Asia Global Dialogue

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AGD 2017: Welcome Remarks
AGD 2017: Opening Remarks
AGD 2017 Morning Keynote: Making Sense of Global Disorder
AGD 2017 Plenary Dialogue 1: What Price, Populism
AGD 2017 Plenary Dialogue 2: Globalization: Dream or Delusion
AGD 2017 Luncheon Keynote: Old Ideas in a New World: Demystifying AI
AGD 2017 Breakout Session: Mapping the Future of Artificial Intelligence
AGD 2017 Breakout Session: Rewriting the Playbook for Global Trade
AGD 2017: Breakout Session: The Case for Sustainable, Inclusive Growth
AGD 2017: Breakout Session: Navigating a Course for Finance
AGD 2017: Closing Keynote
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Asia-Global Dialogue 2017

Asian Perspectives in a New Global Economy

AsiaGlobal Dialogue 2017 took place on November 22 at the historic Loke Yew Hall, The University of Hong Kong. The discussions were built around the theme of Asian Perspectives in a New Global Economy. Sessions focused on issues triggered by populism and a perceived retreat from globalization. They also touched on trade, finance, sustainable development, and the potential impact of artificial intelligence.

Highlights

  • Welcome Remarks

  • Opening Remarks

  • Making Sense of Global Disorder

  • What Price, Populism?

  • Globalization: Dream or Delusion

  • Keynote Address: Old Ideas in a New World: Demystifying AI

  • Session 1a: Mapping the Future of Artificial Intelligence

  • Session 1b: Rewriting the Playbook for Global Trade

  • Session 2a: The Case for Sustainable, Inclusive Growth

  • Session 2b: Navigating a Course for Finance

  • Populism and the India Experience

  • Keynote Address: Asia: The Centre of Global Trade and Growth

  • Welcome Remarks

    Victor K Fung
    Fung
    Victor K Fung
    Advisory Board Co-Chair, Asia Global Institute

    Peter Mathieson
    Mathieson
    Peter Mathieson
    Former President and Vice-Chancellor The University of Hong Kong
    Welcome Remarks

    A graphic summary of this session created by Layla McCay, AsiaGlobal Fellow 2017. Please click to enlarge.

  • Opening Remarks

    Carrie Lam
    Lam
    Carrie Lam
    Chief Executive, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

    Asia has attracted worldwide attention earlier this month as world leaders gathered in Da Nang, Vietnam, for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting 2017. I represented Hong Kong, China at the meeting, and had a fruitful discussion with the leaders under the theme of "Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future". The APEC meeting was followed by the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Summit held in the Philippines, and the many formal dialogue and informal exchanges between state leaders had for a while dominated the news domain.

    APEC members have a diverse profile as it is not an easy task to find consensus among all, but we managed to do it in Vietnam in the form of the Da Nang Declaration of 11 November. In the Declaration, the leaders expressed the determination to promote sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth, deepen regional economic integration, realise the full potential of the business sector, and enhance food security and sustainable agriculture. The Da Nang Declaration has provided much insight into how we should respond to a new global economy.

    Opening Remarks

    A graphic summary of this session created by Layla McCay, AsiaGlobal Fellow 2017. Please click to enlarge.

    On Rising Protectionism

    ... despite all the benefits free trade and connected development can bring, we do see recently some worrying signs of rising protectionism. Why would this happen? One reason could be that the gains brought by economic globalisation have not been enjoyed by all, giving rise to social discontent, income disparity and a growing sense of disconnect, especially between the government and the people, and particularly young people. It is tempting to blame free trade for such social problems, and protectionism may easily gain popularity, but the fundamental solution lies in making economic development more inclusive and delivering benefits to our people.

    Inclusive growth is highly relevant in the age of globalisation. APEC leaders have therefore agreed to redouble the efforts to advance economic, financial and social inclusion, with a vision to build an inclusive, accessible, sustainable, healthy and resilient APEC community. An Action Agenda has been endorsed to, among others, advance progress towards achieving full, productive and quality employment, and progressively achieve and sustain income growth for all members of society, especially women, and youth, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, and enable them to seize global opportunities.

    On Hong Kong's role in the global economy

    Hong Kong is able to benefit from connected, inclusive and sustainable growth in the past 20 years under "one country, two systems". We enjoy unique advantages under "one country, two systems". We are an international financial centre and are universally acknowledged as among the best cities in the world for doing business. We have world-class logistics and communications infrastructure and a highly regarded services sector. And it's all underpinned by the rule of law and an independent judiciary.

    It means that Hong Kong is the best platform for governments and companies along the Belt and Road, and their infrastructure projects, to seek capital. Our bankers, lawyers, arbitrators, accountants, architects, engineers, planners, project managers, insurers and marketing and communications experts are also capable of providing all the services these companies need in their projects.


    Please click here to access full text of her speech

     

  • Making Sense of Global Disorder

    Michael Spence
    Spence
    Michael Spence
    Nobel Laureate Advisory Board Co-Chair, Asia Global Institute

    (Today) labour income as a share of national income is declining, Gini coefficients and other measures of wealth inequality have been rising. Probably the best single way of understanding this is job and income polarization, which mean the expansion of the tail end of income and wealth distribution and the decline in the middle; (it) is real, and its pervasive. If you go across different countries you’ll find that the impact is different… but nobody has been immune from this. And these patterns appear to have spilled over into political and social polarization and abroad, an expanding rejection of the status quo. To put it bluntly people are angry, anxious and they are insecure.

    Why and why now? It’s a combination of growth patterns drifting in the wrong direction and accelerating in the wrong direction (starting in the year 2000), combined with either feeble or negligible responses on the part of governing structures. And they are both important. The anger comes from the fact that the patterns were ignored for a long period of time, and this is a cautionary for all of us today. Its not going to help to talk about it if nothing happens... It’s crucial that we end up in a situation where there is a vigorous attempt over time to reverse these growth patterns. So I think it’s that combination that has helped put us in this situation.

    Making Sense of Global Disorder

    A graphic summary of this session created by Layla McCay, AsiaGlobal Fellow 2017. Please click to enlarge.

    The non-inclusive growth patterns and the absence of effective counter measures led to a partial rejection of the system... What does that mean? It means rejection of established parties, elites in business, finance, in my field- in economics and academia. Why? Because we didn’t see the crisis coming. Because we oversold globalization. We didn’t discuss the difficult transitions that economies go through structurally and in terms of jobs with anywhere near enough clarity to help guide policy and so on. And in the course of this- and I think this may be the most important thing I say – we lost something that is intangible and important, and that is what the Europeans call political and social cohesion. That cohesion in my view, is based on the primacy of the cohesion of public interest. And I think we’ve lost trust in the institutions, in the governing elites and so on.

    Rejection, which is what we are seeing now with growing vigor, doesn’t that what replaces is it better. There is a real risk, I think, that we’ll be in a real period of political paralysis, policy inconsistency, maybe some very poor choices with respect to how to proceed... In a deeper level, there are inherent tensions in the concept of globalization and the way that our societies are evolving. People have needs and desires and fears with respect to a wide range of things. They care about growth and productivity and incomes to be sure, but they care about equity and fairness, inclusiveness, opportunity, sustainability, stability, culture, identity, sovereignty, security, governance, self- determination. And all of those things have surfaced in the discussions that we hear about, so this isn’t just an economic phenomenon.

    I think the simple truth is globalization in its simple and somewhat naive form, which worked for a while, has lost its capacity to meet (a) broad set of needs of people. And we have before us an exercise in creativity rebuilding governance structures, rules and procedures, and so on, in such a way that it does a better job to meet those needs.

  • What Price, Populism?

    Victor K Fung
    Fung
    Victor K Fung
    Advisory Board Co-Chair, Asia Global Institute

    Marc Levitt
    Levitt
    Marc Levitt
    AsiaGlobal Fellow Asia Global Institute

    Andrew Sheng
    Sheng
    Andrew Sheng
    Distinguished Fellow, Asia Global Institute
    Keith Richburg
    Richburg
    Keith Richburg
    Director, Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong
    What Price, Populism?

    A graphic summary of this session created by Layla McCay, AsiaGlobal Fellow 2017. Please click to enlarge.

    • Defining populism: is it a good thing or a bad thing? How does each panelist view populism?
    • Understanding the populist agenda
    • It is said that populism arises in periods of economic uncertainty or economic disparity. Thoughts?
    • Populism is also seen as a form of backlash against elite politics or established institutions, yet many populist leaders are themselves members of the elite. What are the views on this disparity?
    • What are the dangers, if any, of populism?
  • Globalization: Dream or Delusion

    William K. Fung
    Fung
    William K. Fung
    Group Chairman, Li & Fung Limited

    Peter Mathieson
    Mathieson
    Peter Mathieson
    Former President and Vice-Chancellor The University of Hong Kong

    Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II
    Zobel de Ayala II
    Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II
    Chairman and CEO Ayala Corporation
    Globalization: Dream or Delusion

    A graphic summary of this session created by Layla McCay, AsiaGlobal Fellow 2017. Please click to enlarge.

    • What did we miss? The hidden costs and benefits of globalization
    • Can populism and globalization co-exist?
    • Adapting education and learning trends to empower humans in a globalized world
  • Keynote Address: Old Ideas in a New World: Demystifying AI

    Joseph C Tsai
    Tsai
    Joseph C Tsai
    Executive Vice Chairman Alibaba Group
    Keynote Address:  Old Ideas in a New World: Demystifying AI

    A graphic summary of this session created by Layla McCay, AsiaGlobal Fellow 2017. Please click to enlarge.

  • Session 1a: Mapping the Future of Artificial Intelligence

    David Ashton
    Ashton
    David Ashton
    Director, Advisory Services Ernst & Young Advisory Services Limited

    Esther David
    David
    Esther David
    Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science Ashkelon Academic College, Israel
    Haipeng Shen
    Shen
    Haipeng Shen
    Professor, Innovation and Information Management The University of Hong Kong
    Session 1a: Mapping the Future of Artificial Intelligence

    A graphic summary of this session created by Layla McCay, AsiaGlobal Fellow 2017. Please click to enlarge.

    • Mass applications for Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Advancing artificial intelligence in specialized fields such as medicine, finance
    • The Social Cost of AI
  • Session 1b: Rewriting the Playbook for Global Trade

    James Bacchus
    Bacchus
    James Bacchus
    Distinguished University Professor of Global Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity University of Central Florida

    Mari Elka Pangestu
    Pangestu
    Mari Elka Pangestu
    Distinguished Fellow, Asia Global Institute

    Jesús Seade
    Seade
    Jesús Seade
    Associate Vice-President for Global Affairs CUHK-Shenzhen Chief Negotiator and Founding Deputy Director-General World Trade Organization
    Patrick Low
    Low
    Patrick Low
    AsiaGlobal Fellows Program Advisor, Asia Global Institute Visiting Professor, Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong
    • How can we explain why trade growth is on the rise while multilateral trading cooperation is faltering?
    • Do we really need the WTO system or are there alternatives?
    • What trade rules architecture should we strive for, with or without the WTO?
  • Session 2a: The Case for Sustainable, Inclusive Growth

    Yafei He
    He
    Yafei He
    Distinguished Professor, Yenching Academy of Peking University

    Karen Thornber
    Thornber
    Karen Thornber
    Victor and William Fung Director Harvard University Asia Centre

    Chris Webster
    Webster
    Chris Webster
    Dean and Chair Professor Faculty of Architecture The University of Hong Kong
    Michael Spence
    Spence
    Michael Spence
    Nobel Laureate Advisory Board Co-Chair, Asia Global Institute
    • Do the challenges of creating a sustainable, inclusive society belong solely to the 21st century?
    • Protecting advances in SDGs and sustainable growth
    • Furthering the cause of inclusive growth and education
    • Creating and nurturing sustainable urban spaces
  • Session 2b: Navigating a Course for Finance

    Raymond Cheng
    Cheng
    Raymond Cheng
    Group General Manager & Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific, HSBC

    Alicia García-Herrero
    García-Herrero
    Alicia García-Herrero
    Chief Economist, Asia Pacific Natixis

    Mingkang Liu
    Liu
    Mingkang Liu
    Distinguished Fellow Asia Global Institute
    Zhigang Tao
    Tao
    Zhigang Tao
    HSBC Professor in Global Economy and Business Strategy, The University of Hong Kong
    • Impact of technology on Finance
    • Is the creation of a cashless society a possibility?
    • The consequences of “repeal and replace” on financial regulations
  • Populism and the India Experience

    Ram Madhav
    Madhav
    Ram Madhav
    National General Secretary Bharatiya Janata Party

    When the masses rise, not because of any demagogy, but because of their ability to differentiate between the good and the lofty, and decide to choose their own leadership in a democratic manner, these elites become jittery. They invent new theories of Right-wing populism. Populism, generally understood as ‘support for the concerns of ordinary people’ or ‘the quality of appealing to or being aimed at ordinary people’, turns into a pejorative political theory that ‘seeks to disrupt the existing social order by solidifying and mobilizing the animosity of the ‘common man’ or ‘the people’ against ‘privileged elites’ and the ‘establishment’.

    It is an interesting transition for these elites. They were once the vociferous champions of the masses. They found virtue in the Marxian dictum that the masses have a class enemy in the capitalists, and became the cheerleaders of all sorts of struggles in the name of the masses. But when the very same masses rise independent of them, the elites suddenly find that less virtuous. They now propagate that the masses are against the elites themselves.

    When the masses rise, that is not democracy; that is populism, they argue. Democracy for them is a guided affair, guided by the elites. Where they have no say, it is mobocracy or, the new vitriol, “populism.”

    Populism and the India Experience

    A graphic summary of this session created by Layla McCay, AsiaGlobal Fellow 2017. Please click to enlarge.

    (Indian) Prime Minister Modi’s policies are populist only in the conventional sense that they work to address the concerns of the common people. In fact, Modi’s populism is about changing the habits and mindset of the masses. His populism is about making people not just citizens, but stakeholders in India’s growth story. Modi defied conventional political populism by way of reduction of subsidies and introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer policies. For the first time in India, a scheme by name ‘Give It Up’ was launched by the Ministry of Petroleum asking well-off people to give up their gas subsidies. Over 20 million people have responded to the call thus allowing the gas connections to be provided to same number of rural poor families. This kind of populism has helped in improving the health and hygiene of the rural folk besides helping address carbon emission issues in a big way. Similarly, Modi’s Ujala scheme has led to distribution of over 230 million low-energy consuming LED bulbs across the country. This populism has not only helped in reducing energy consumption but has also reduced the electricity bills by 12 billion rupees.

    Modi’s populism can be seen in his endeavour to build about 50 million toilets in the country’s rural belt. They have helped in improving hygiene at one level, while at another level they were helpful in addressing the health, security and educational concerns of rural women. Through seemingly populist schemes like Mudra, Start Up & Stand Up India, Modi government has been able to encourage rural youths from becoming mere job seekers to job creators. In the last three years, millions of jobs have been created especially in rural and informal sector through these lendings.

    If there is any one scheme that clearly portrays political populism, it is the demonetization program. It was directed against the corrupt elites who loot the country and hide it as black money. Through demonetization, the government has been able to break the backbone of the parallel economic establishment in the country. Today, our economy is clean and transparent. The government has done away with hundreds of obsolete laws paving the way for ease of doing business.

    Modi’s popularity soars today... Here is a leader who has defied the conventional political wisdom of incumbency and improved on his approval ratings after three and half years purely based on his performance. Country’s ease of business ratings, investor confidence indicators and overall approval ratings of the government remain undisputedly high.

    It is this popularity that the neo-elites want to destroy by pejoratively calling it populism. Their frustration lies in the fact that many an institution that they had captured earlier is slipping out of their hands. The masses are awakened today. Social media has transformed the way society thinks. The mainstream media, sections of which have been the bastions of the liberal elites, have been tamed to a large extend by the explosion of the social media. Social media is the most democratic media. Today we find many of the elites complaining about it calling it populist tool because it can no longer be ‘guided’ or ‘controlled’. Populism narrative is the proverbial last straw to hold on for these elites.

     

  • Keynote Address: Asia: The Centre of Global Trade and Growth

    Keynote Address: Asia: The Centre of Global Trade and Growth
    Mark E Tucker
    Tucker
    Mark E Tucker
    Group Chairman HSBC Holdings plc

AsiaGlobal Dialogue 2017

Asian Perspectives in a New Global Economy

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