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Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo joined the 2017 ASEAN Business & Investments Summit (ABIS) forum. The said event intends to discuss the role of women in contributing extensive growth in ASEAN.

With the theme of “Unleashing Women Economic Power and Human Capital Development (Investing in Education, Global Competencies, Women and Affirmative Action)”, Agudo emphasized education as the key to empowerment. She also called the attention of Government and Business to strengthen the collaboration in creating new value for all.

“The challenge is to reframe social expectations and attitudes towards women and women leaders through long-term efforts in education. As regards the operational environment, we need to enhance financial literacy and the nurturing of talent to run businesses. As regards an enabling environment, we need to explore ways to collaborate—share best practices, even the most disruptive and unconventional ones--in order to learn and benefit from digital disruption, in order to contribute in a relevant way to the region’s sustainable development goals.”

In addition, the panelists mentioned that ASEAN acknowledges women’s participation in the economy. They also affirmed that if women were given equal opportunities, they could match those of men when it comes to skills and competence. On the other hand, they also admit that much work has to be done in order to break those barriers.

Moreover, representatives from other countries including UN Under-Secretary General Dr. Shamshad Akhtar (Pakistan), SME Corporation CEO Dr. Hafsah Hashim (Malaysia), and Sinouk Coffee Managing Director and ASEAN Women Entrepreneur 2017 Sirina Sisombat-Hervy (Laos) also shared their personal experiences and insights on increasing the participation of women in the digital ecosystem.

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