Live Blog

LIVE: APEC SME Manila Summit on innovation and leadership

The summit aims to inspire and motivate Filipino entrepreneurs, via the stories of successful business innovators in the Apec region

  • Good day! Rappler's business journalists Lala Rimando, Cai Ordinario, Aya Lowe, Lean Santos and Katherine Visconti are live blogging the APEC SME Summit in Manila.

    The event at BDO Corporate Center in Makati City is from 1pm to 5pm this Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Stay tuned!
  • This year's APEC SME Summit kicks off the first APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting of 2013 in Manila.

    It aims to inspire and motivate Filipino entrepreneurs through the stories of successful business innovators in the APEC region.

    With the theme BREAKING BARRIERS THROUGH INNOVATION, the summit will pose challenges to entrepreneurs to improve and come up with novel new ways to produce or market their products and services, and break into local and international markets.

    The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for around 90% of all businesses in the APEC region, and employ as much as 60% of the work force. However, they generate only around 30% of exports.
  • The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is the premier forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries that aims for freer markets and increased trade.

    During the year, there are several meetings among different interest groups, culminating with the annual dialogue among APEC leaders that will take place in Bali, Indonesia in October. (Manila will host the annual gathering in 2015, the year the ASEAN economic community will start moving forward as one.)
  • The ABAC is a private sector body that advises the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation on the business sector’s top priorities.

    Among the Philippine representatives to the ABAC are local shakers and movers such as Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Tony Tan Caktiong, and Doris Ho. The Makati Business Club (MBC) is ABAC Philippines' secretariat.
  • At the main ABAC January 20-23 meetings in Manila, a video invitation to promote the Philippines as an investment destination will be played.

  • The APEC SME summit has an impressive lineup of speakers, including prominent business personalities and social entrepreneurs like:

    Vincent Lo, founder and chair, Shui On Group (Hong Kong)
    Cher Wang, chair, VIA Technologies Inc. and HTC Group (Chinese Taipei)
    Diane Wang, founder, DHGate.com (China)
    Dado Banatao, managing partner, Tallwood Venture Capital (Philippines)
    Tony Tan Caktiong, president and CEO, Jollibee Foods Corp. (Philippines)
    Sheila Marcelo, president, Care.com (Philippines)
    Winston Damarillo, CEO and cofounder, Morphlabs (Philippines)
    Anna Meloto-Wilk, president and cofounder, Gandang Kalikasan Inc. (Philippines)
    Aris Alip, founder and managing director, Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (Philippines)
    Bambang Ismawan, cofounder and chair, Bina Swadaya (Indonesia)
    Maria Ressa, CEO, Rappler (Philippines)
  • Here at the #APECSME summit with @caiordinario @lean_santos @ayalowe @k_visconti.

    Attendees pouring in.
  • The #APECSME about to start.

  • Now speaking, DORIS MAGSAYSAY-HO is a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council in the Philippines.
  • SPOTTED: Tessy Sy of BDO, one of the event sponsors, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, former SSS chief Corazon dela Paz, et al
  • MAGSAYSAY-HO: This APEC summit brings together all of us. We welcome you and all the students who are here. We're really thrilled for having the best speakers. We hope their stories will serve as an inspiration to all of us.
  • GREGORY DOMINGO, the Philippines' Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, takes the stage
  • DOMINGO: We invite everyone to experience the fun that is the Philippines. You came to the Philippines at a very opportune time with the economy booming. We're hoping to receive an investment grade really soon to further boost this growth.
  • DOMINGO: This year we are launching Shared Services Facilities. By this effort, we hope to bring the Filipino worker's level up instantaneously.
  • DOMINGO: APEC is the most aggressive in supporting SMEs.
  • DOMINGO: ABAC's extensive support will promote inclusive growth and greater acceptability of the economic potency of SMEs.
  • Next speaker is JUAN FRANCISCO RAFFA, a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council in Peru and the Chairman of the ABAC SMME and Entrepreneurship Working Group.

    He starts by congratulating the Philippines for organizing this event.
  • RAFFA: SMEs compose 95% of business in APEC.
  • The first set of speakers will share their experience and insights about Breaking Mindsets.
  • First speaker is CHER WANG, the Chairman of HTC Corp. and VIA group. She was named the 'most powerful woman in wireless' by Forbes Magazine in 2011. Last year, she was also featured in CNN's leading women's list as one of the 10 most powerful women in Tech.
  • Not surprisingly, Tessie Sy is watching how this plays out. She's the one in the back. We are at the BDO Corporate Center.

  • So many powerful women in this room. Here we have Cher Wang, HTC chair.

  • WANG: Happiness is a universal human desire. Happiness should be central to SMEs by having fun while doing it. Businesses are the lifeblood of every economy in the world. You are important. You are the engine of your country.
  • HTC chair Cher Wong is an animated speaker. She sounds really passionate about SMEs.

  • Cher Wang shares some of the world's biggest companies and their humble beginnings. She used Zuckerberg's Facebook and Tan Caktiong's Jollibee as examples.
  • WANG: Every business should have a vision. Businesses should start with an objective and it should start from the heart of it. People should believe in the vision of their business and carry it with passion.
  • WANG: APEC accounts 40% of the world's population and 60% of the world's business operations. There are 800,000 SMEs in the PH and constitutes almost 60% of the employment rate.
  • WANG: Why is the Asia Pacific conducive to SMEs? We are entrepreneurial and we think innovatively.
  • Wang cites Obama in saying the importance of SMEs versus the big companies. She says that SMEs constitute a bigger share of economic contribution as a whole.
  • WANG: Technology, specifically the internet, is a very powerful tool. We cannot afford to leave anybody out. There should always be economic inclusion.
  • CHER WANG shares her rules of success. The first one is follow your inner passion.
  • WANG's Checklist for Success: Passion, Innovation, Stay Grounded (Humility), Faith.
  • Our next speaker is VINCENT LO, founder and chairman of Shui On Group. He was awarded with the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur under the China Real Estate category and the Entrepreneur of the year in the China country category in 2009.
  • Lo started his business with the loan of HK $100,000. He decided to stay in Hong Kong after the handover. But HK is so small and dominated by so many big businesses so it was a difficult environment.
  • He was one of the first movers to go into the Chinese mainland. Started a small hotel in Shanghai
  • In 1996 the Shanghai government approached Lo and offered him a land centrally located in the city. In the 1990s Shanghai didn't have any of the facilities you see today. At the time the real estate industry was also at a depressing state.
  • VINCENT LO was one of the first to move into the Chinese mainland. It was definitely a good move for his real estate business. Forbes puts him as Hong Kong's 17th richest.

  • VINCENT LO shares how economic history of Hong Kong is intertwined with his own.

  • LO: I thought if i could help the government to plan on this piece of land I might have the opportunity to help them redevelop later. I introduced very new ideas to the land like building a man-made lake in the middle. What's most important is that when I presented this land to the officials they loved it and asked me to redevelop the land with them.
  • Watch livestream of Vincent Lo speaking about humble beginnings of large endeavors http://www.rappler.com
  • LO: For most developers if you are starting with a development this size and the market isn't so good you would start with residential.
  • Lo created Shanghai's Xintiandi - speaks about what he saw, where he started and the ideas which helped him make it big! #APECSME
  • Lo looked at the old dilapidated Shanghai residential houses. He wanted to reserve the outside and re-do the inside. He went to the banks asking for $175 million. He asked his relatives and friends "They all thought I was crazy. But I had to do this project."
  • Lo: "They all thought I was crazy!" He wanted to preserve traditional architectural styles but evolve them. This became Xintiandi! #APECSME
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