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Can Asean compete?
Debbie Too, Bander Seri Bagawan
Tue, Sep 28, 2010
The Brunei Times/ANN

Asean 100 Leadership Forum

ONE of the most coveted annual business events will be held in Kuala Lumpur this year, on September 30.

The Asean 100 Leadership Forum, established in 2003, is an annual meeting which invites business leaders, from the public and private sectors to share knowledge and dialogue on the solutions of the foremost challenges and their implications to the future of business and politics in the region.

This year's theme, 'Can Asean Compete?', focuses on competitiveness to secure Asean's place in Asia, and will see top businessmen and academicians holding sessions to discuss how each company and country can increase their competitiveness.

Organised by the AsiaInc Forum, the event will be held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with an expected participant list of between 220 to 250 individuals ranging from students and lecturers to experts in the public and private sector.

"People want to attend this forum because they want to hear what the experts have to say, and what they can learn from the topics covered," said Adriana Agus Din, programme executive for Asia Inc.

This will be the seventh year the forum is being held, and will end with a 'conversation session', or dialogue with Prime Minister YAB Dato Sri' Najib Razak of Malaysia. Some of the panelists that have been invited to hold discussions and dialogues will be key figures from Southeast Asia, China and the Middle East.

Participants will be able to listen to key figures such as Tan Sri Dato' Azman Mokhtar, managing director of Khazanah Nasional in Malaysia, Dorjee Sun, chief executive officer of Carbon Conservation, and many more.

One of the local panelists will be Dr Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), during a session on building human capital. Alongside Jaime Lim, consulting director of PeopleSearch, they will be discussing topics on how Asean has performed so far with building human resource, what are the strategies for companies and for governments to enhance human capital building.

The forum will begin with an opening address by His Royal Highness Raja Nazrin Shah, Crown Prince of the State of Perak in Malaysia, to talk about The Big Picture: Asean, China and the Great Power Rivalry - The Long View.

This is followed by a session on 'Stocktaking', which discusses Asean Competitiveness as a whole within Asia. Some of the questions that will be answered during this session includes, how competitive Asean is currently, what Asean's place is in Asia while being powered by the growth of China and India, issues and strategies that can be discussed.

This session will feature Professor Michael Enright, founding director of The Competitiveness Institute, Tan Sri Dato' Azman Mokhtar, Gita Wirjawan, chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board and Michael Buchanan, managing director and chief Asia Pacific economist for Goldman Sachs.

According to the AsiaInc forum, some of the local participants that will be making their way to Kuala Lumpur for the forum include Haslina Taib, chief executive officer of BAG Networks, Pierre Imhof, general manager of Baiduri Bank, Albert Tan, managing director of the Vincci franchise in Brunei and Fauziah Dato Talib, managing partner of IQ-Quest Company.

Allen Lai, director of the AsiaInc Forum, as well as Dato Paduka Timothy Ong, convenor of the Asean 100 Leadership Forum and chairman of the Brunei Economic Development Board, will both act as moderators. Lai will be moderating the third session on 'Reflections', and will be discussing leadership for economic competitiveness.

The session will discuss the leadership requirements for economic competitiveness, how Asean governments can respond to the competing demands of populism, social equity and economic competitiveness and what can we learn from each other on economic reform implementation.

Dato Paduka Ong will be moderating the final session, which will be the Asean 100 Annual Debate, where the motion set will be, "This House believes that enhancing Asean's economic competitiveness requires learning from the East rather than from the West".

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