ASEAN meeting promotes inclusive entrepreneurship for people with disabilities hinh anh 1Overview of NIEA's fourth meeting in Hanoi (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The fourth meeting of the Network of Experts on Inclusive Entrepreneurship in ASEAN (NIEA) was held online on October 22, with the theme “Promotion of Inclusive Entrepreneurship towards a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community”.

The meeting was part of the ASEAN Strategic Framework on Social Welfare and Development, chaired by the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in the 2020-2021 period.

Attending were those in charge of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), NIEA members from the ten ASEAN countries, representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, organisations linked to ASEAN, and international partners such as the US, the UN, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Speaking at the event, head of MoLISA’s Department of Social Assistance Nguyen Van Hoi spoke highly of the role Thailand played in founding and coordinating NIEA during 2017-2019.

With nearly 30 members, the network has contributed to promoting enterprises owned by people with disabilities (PWDs), sharing information about PWD-related issues, and increasing the quality of their lives.

To help the network uphold its role, Hoi suggested nations adopt more policies and programmes to enhance PWDs’ engagement and promote their approach to employment and business opportunities.

Delegates exchanged views on institutions and policies to promote inclusive entrepreneurship for PWDs in ASEAN countries, the role of involved parties, difficulties and challenges in this endeavour, links with the implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Master Plan 2025 on Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the application of information technology and e-commerce to promote start-ups.

The meeting also prepared a document on common recommendations to promote inclusive entrepreneurship for PWDs, which will be sent to senior officials and ministers in charge of social welfare and development to seek their greater focus on PWD-related issues./.