PHNOM PENH, 25 August 2017 – ASEAN Plus Three Young Entrepreneurs Forum under the theme of “Enhanced Roles of Young and Women Entrepreneurs in East Asia Economic Community” was held on 23-25 August 2017 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The opening ceremony of the forum was graced by the presence of Dr. Sok Siphana, advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia, and other dignitaries from ASEAN and the Plus Three countries (China, Japan and Korea). The forum is one of the proposed activities for “Engaging various stakeholders to reflect their views in the process of an East Asia community building” of the action plan on the implementation of East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) II Recommendations.
The key objectives of the forum are to promote networking and mutual understanding among young and women entrepreneurs from ASEAN and the Plus Three countries, which is conducive to SMEs development, exports and innovation; to explore ways in which young and women entrepreneurs can be empowered to participate in platforms that enable them to share views and develop recommendations on the process of East Asia Economic Community building; and to enhance the role of youth and women in SMEs development, which will contribute to the overall economic growth and development of ASEAN and the Plus Three countries.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Sok Siphana highlighted the importance of the forum as a platform for young and women entrepreneurs in East Asia region to share and exchange information, experiences and best practice on business and investment potentials in their respective countries. This forum would further strengthen business-to-business linkages between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries, focusing on raising the profile of young and women entrepreneurs as catalyst of progressive growth in SMEs development. Reach Ra, Under-secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, also delivered a statement underlining the importance of economic cooperation between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries especially on SMEs promotion and cooperation. Representatives from the Philippines, as ASEAN Chair, and Republic of Korea also took the stage to deliver their opening statements.
The wrapping-up and concluding session of the forum was led and presided over by Kan Pharidh, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The forum adopted a set of key recommendations for enhancing the roles of young and women entrepreneurs in East Asia Economic Community building process focusing on financial, education, connectivity, political-security, and socio-cultural aspects.
The ASEAN Plus Three Young Entrepreneurs Forum was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia and supported by the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Fund. It was attended by over 100 participants from private sector, particularly young and women entrepreneurs from East Asia region.