The Board of Investments (BOI) is hosting a conference for its registered enterprises to promote " Inclusive Business" models that would support the country's inclusive growth strategies.

The forum dubbed "Inclusive Growth Through Inclusive Business" will be the tenth such activity under the Trade and Industry Development Updates (TID Updates) and is the main activity of the BOI's 47th Anniversary this September.

Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, a staunch advocate of Inclusive Business, will be the Guest of Honor today at the Intercontinental Manila Hotel. The senator will be welcomed by the BOI Managing Head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. and BOI Governors Lucita P. Reyes and Oliver B. Butalid. Other guests include Dr. Armin Bauer, Principal Economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), top officers of the top officers of the PHINMA Property Holdings, Kennemer Foods International and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

The forum to be participated in by BOI registered firms is expected to discuss the role of inclusive business in nation-building and economic development. IB, as defined by ADB, are commercially viable profit-making private companies whose core business solutions are designed to address social issues for the poor and vulnerable by engaging them as a producer, employee, distributor or consumer of goods and services. The aim of the program is poverty alleviation with the improvement of their living standards.

The BOI and the ADB last year started a series of seminars to inform various offices of the Department of Trade and Industry on the background, concepts, and indicative measures of IB. In November 2013, the first Inclusive Business workshop on agribusiness was conducted by Mr. Robert de Jonge, Mr. Markus Dietrich, Mr. Jessie Ang and Dr. Armin Bauer. The workshop, participated in by 35 BOI officials and project evaluators, aimed to assist the agency to craft an IB policy and to use the Social Impact Assessment Tool for evaluation of IB projects. In January 2014, a Trade and Industry Talks on IB was conducted for DTI officials with PSBP Executive Director Rafael Lopa and ADB experts as speakers.

As part of next level engagement, IB workshops would be conducted in 2014 that will focus on manufacturing, mass housing, tourism, and health sectors to equip the BOI in IB project facilitation and accreditation.

An ADB forum last year attended by government agencies, industry associations, financial institutions and NGOs, concluded that inclusive business could provide employment and services for the low income people while at the same time create business value and profit in a well growing economic background. It established on the need to raise awareness on the potential of IB for inclusive growth, provide government incentives by promoting coherence and convergence of various investment, target setting and results monitoring agenda of government programs, and mobilize financing for IB in the banking sector. It agreed that the agriculture and agribusiness sector offers the largest potential for IB in the country as it has the potential to bring income and job opportunities to poor small farmers.