economy which will be held in September 2015 and a High-level discussion on Inclusive Business scheduled on November 2015.