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PIA Press Release

Asean Business Summit in Cebu launched

Tacloban City (October 22) -- The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit was formally launched on October 22 during the Closing Rites of the 32nd Philippine Business Conference, Engr. Junie Andrade, governor for the Visayas Area of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, informed.

The Asean Business and Investment Summit is an event held immediately before the annual ASEAN and East Asian Leaders Summit. It has been providing business and corporate leaders with invaluable insight into the implications of ASEAN integration for the strategies of the regional and global business and investment communities, Engr. Andrade said.

The Summit which will be held at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City on December 7-10, 2006, also provides an opportunity for the corporate world to engage heads of government and heads of state on those issues of the day that are of importance to the corporate world.

Mr. Joe Concepcion who spoke in behalf of the organizing committee during the Launching said that apart from the objective of broadening economic integration of the ten Member Countries of ASEAN, a serious challenge facing ASEAN is how to narrow the development gap among its members to quicken the pace of integration. It is not an easy task since the stages of political, social and economic development in ASEAN vary, such that there are countries that cannot cope with all the requirements of regional integration.

Moreover, he continued, ASEAN needs to narrow the development gaps not only among ASEAN member countries, but also the gaps within each member country. Support for the development of sub-regional growth areas will facilitate bridging these development gaps.

This year, Mr. Concepcion said, the Philippines will assume the presidency of ASEAN and with it, the opportunity to host the leaders and the business summit meetings.

This year’s ASEAN Business and Investment Summit will be more meaningful, Mr. Concepcion said, because for the first time, the heads of the ten member states will be presenting what the ASEAN integration means to each and every one of them and what each of them will do to really make ASEAN Integration happen.

The key element which will fuel economic growth and contribute to regional stability is the political will of Member Countries and national efforts aimed at poverty reduction and equitable development, complemented by regional cooperation, Mr. Concepcion added.

The Philippines will continue to set a landmark on the partnership between the private sector and the government under the stewardship of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Mr. Concepcion therefore, urged the business sector to attend the Summit because he believed in President Arroyo’s advocacy—for the government to provide the proper environment and for the private sector to really steer the economy. The country will only be truly developed if “we develop the industry.”

The ASEAN partners are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This year’ ASEAN Summit is chaired by the Philippines and President Arroyo has chosen the theme for the 12th ASEAN Summit, entitled “One Caring and Sharing Community.” The theme will reflect the initiatives to be taken by the Philippines in ASEAN community building and common people’s participation. The ASEAN Summit will be held on December 11-13 in Cebu. (PIA 8) [top]

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