Sun.Star Media Group, SGV set forum on AEC

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Thursday, January 23, 2014


SUN.STAR Media Group in partnership with professional services firm SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV & Co.) will hold an Economic Forum on the 2015 Asean Economic Community (AEC) on Feb. 19 at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

The forum will look into opportunities and challenges the AEC will bring to the Philippines at a macro and micro-level perspective.

“With the AEC, we are blurring the national borders. Of course, with this, there will be obstacles and we will discuss this in the forum,” said Sun.Star economic forum lead Caesar Atienza.

Movement

AEC is the goal of the regional economic integration of the 10 country-members by 2015, which will pave the way for a free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor and a freer flow of capital. It sees “a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.”

Atienza said the forum will discuss how the different industries can map out an effective strategy so that they can take advantage of the AEC.

Keynote speaker will be Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo.

Other speakers include Dr. Cielito F. Habito, chief of party of the USAID Trade-Related Assistance for Development and the former secretary for economic planning; Ceferino S. Rodolfo, DTI-International Trade Group assistant secretary; and Dr. Josef T. Yap, former president of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies among others.

Implications

Habito will discuss AEC and its implications on the Philippine economy while Rodolfo and Yap will talk about the opportunities and threats in specific industries and services.

The forum expects 200 to 300 individuals from both government and private sectors to attend.

During the forum, there will also be panel discussions where reactors, comprising government officials and industry players, will discuss issues relating to the effects of the AEC on industries like banking, hospitality, manufacturing, education, sugar, and tourism.

The AEC forum will be the 8th Economic Forum organized by the Sun.Star Media Group.

The last forum was held two years ago and focused mainly on tourism and ICT.

“The economic forum is Sun.Star’s advocacy platform to assess local economic development in the communities that we serve,” said Atienza. He said he is encouraging SMEs from Visayas and Mindanao to attend the forum.

“We want it (forum) to be as useful as possible, especially to SMEs,” he said.

He said the company is eyeing to hold the next sets of fora outside Cebu. Since Sun.Star’s economic forum was organized in 2004, all of the fora were held in Cebu.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Community was originally envisioned by the country leaders to commence in 2020. However, during the 12th Asean Summit held in January 2007 in Cebu, the leaders decided to accelerate the regional integration to 2015.

The Asean Leaders also adopted the Asean Economic Blueprint at the 13th Asean Summit on November 20, 2007 in Singapore to serve as master plan guiding the establishment of the AEC 2015.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 24, 2014.

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