Asean 100 kicks off today in Manila

Posted on  28/09/2011  |  Media Centre

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

APART from networking, participants of this year’s Asean 100 Forum, held in Manila and organised by the Asia Inc Forum, will be looking forward to being inspired from some of the greatest minds the region has to offer.

Bringing together regional business giants, globally educated intellectuals and vocal youths, the Asean 100 Forum is expected to not just generate ideas from a business and political front, but also to come up with a united perspective on how close Asean is to becoming “One Asean”.

The theme, which was selected by the Asia Inc Forum was thought to be an “important question in order to help Asean businesses and leaders advance further”.

Dato Paduka Timothy Ong, chairman of the Asia Inc Forum and the Asean 100 Forum convener said, “Some people will say we are close, some will say we are not close, but no one will say we are already there. So how close are we and what do we need to do to get to ‘One Asean’?”

“Asean’s prosperity has been built on openness to trade and investments,” said Sandiaga Uno, president of Saratoga Capital and a participant in the Asean 100 Forum. Uno will be participating in an open forum discussion alongside Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala regarding Asean’s prospects and possibilities in a turbulent world.

He adds that despite all of the potentials, Asean needs to tackle and solve major challenges, which includes poverty, corruption, improving labour productivity, ensuring policy coherence and coordination at a national level, and improving the investment climate in the region. “I am expecting this year’s Asean 100 Leadership Forum, will not only generate brilliant ideas and perspectives, but also leads us to positive concrete results,” he said.

Asked about this year’s theme revolving around ‘One Asean’, Uno said that, “This year’s topic should motivate us to work harder in achieving our goals.” He added that an “integrated Asean” needs to implement greater economic strategies whether to meet the national challenges or economic competitive challenges from other region and that Asean needs to rethink its strategies, policies and mindsets.

“Each Asean members should focus on their strengths, leverage on our external linkages, synergise and collaborate to realise Asean’s full economic potential,” he said.

“Asean has become one of the world’s vital economic centres as wealth, trade and investments increasingly flow through, to and from Asia; but we are yet to realise the full potential of this regional alliance in boosting the overal performance of the global economy,” said Basil Ong, an invited participant from the World Presidents Organisation. He added that this was also in relation to the member nations’ individual economic performance.

The Asean 100 Leadership Forum, which was first started in 2003, has grown from strength to strength in terms of it’s Asean 100 network as well as the topics that have come out from it, but what is it that many participants feel is the most important element that makes this forum a success?

“The Asean 100 brings together the region’s emerging young thought leaders, fully equipped with both international and domestic experience, knowledge and networks. It is a forum that allows participants from throughout the region and beyond to help chart their collective future,” said Ong.

He added that this “pow-wow” melds Asean’s “biggest hopes and bravest wills to build a relevant, vibrant and progressive Asean”.

“The Asean 100 Leadership Forum is a prestigious event that brings together Asean’s remarkable business and political leaders to discuss issues pertinent to the development of Asean countries,” said Uno, adding that it is a great opportunity for the participants to work together, exchange their own insights, create a positive mindset, strengthening relationships and partnerships to achieve Asean’s goal of balancing economic and social development.

“This forum definitely helps the participants in expanding their business and social networking. Through this forum, we are able to meet many inspiring people, receive positive feedback and encouragement, and dynamic interaction,” he said, adding that the Asean 100 Forum also serves as a bridge that connects and facilitates the business people and politicians to identify and clarify their perspectives.

“Everyone has valuable knowledge and experience for each other to learn from,” he said.

Delwin Keasberry, @BruneiTweet, and local participant who will be conducting a master class on social media alongside Tony Cruz, president of TXT Power, said that he will be going to the Asean 100 with this in mind – “to learn, to network, to brainstorm, to be inspired and to hear direction regarding Asean’s current role in the ‘big picture”‘.

“How is it different, for me the Asean 100 is different from others because of the calibur of participants, and the urgency and relevance of topics,” said Keasberry.

With big names such as Tan Sri Dato Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia, His Royal Highness Raja Nazrin Shah, Crown Prince of Perak, His Excellency Abhisit Vejjajiva, former Prime Minister of Thailand and a dialogue with President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, president of the Philippines, it is safe to say that the two-day forum of invited participants has high expectations.

The Brunei Times

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