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ASEAN Plus 3 young entrepreneurs share startups experience

Young entrepreneurs and leaders from the ASEAN member nations and those from the Republic of Korea, Japan and China - the dialogue partner countries of the group, joined a discussion on experience, opportunities and challenges in hi-tech agriculture startups.

Held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 15 as part of activities of the ASEAN Plus 3 Young Entrepreneurs Forum, the event focused on creative startups models in term of hi-tech agriculture.

Kevin San Miguel Cuevas, the founder and CEO of Tahan.PH of the Philippines said his firm is working to help tourists understand more about his country’s culture and cuisine.

Tours enable tourists to visit plantations of specific fruits and vegetables of the Philippines, while enjoying and buying high-quality agricultural products processed with modern technology, he noted.

Meanwhile, representatives from Thailand shared information related to a startup model with rubber-made pillow products and mattresses covered by traditional brocades.

Vietnamese representative Pham Thi Thu Van introduced a startup model with Ben Tre coconut products, saying that with CocoSmile brand, Ben Tre coconut are exported to Singapore, Japan, the RoK and the US.

Van said she is very surprised with effective startup models of young entrepreneurs at the event, adding that through the event, she learns from regional friends about how to market products and access new markets.

Tan Sijie Darren from Singapore said that innovative startups in hi-tech agriculture are an optimal solution to solving problems facing the ASEAN countries such as climate change, population growth, and rapid urbanization.

The creativity, cooperation and experience sharing of youths and young entrepreneurs at the event will help develop high-quality food in each country as well as in the ASEAN Plus 3 community, he stressed.

According to participants, the innovative startups in high-tech agriculture not only open a new avenue for young people, but also promote the development of the agriculture and agro-processing sectors in each country, and the exchange of goods and farm produce among regional nations.

ASEAN Plus 3 Young Entrepreneurs Forum is the realisation of the Hanoi Initiative, endorsed by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth, with focus on nurturing young human resources, which took place in November 2011.