Home » Communique » Advancing Regional Integration through the Inaugural #FinanceASEAN Conference

Advancing Regional Integration through the Inaugural #FinanceASEAN Conference

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More than 500 delegates from all over ASEAN congregated in Singapore last weekend to participate in the inaugural #FinanceASEAN Conference, which was held at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore on the 27 and 28th of August 2016 in collaboration with Maybank as the Headline Sponsor. The event was also proudly sponsored by INCEIF (Platinum Sponsor) and Deloitte (Gold Sponsor). The delegates consisted of ASEAN university students and graduates as well as young professionals from across the world seeking to network and work together with prominent business and financial leaders, with the aim of capitalising on recent economic developments in ASEAN.

The #FinanceASEAN Conference featured former Thailand Deputy Prime Minister, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, who was the keynote speaker and officiated the conference on Saturday. In his officiating speech, Dr Supachai remarked that ASEAN possesses huge potential owing to its booming middle class, expanding exports, dynamic demographic and growing spending power. To develop ASEAN further, he advised that it would require us to rethink about the ASEAN identity, political and socio-economic policies as well as connectivity. Stressing that integration is essential to move us forward as a region, he also encouraged multilateral relations to be forged between ASEAN member states.

The inaugural conference featured 24 of the leading figures in the ASEAN financial scene including Sebastien Lamy (Partner and Head of Private Equity in Southeast Asia, Bain & Company), Pariwat Kanithasen (Head of International Strategy, Bank of Thailand), Jeff Pirie (Executive Director of Corporate Finance Advisory and AEC Agenda Leader at Deloitte), Justin Xiao (Director of Digital Solutions, Visa), Roman Zytek (Chief Economist, Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam), Daud Vicary (President and CEO of INCEIF) and Kit Weng Yip (Executive Director and Head of Investment Banking in Nomura Malaysia), amongst many others.

Also gracing the conference was the ASEAN Secretariat’s Director for Market Integration, Ho Quang Trung who gave the keynote address. In his address, he expressed optimism for better things to come in facing challenges in ASEAN since the implementation of AEC this year. He also expressed great interest on behalf of the ASEAN Secretariat to collaborate and partner with the organisers of the conference, the ASEAN Young Professionals Network (AYPN), to reach out to more people at the grassroots level in order to advance regional integration within ASEAN.

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One of the key takeaways from the conference was that regional integration will not work without the engagement, commitment and support from the ground up, and the fact that the delegates made the effort to come all the way from their respective countries bode well for the future of ASEAN. The survival of the region in a borderless world relies heavily on the vision and dedication of not only heads of nations, business leaders, academicians, but also its youth.

This is part of what the conference organisers, AYPN aspires to do. Being the first young professional club in ASEAN, it aims to bring together the next generation of young leaders who will take forward the relationship between ASEAN countries. With over 20,000 subscribers, the organisation is currently undertaking many initiatives to assist with regional integration and be the leading networking vehicle to form relationships across the region since its establishment in London almost two years ago.

In his opening speech, AYPN President and co-founder, Razin Rozman said that “in the quest for regional unity, we cannot blind ourselves and expect to all be the same. We are not on a journey to be the same, but to see that in all of our differences, that is what makes us beautiful”, before adding on that “we ought to learn and always learn more” in the context of understanding ASEAN. He also stated his belief that ASEAN youths will be “the source of inspiration to the people and institutions that would shape Southeast Asia’s future.”

The conference is part of AYPN’s effort to help the region achieve an effective integration by raising engagement of graduates, young executives and aspiring entrepreneurs in ASEAN matters. With the aim of being a platform for the future ASEAN leaders to discuss about its current challenges and advancements on the financial and capital markets in the region, it featured topics that were pervasive in the ASEAN financial sphere, namely, economic integration, capital markets, Islamic finance, private equity and venture capital, FinTech and investment banking. The conference was also able to maximise audience interaction, through the Digital Partnership AYPN secured with Micepad, which provides elegant audience engagement solutions.

In conjunction with the conference, the #FinanceASEAN FinTech Festival was held to gather  emerging and established entrepreneurs, start-ups, and venture capital firms to discuss innovation and disruption over the next decade. This exhibition was also held alongside the #FinanceASEAN Prospects Fair, to allow ASEAN corporations and organisations to reach out to the young ASEAN graduates and professionals for potential recruitment.

Breaking new ground with AYPN

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Since its inception only two years ago in London, AYPN has grown in leaps and bound with greater recognition from not only ASEAN youths, but also from the business field. Working together with corporate and community partners all over the region and in the UK, it acts as a collective and inclusive effort to optimise ASEAN talent and human capital by facilitating regional labour mobility and improving the understanding on ASEAN’s growth potential as well as the current political and economic situation of Southeast Asia, on a global stage.

#FinanceASEAN conference is the first event organised by AYPN in ASEAN as it seeks to expand its operations beyond London to all countries in ASEAN. It has already began great new initiatives to support regional integration with a bottom-up approach and collaborating with industry leaders as well as policy makers.

Any interested young professionals, university graduates and jobseekers (under 35 y.o.) are encouraged to register with the young professionals club for free on the main website. AYPN members are able to create profiles, insert their CVs and expand their network with different members as well as potential employers and our partners. In the near future, the organisation hopes to expand its database for potential members beyond 35 y.o. to accommodate demand for people looking into job prospects beyond their home countries.

For more information on AYPN and its other initiatives, please check out their website at http://aseanyoungprofessionals.org or you can contact:

Fadli M Zaini – +6598674582 / fadlimzaini@aseanprofessionals.org

Ryan Chua – +60123233173 / ryanchua94@gmail.com


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