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Concepcion receives Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Concepcion receives Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award
Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion receives the Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award from the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines in a virtual ceremony held yesterday.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion was awarded the Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award by the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) of the Philippines for his efforts in helping Filipino micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and his leadership amid the pandemic.

Concepcion, the eighth recipient of the award, was chosen for his invaluable contributions in promoting inclusive economic growth by advancing the development of MSMEs in the Philippines and his exemplary leadership in helping local businesses cope with and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award is given by the members of JFC to individuals of any nationality resident in the Philippines who have contributed significantly to improving the country’s business environment.

The JFC pointed out that as presidential adviser for entrepreneurship, Concepcion spearheaded the implementation of a “vaccine bubble” initiative, which sought to ease mobility restrictions for fully inoculated individuals in a bid to safely reopen the economy.

Over a decade ago, Concepcion founded Go Negosyo, the advocacy arm of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, in an effort to empower the Filipino entrepreneurial and innovative mindset through mentorship and entrepreneurship education for MSMEs.

Concepcion received the award during the Arangkada Forum yesterday.

In his acceptance speech, Concepcion said that his desire to help MSMEs is borne out of his own experience as an entrepreneur.

“I’ve seen the level of poverty in this country, and many MSMEs belong at the bottom of this pyramid yet comprise 99 percent of businesses,” he said. “I felt that it was very important to share the prosperity … especially with MSMEs who are the backbone of our economy. If we see them move up the ladder, we all will do much better.”

Concepcion has also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by leading efforts of the private sector to accelerate testing and procuring millions of COVID-19 vaccines through the A Dose of Hope program.

The program was the world’s first tripartite agreement between the private sector, government and vaccine manufacturers. His efforts also extended to bringing together government, data and medical experts and the private sector to achieve a safe reopening of the economy through the Bakuna Bubble strategy.

Concepcion thanked the foreign chambers and the government, whose cooperation, he said, made it possible for the country to find a roadmap to coexisting with the virus and safely opening the economy.

“This teamwork between the private and public sector is key in paving the way to saving the economy and saving lives,” he said.

“I share this recognition with the private sector for its teamwork with the public sector, specifically with the IATF, in supporting all our initiatives in saving lives and livelihoods,” he added, referring to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Previous Arangkada Lifetime Achievement awardees include Peter Wallace, honorary chairman of the Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (2020); former foreign affairs secretary Delia Albert (2019); the late senator Edgardo Angara (2018); former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco Jr. (2017); former foreign affairs secretary Roberto Romulo (2016); Washington Sycip, founder of SGV (2015); former Philippine Economic Zone Authority director-general Lilia de Lima (2014) and former president Fidel Ramos (2013).

The Arangkada Forum is an initiative of the JFC that provides a platform for collaborative engagement among business leaders, industry experts and representatives from the public sector, diplomatic community and the media.

In 2010, the JFC published Arangkada Philippines, an advocacy paper promoting seven sectors with high growth potential: agribusiness, information technology-business process management, creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, mining and tourism, with recommendations to build a more competitive Philippine economy.

The JFC is a coalition of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese and Korean chambers and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc. They support and promote open international trade, increased foreign investment and improved conditions for business to benefit both the Philippines and the countries the JFC members represent.

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