Over 250 business and political leaders and prominent thinkers across Asia participated in the inaugural Singapore Forum from 10-11 April 2015. The Forum, organised by the S Rajaratnam Endowment (SRE) discussed issues that impacted Asia’s next phase of growth, initiatives to strengthen regional economic cooperation and integration, and ways to optimise the potential of technology.
The Forum featured distinguished speakers, including:
• Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,
• Indonesia’s 6th President Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and
• Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Mr Wong Kan Seng, Chairman of the Singapore Forum Advisory Board said, “Leveraging on the neutral platform that Singapore offers, the Forum facilitated a frank and open exchange of views among participants. The discussions were forward looking and practical in its focus on the policies and strategies needed to deepen regional cooperation.”
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Launched in October 2014, SRE is a non-profit philanthropic organisation funded by Temasek Trust. It is named after Singapore’s first and longest-serving Foreign Minister, one of the country’s pioneering leaders and a founding member of ASEAN. SRE aims to achieve development, peace and stability in the region by deepening international friendships, promoting regional cooperation, and fostering a greater and common understanding of international rules, based on the twin pillars of good governance and sustainability.
About the future of Asia
Many topics were discussed during the Singapore Forum, particularly Asia’s rapid growth over the last four decades and the fact that the main regional powers are seeking a new equilibrium in their relationships with each other and with other countries within the region. This state of transition and the search for a new Asian security architecture is the key geopolitical preoccupation. At the same time, growth has created internal complexities in all the countries in the region. The combination of geopolitical flux and domestic political changes casts doubt on the sustainability of old models of growth. To find out more, you can read the speeches of the distinguished speakers at the Singapore Forum here.
Did you know…
By 2050, there will be an additional three billion people joining the middle class in Asia. That is several times more than the entire population of North and South America combined. GDP is also expected to double to 52 percent by 2050, and in doing so, Asia would regain the dominant economic position it held some 300 years ago, before the industrial revolution. (Source: “Asia 2050” – a publication by Asian Development Bank)