DAVAO City will host the first National Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Summit on August 20 and 21 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier.

National MSME Development Council vice chairperson and private sector representative Mary Ann M. Montemayor, during the press launch at the regional headquarters of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said that similar events were staged a decade ago but the summit for micro enterprises and SMEs were held separately.

She said National MSME Summit will be the first of its kind as it integrates the micro enterprises and SMEs into one event. The summit will center on the theme "Philippine MSMEs: Beating Challenges...Accelerating Innovations."

DTI 11 officer-in-charge (OIC)-director Ma. Belenda Q. Ambi said they will present the Updated National MSME Development Plan for 2014-2016 during the event.

The event is also aimed at informing the MSME's and MSME Development Councils on vital development concerns or challenges; presentation of opportunities, programs, and projects that will support MSME's on business environment, access to finance, access to market, and productivity and efficiency; and presentation of MSME Best Practices and success stories.

Montemayor said DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo will give the keynote message on the first day while Senators Paolo Benigno "Bam" A. Aquino IV and Loren Legarda have confirmed to speak on the second day.

Other confirmed speakers include University of the Philippines' Institute for Small Scale Industries executive director Dr. Nestor Raneses, Card Inc. managing director Dr. Jaime Alip, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Inclusive Finance Advocacy Staff head Pia Bernadette R. Tayag, Development Bank of the Philippines executive vice-president Benel Lagua, and Hi-Las Marketing, among others.

Side events are the Mindanao Crafts and Cultural Village at the Atrium of SM Lanang Premier on August 20 to 24 and the Great Mindanao Food Fair at the Abreeza Ayala Malls on August 18 to 24, 2014.

Montemayor said the back-to-back side events aim to promote and market products in the crafts and food sectors of some 100 MSME and open market opportunities for participating MSMEs through buyer-producer linkaging or matching.

Ambi said they will also set up a booth that will comprise government that can provide assistance to MSMEs like the Food and Drug Administration, DTI, and Department of Science and Technology.

More than 500 MSMEs, MSME Development councils, partner institutions and agencies, policy and regulatory agencies, financial institutions and banks, corporate leaders and investors, technology providers and innovators, industry clusters, associations, academe, policy makers, and development agencies are expected to attend the event.