The flags of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) member states are displayed at the lobby of a hotel in Metro Manila, along with a large “#ASEAN2017” signage.

MANILA – The Philippines needs to take advantage of a young workforce and a fast-growing economy to help grow micro, small and medium enterprises, a business group official said Monday.

Foreign investors are “looking at the Philippines as a good market” in Southeast Asia, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president George Barcelon said.

“We have been cautioning our industry players here that they really have to work for us to be more competitive,” he said.

Doing business in the Philippines should be made easier and less costly, he said.

The declaration of support for MSMEs from President Rodrigo Duterte and Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla can help struggling entrepreneurs compete better, Barcelon said.

“Finally, we have a president who understands the needs of the MSMEs, which is financing,” Barcelon told ANC.

Barcelon said the launch of an ASEAN mentoring program for small businessmen on Sunday was a success, with speeches from Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo. (ABS-CBN News)


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