The Philippines affirmed its continued support for heightened economic participation of youth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the hosting of the 2nd Young Entrepreneurs Carnival (AYEC) on September 5 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with the Philippine Young Entrepreneurs Association (PYEA), National Youth Commission (NYC), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), the event staged three panel discussions featuring topics ranging from the role and advantages of young entrepreneurs in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to their success stories, best practices and business models.
With the theme “Unleash the Hero in You”, the event showcased the potential of the youth in driving economic progress in the region as modern day heroes, as they provide business solutions and adopt disruptive business models that are essential to sustaining economic growth in the integrated ASEAN Economic Community.
Furthermore, the Carnival also tackled opportunities and support services that will be needed to help the participants overcome the challenges of entrepreneurship in such basic areas as access to finance, market, leadership, technology, and partnerships.
“Youth plays an integral part in sustaining economic development in ASEAN as they leverage their youthful drive to develop new business models aided by technology. While we continue to urge traditional and upcoming businesses to adopt innovative, value-adding, and demand-driven products and services, we are also encouraging more participation of the younger generation in economic ventures,” said DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
In line with the promotion of inclusivity across all sectors as part of the economic agenda of this year’s ASEAN chairmanship, the Carnival also served as an avenue for the official launching of the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Association.
“The Philippines supports the enhancement of networking and regional linkages among young businessmen and entrepreneurs which will help them increase their access to markets, finance, mentoring, and other key support services,” said Secretary Lopez.
Meanwhile, DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado who chairs the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion (CBIP) expressed her delight at the turnout as AYEC has become the biggest commemorative event of ASEAN’s 50th anniversary with over 2,000 local and international participants from its 10 member states and dialogue partners.
Terrado noted that the increased number of groups supporting the establishment of private sector-led regional networks is a big boost to businesses in ASEAN, especially for the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
“Regional networks such as ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Association make knowledge sharing among businesses more accessible,” added Terrado.
Another highlight of the 2nd AYEC was the presentation of the 10 finalists from each ASEAN member state and the grand winners of the ASEAN Young Entrepreneur Award by the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Council.