Inclusive business part of APEC agenda

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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders from both the public and private sectors will attend a high-level dialogue this week to discuss how inclusive business (IB) can provide jobs and services to poor communities.

The High Level Dialogue on IB will be held this November 12 at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.

Following discussions last August in Cebu and a session at the APEC Women Forum last September, this week’s talks aim to move IB discussions within APEC and draw new perspectives than can be used during the next APEC summit in Peru.

IB models are said to help address challenges in developing countries such as the Philippines. In the Asia-Pacific region, more than 700 million people live below the US$1.25 per day poverty line, a group collectively called the base of the pyramid.


Given this, the Trade department is advocating the integration of IB into Philippine public policy, including such in the annual Investment Priority Plan.

“Inclusive business models allow companies to engage poor and low-income communities as partners, customers, suppliers and employees in their supply chains. In our experience, these models result in spreading the benefits of growth to the poor and we aim to promote them in APEC,” Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said.

The government identified a number of successful IB models in the Philippines, including Kennemer Foods’ Cacao Growership Program, through which smallholder farmers supplying beans to the company are able to realize a seven-fold increase in annual income.

Another example is Manila Water’s “Tubig Para Sa Barangay” program, which effectively lowered the cost of clean, potable water for low-income residents in Manila from P150/cbm to P7/cbm in 2012.

Cristobal will open this week’s IB dialogue along with APEC Business Advisory Council chair Doris Magsaysay-Ho.

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