5 Interesting Stories from the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018


The three-day forum in Hanoi, Vietnam brought exciting stories from various topics to discuss. From witnessing two countries whose aim to build a lasting peace, until a speech that steals the show, we have it all here!


Indonesia being an Avenger
Joko Widodo (image: The Jakarta Post)

President Joko Widodo was at his best in depicting a global trade war by using lessons from comic books.

“Not since the great depression of the 1930s have trade wars erupted with the intensity that they have today. But rest assured, I and my fellow Avengers stand ready to defend Thanos from wiping out half of the population,” he stated, based on the official WE Forum website.

Using playful terms, Joko Widodo tried to stimulate mutual optimism while making his point, which economics is not only about who wins or loses, especially through the promising era of Fourth Industrial Revolution where countries can maximize the utilization of digital resources.

The forum itself highlights a global trade war with two giant economies, the US and China, as the main actors.

Supporting Joko Widodo statement were the Vice Premier of the People’s of the Republic of China, Hu Chunhua who stated that openness and mutual benefits are among two elements which should be upheld, and Taro Kono, Japan’s foreign minister who argued the importance of TPP trade pact and expecting the US to take part.


Myanmar wishing to be fair
Aung San Suu Kyi (image: The National)

President of the World Economic Forum Børge Brende was in an in-depth discussion with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar on the detention of two journalists and Myanmar’s national transition. According to Suu Kyi, she believed Myanmar’s current issues might have been managed in better ways. Furthermore, she added, “We believe that for the sake of long-term stability and security we have to be fair to all sides, that the rule of law must apply to everybody.”

Myanmar currently has caught international attention due to the issue of Rohingya Muslims who escaped from the agitated state of Rakhine, Myanmar.


Vietnam encourages ASEAN-styled entrepreneurship
Le Hong Minh turned his passion for computer games into a billion dollar business (image: WEF)

Intended to all young entrepreneurs out there, CEO of Vietnamese tech company VNG Group, Le Hong Minh, conveyed, “Don’t ask for money, don’t do normal stud, and look for the things that are magical”, as reported on the official website of the World Economic Forum.

As the Forum invited 80 successful start-up firms who have won a competition beforehand to find the region’s most dynamic and promising start-up companies, the topic of entrepreneurship became a highlight since Southeast Asia region is dominated by productive young entrepreneurs who successfully gave born to at least ten unicorns.


South Korea and North Korea mark a historic opportunity
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during a panel discussion at the World (image: The Straits Times)

The Forum marks another stepping stone towards peaceful relations between South Korea and North Korea. As stated by South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-Wha at the Forum: “For three decades, North Korea’s nuclear and missile programme evolved to be a serious and the greatest threat. But now, through extensive diplomatic endeavours … over the past year, we have a very real chance to achieve North Korea’s complete de-nuclearisation and establish lasting peace on the peninsula.”

The minister also emphasized the importance of diplomatic endeavours to be applied to the top leadership level after seven decades for the two Koreas being at hostile standing.

Even though no peace treaty or agreements have been signed to designate the harmonious relationship between these two, the minister promised to create lasting peace once North Korea commits to denuclearize.


Malaysia to steal the highlight
Syed Saddiq (image: Baomoi.com)

Imagine one of the region’s finest youths come to the Forum representing a country as the youngest minister. It happened. Malaysia’s Syed Saddiq stole the show during his speech on a more inclusive and tolerant Malaysia.

“… I believe, naturally, all the inclusivity will also come with it as well especially with a more equitable government which cares and takes great interest in protecting the needs of the young people. In the Malaysian context, I’m very optimistic”, he said as he answered a question by an audience.



source: www.weforum.org

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Nadya Yolanda Moeda
A former travel blogger who is now a full time consultant & loves to write about everything under the sun