Big names to speak at Cebu biz confab

THIS year’s Visayas Area Business Conference (VABC) is all set to happen in Cebu City this week, with only the best speakers lined up to share valuable knowledge to hundreds of participants.

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) will host the VABC on its 27th year, to be held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino this coming Sept. 29.

Among VABC’s guest speakers are Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who will be touching on the cost and ease of doing business in the Philippines.

As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship, Zubiri will discuss the role of legislation in improving the business and investment climate in the country.

Ambassador Gregory Slayton, a member of the board of advisers at Google and, will speak on “transferring true wealth to the next generation.”

Slayton carries with him a lifetime of excellence in the academe, diplomatic experience matched by only a few, business and investing wisdom, and success in new technological fields.

Consul General Shi Yong, consul general of the People’s Republic of China to Cebu, will talk about “connecting economies through the One Belt, One Road initiative.”

Chester Cokaliong, founder, chief operating officer, and chief executive officer of Cokaliong Shipping Lines, will also discuss how vital the shipping industry is to the Philippine economy.

Under his stewardship, Cokaliong Shipping Lines has garnered many accolades from both government and the private sector as a well-managed company.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Leandro Gazmin, meanwhile, is poised to present the government’s ASPIRE (agribusiness support for promotion and investment in regional expositions) program and how it can help grow agriculture in the Visayas.

Gazmin, assistant secretary for agribusiness at the Department of Agriculture, has consistently held leadership posts in special committees at the agency.

The CCCI has also invited Cecilio Pedro, chief executive officer and president of Lamoiyan Corp., as well as Jose “Joey” Ma. Concepcion III, president and chief executive officer of RFM Corp. and the presidential adviser for entrepreneurship.

Pedro is a multi-awarded businessman with many years of entrepreneurial experience under his belt. He considers corporate social responsibility as the lifeblood of his manufacturing company’s culture in the last 25 years.

Concepcion, aside from being presidential adviser for entrepreneurship, is also the chairman of the Asean Business Advisory Council and founder of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (Go Negosyo).

His efforts in promoting entrepreneurship through Go Negosyo have made a significant impact on the lives of many aspiring entrepreneurs.

The VABC is an annual gathering of members of at least 23 chambers of commerce based on the different islands in the Visayas region, including Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, and the Negros Island Region.

More than 400 businessmen and entrepreneurs from Cebu and the rest of the Visayas are expected to attend the conference, which banners the theme, “Connecting Ideas. Connecting Economies.”

The conference also aims to tackle significant issues such as those on real estate development and business process outsourcing.

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