Kuala Lumpur Roundtable 2017

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday 23 October, 2017

The Global Foundation and Asian Strategy Leadership Institute (ASLI), under the co-chairmanship of Mr Steve Howard, Secretary General and Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, CEO and Chairman, respectively, are together convening a roundtable discussion, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 10am to 4pm on Monday 23 October, 2017. The roundtable seeks to achieve progress on a number of strategic economic and social issues of interest to South East Asia, namely, the rise of Asia, in particular, China, against a backdrop of a world in flux.

The Kuala Lumpur meeting is part of an ongoing series of global roundtable discussions convened by the Global Foundation in various international locations over recent years, most notably its annual Rome Roundtable meetings held in January 2017 and in the two preceding years. The output from the Sydney Roundtable meeting of the Global Foundation, held on 3 August, 2017, will also be incorporated.

The KL meeting will take place in the 20th anniversary year of the Asian financial crisis. Much has happened since that time. Asia is now significantly more important to the world economy. China, in particular, has emerged as global powerhouse. On one hand, international governmental and institutional cooperation has been necessarily strengthened. Yet, on the other hand, excesses of unfettered globalisation led to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the consequences of which are still affecting global and regional economies and community trust and confidence.

At a high-level, the agenda will focus on the need for greater efforts in support of ‘cooperative globalisation’, linked to stronger expressions of good governance and effective business leadership. Work to date suggests that, in order to overcome some of the major economic uncertainties in the world today, it will be necessary to forge a more collaborative and inclusive approach in favour of sustainable globalisation, within and between societies and nations. This will require concerted efforts and shared leadership contributions from all elements of society: governments, institutions, business, academia, faiths and civil society.

At a practical level, the agenda will address the specific needs and demands of South East Asia, with regard to modern infrastructure investment and development and associated decision-making, both within and in relation to the region. The work of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and, in particular, its interaction with the private sector in enabling investments in green infrastructure and in anticipating and responding to the challenges of climate change, will be a significant topic.

A special guest at the meeting will be Mr Joachim von Amsberg, Vice President, Strategy, AIIB, who will deliver an on-the-record luncheon address to a wider audience on the Bank’s progress and intentions with regards to green infrastructure development in Asia.

Also, the progress and likely strategic direction of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, its impact on international governance and standards, as well as its interaction with the private sector and institutions efforts in the implementation of projects, will be a subject for discussion.

The roundtable discussion will be limited to thirty leaders from business, civil society, international institutions, faiths and academia, who are being invited to fully participate in a very frank and open discussion. The meeting will be conducted along the lines of the Chatham House rule, that is, contributions and reporting will be non-attributable.

It is intended that the Kuala Lumpur meeting will be helpful to those taking part and will also inform and influence the agenda for future global and regional deliberations under the Global Foundation banner, including in China and at forthcoming editions of the Rome Roundtable.

Dr. Joachim von Amsberg drives the strategic direction for the Bank, including its sectoral and country priorities, its investment strategy and programming, its economic analysis and research, and its operating budget. He oversees the Bank’s environmental and social policies, other operational policies, and their implementation. He previously served in a number of progressively senior roles at the World Bank where he most recently held the position of Vice President, Development Finance where he was responsible for the replenishment and stewardship of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, and for trust fund and partnership operations. Dr. von Amsberg holds a Ph.D. in Economic Policy Analysis and an M.B.A. from the University of British Columbia. He also holds a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin.

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