By Genalyn Kabiling
BANGKOK – With the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, President Duterte has appealed to the private sector body of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to help improve the skills of the regional workforce and continue to mentor small businesses.
The President sought the support of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) during the meeting with the regional leaders in Bangkok Saturday afternoon.
Duterte has joined nine other Southeast Asian leaders for annual talks on economic integration, sustainability, migrant workers’ protection, anti-marine waste campaign, among others, in Thailand this weekend.
“With the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we need your support in up-skilling the ASEAN workforce. The ASEAN-BAC’s legacy project called the ASEAN Human (Empowerment and Development) is an important platform for this,” Duterte said in his remarks.
The fourth industrial revolution has recently been used to describe technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 3D printing, and the internet that merge with human lives. The word was coined by Klaus Schwab, founder of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, in his book in 2016.
Also, Duterte said he was also pleased with the progress in the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network or AMEN, a project launched during the Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017.
He cited that AMEN could build the capacities of MSMEs as engines of growth of the economies in the region.
“Sustained mentorship can help MSMEs transform into more globally competitive entities, generating more quality jobs for their communities,” he said.
The President also lauded the ABAC for ensuring the dynamic private sector participation in regional economic cooperation and development initiatives.
“Your efforts to enhance the competitiveness of ASEAN MSMEs — to become more inclusive human capital development and public-private partnerships are most welcome,” he said.
He said he hopes ABAC and the Joint Business Councils would continue to strengthen private sector partnerships in the region “as we move towards an ASEAN Economic Community by 2025.”
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