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AsiaGlobal Dialogue 2020: Towards a New Multilateral Global Economy

Launched in 2012, AsiaGlobal Dialogue is Asia Global Institute’s flagship forum for constructive dialogue to bring out fresh insights and Asian perspectives on key global issues.

Join us at this year's virtual conference and hear from global thought leaders.


December 7

0830 – 0900 HKT: Opening and Welcome (click here to calculate your local time) 

The pandemic has severely disrupted education at all levels, posing technological, economic, and learning challenges for teachers, students, parents and institutions. In a dialogue with 2020/21 AsiaGlobal Fellow and education policy specialist Modupe Adefeso-Olateju of Nigeria, the president of The University of Hong Kong, Xiang Zhang, discusses the impact of Covid-19 on higher education. He will share his perspectives on Hong Kong’s role as an education hub in the context of the growth of the Greater Bay Area, the development of China and the deepening integration of the Asia-Pacific region. President Zhang will offer insights into the future of jobs and the issues that universities face in preparing young people for employment and productive careers contributing to sustainable development.

0930 – 1030 HKT: Prospects for Multilateralism (click here to calculate your local time) 

The weak global response to Covid-19 has revealed how seriously the rules-based international order is in disarray. The pandemic has further complicated political, social and economic stresses that had been playing out in the US, Europe and the Asia. The heightened US-China rivalry, in particular, has led to further tensions in the global system, even as multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization require significant reform if they are to be representative and effective in addressing the many cross-border challenges such as climate change, fair trade and indeed the pandemic. Hear from experts from China, Japan and the US on the prospects for multilateralism, especially with the advent of a new US administration and major developments in Asia-Pacific trade.  

- Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
- Takeshi Niinami, CEO, Suntory Holdings Limited
- Feng Zhu, Executive Director, China Center for Collaborative Studies, South China Sea at Nanjing University
- Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Global Institute (moderator)

1100 – 1200 HKT: What Next for Global Action on Climate Change? (click here to calculate your local time) 

China’s carbon-neutral pledge and the expected return of the US to the Paris Agreement could catalyze renewed global action on climate change, even as governments have had to allocate resources and manpower to fighting the pandemic. What is the outlook for further international mobilization to address global warming, especially as the issue has become a priority on national security agendas? What about other pressing environmental problems such as plastics pollution, water stress and the need to mitigate the impact of extreme weather and natural disasters such as the Australian bushfires? And how can the business community contribute to driving further progress on this existential global challenge? 

- Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist, Institute for the Environment, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Peter Seligmann, CEO, Nia Tero and Chairman, Conservation International
- Lin Xu, Chairman, China-US Green Fund
- Pamela Mar, Executive Vice President – Knowledge and Applications, Fung Academy (moderator)

1400 – 1500 HKT: Recovery - Inequality and Sustainable Development in the Post-COVID World (click here to calculate your local time) 

Covid-19 plunged the world into its deepest recession in generations. As economies recover, with Asia taking the lead, the key challenge is to “build back better” by addressing inequality and keeping sustainable development on track. But the implementation of the extraordinary policy remedies and fiscal interventions by governments and central banks may pose challenges to achieving these objectives. In the immediate term, countries will have to cope with the task of the rollout of vaccines and the strengthening public-health security and trust. Over the longer term, efforts will be needed to counter the very severe negative economic and social impact of the pandemic on vulnerable populations, women and marginalized groups.

- Noeleen Heyzer, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Global Institute
- Michael Spence, Nobel Laureate and Advisory Board Co-Chair, Asia Global Institute
- Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Chairman and CEO, Ayala Corporation
- Zhiwu Chen, Director, Asia Global Institute (moderator)

2000 – 2045 HKT: Advancing Technology for the Common Good (click here to calculate your local time)

The pandemic has highlighted both the great advantages of technology – the widespread use of videoconferencing for online education, for example – and the negative aspects such as the rapid spread of bad and false information through social media. The speedy development of vaccines will be hailed as a game-changing scientific achievement. The public-health and economic crises brought on by Covid-19 will accelerate digitalization and the implementation of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as artificial intelligence. How can these advances be aimed for the common good – for building trust and security rather than rivalry and risk? And how can governments and enterprises narrow gaping digital divides (between and within economies) that the twin catastrophes have revealed.

- Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO, Sinovation Ventures
- Samuel Palmisano, Chairman, The Center for Global Enterprise
- Marjorie Yang, Chairman, Esquel Group
- Alejandro T Reyes, Director of Knowledge Dissemination and Visiting Associate Professor, Asia Global Institute (moderator)

2100 – 2130 HKT: Closing Remarks (click here to calculate your local time)
The co-chair of the advisory board of the Asia Global Institute, Victor K Fung, will give remarks to close the AsiaGlobal Dialogue 2020.

*The program is subject to change without prior notice

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