Friday, November 20, 2015

Pres. Aquino: Problem identification, unity are key to regional development

Pres. Aquino: Problem identification, unity are key to regional development

MANILA, Nov. 20 -- Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) could easily overcome challenges through the proper identification of problems, as well as by working together with other economies, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Wednesday.

In his remarks during the opening of the 2015 APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) dialogue with APEC Leaders, President Aquino, who chairs the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, shared his experiences in surmounting challenges as president.

"Regardless of the sector you belong to, the work of innovation begins with the correct appreciation of the problem, which leads to the correct crafting of the solution," Aquino said. "Policymakers must provide the environment that nurtures this. In turn, this requires the inputs from our business colleagues to maximize the synergy between us."

The President also recognized the role of the private sector in this endeavor. According to him, the closer economies work together, the more intelligently, efficiently, and swiftly they can evolve to meet the challenges of the increasingly globalized world.

"In my experience as President, I have seen how such partnerships revolutionize the lives of our countrymen and their communities for the better," he said.

The Chief Executive mentioned Nestle’s NESCAFÉ Plan and the Farmer Entrepreneurship Program with local fast food chain Jollibee and rural communities. The program has helped train farmers to be more knowledgeable about farming.

With big companies working with the sector that provides them the ingredients, quality control is also enhanced, he said, adding that in turn, farmers learn more, earn more, and are assured of stable income. 

"This is a win-win situation. What is ignited here, and later reinforces, is a virtuous cycle of efficiency and shared growth," Aquino said. "To my mind, such efforts are representative of what ABAC and the rest of the APEC Community do for our region: to inspire a sense of possibility and optimism, which gives birth to innovations and new pathways in business, economics, and governance."

In this regard, evolution borne of innovation takes place, he said, adding that by evolving, economies become more efficient and eventually competitive.

Aquino said he hopes that as APEC leaders face various challenges with the business community, this would be the next step towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), a region-wide growth through services and the expansion of infrastructure finance.

The President expects the meetings to promote the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), sustainable development, as well as rule of law. 

"In all our discussions, may we invite our leaders and ABAC representatives to share your thoughts and insights in an open and friendly manner, which has become the hallmark of this gathering," he said of the scheduled ABAC meeting with APEC Leaders. (PCOO/PND)

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