ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network Hosts the first AWEN Women CEOs Summit in Thailand and Endorses the ‘AWEN BANGKOK DECLARATION 2019’ to Develop the Potential of Women Leaders Contributing to Businesses in ASEAN and Beyond
The ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN) is hosting the first AWEN Women CEOs Summit in Thailand with the theme of “Globalization 4.0 and Beyond: Shaping the Future for Women’s Enterprises.” The summit will focus on enhancing the potential of women leaders and will include discussions and opportunities to share insights and knowledge among participants from ASEAN and other countries. The network also put forward the AWEN BANGKOK DECLARATION 2019 to develop and promote the role of women in driving businesses in the ASEAN region and beyond.
Women currently make up more than 50% of the population in ASEAN, and are increasing their participation in the business sector and workforce. However, the rapidly changing economic and social environment is not conducive in enabling women to achieve their full potential. With Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019, AWEN initiated the AWEN Women CEOs Summit – “Globalization 4.0 and Beyond: Shaping the Future for Women’s Enterprises” for the first time.
The AWEN Women CEOs Summit 2019 provides a platform for leaders in the public and private sectors, and civil society, to collectively design a better future for women in the business sector, so they can become a driving force in the economy and society and get up-to-speed with changes in the digital era. The summit convened global leaders and CEOs from ASEAN countries who believe in empowering women around the world, and putting their inspiration, creativity and ideas into action. The summit is expected to result in an approach that better develops and enhances women’s leadership in business, as well as the creation of a network extending cross-border cooperation within and outside ASEAN to countries such as China, India, New Zealand, and others.
Khunying Natthika Wattanavekin Angubolkul, Chairperson of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN) 2018-2020, said that the Women CEOs Summit is being held thanks to the collaboration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and other partners, with AWEN Thailand serving as AWEN Chair. This is the first women CEOs summit held in ASEAN and includes more than 350 participants from both the business sector and international organizations.
The AWEN Women CEOs Summit 2019 is deeply honored to welcome HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Kromluangrajasarinisiribajra Mahavajrarajadhita who is presiding over the official opening as Summit Chair on October 30. The summit’s two-day program features panel discussions, lectures, and informational exchanges covering the challenging issues and problems facing women entrepreneurs. Discussion topics include economic and social changes leading to positive leadership in women CEOs, how businesses operated by women can transition through the Globalization 4.0 era, and understanding the dynamics of the global economy and its impacts on women entrepreneurs.
The AWEN Women CEOs Summit 2019 is an important part of AWEN’s operations. AWEN’s mission focuses on promoting and harnessing the potential of women leaders in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as large corporations across ASEAN. Women can utilize their power and ideas to complement one another through networking and educational opportunities, and by exchanging perspectives and ideas, which can ultimately lead to elevating their status and influence of in business. This summit can therefore contribute to developments in both Thailand and in ASEAN countries. The AWEN Women CEOs Summit 2019 is building on the success of the ASEAN Women’s Business Conference and Award Ceremony 2019, which took place from June 20-22, to discuss a joint development plan for women entrepreneurs in the business sector, including SMEs.
Khunying Natthika went on to add that to ensure the consistent advancement of women, AWEN announced the “AWEN BANGKOK DECLARATION 2019” which focuses on seven areas: 1) Digitalization of market access and outreach; 2) Fostering financial inclusion, literacy and discipline; 3) Reskilling micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women entrepreneurs and their workforce; 4) Promoting sustainability and self-sufficiency for MSMEs; 5) Enhancing ASEAN women’s information sharing; 6) Empowering ASEAN’s women leaders in the international arena; and 7) Addressing environmental issues and resilience to climate change. These areas make up the core development approach which each country will implement respectively. Thailand will be the starting point in supporting and reinforcing women entrepreneurs in the ASEAN region.
“Under the AWEN BANGKOK DECLARATION 2019, we will support and promote the training, mentoring and development (including upskilling, reskilling, and new skills) that will enable women in ASEAN to lead women-led enterprises as well as allow easier access to all necessary resources, i.e., financial, educational, and access to commercial markets. We will also continue to support data-driven initiatives that promote women as equal participants in ASEAN’s socio-economic growth, and promote responsive and responsible leadership in regional, national, and international arenas. We will support activities that promote the positive experiences of successful women who can share their knowledge and inspire others to succeed and collectively work towards a better future for women entrepreneurs across the region. Thailand will serve as the spark that ignites the economic power of women in ASEAN. This summit will be Thailand’s last mission before our term as AWEN Chair concludes this year. Therefore, the summit serves as an important foundation and we are proud to handover the important task of continuing this important endeavor to the succeeding ASEAN member,” concluded Khunying Natthika.