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Overview of the World Economic Forum

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  • Greeting from Adelaide! The World Economic Forum on East Asia will celebrate its 20th anniversary on 12-13June 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. This short presentation will provide a brief overview of what is the WEF, its history, what will be the focus of WEF on East Asia in Jakarta. This presentation is prepared for the Indonesian student association academic workshop in Adelaide.
  • The WEF is an independent organisation. Its objective is to improve the state of the world by providing a platform where global leaders can sit down and discuss comprehensively how we are going to respond to various challenges and global and regional development agendas.
  • The organisation was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab. He is a german-born professor at the University of Geneva.
    It was initially named the European Management forum before it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987 to engage more participation from community leaders across the globe.
  • Many of us might be wondering who actually the global leaders are. In contrast to common perception of delegates involved at the WEF, over half of WEF participants at WEF Davos in 2009 were business leaders. This emphasises strong interests in industry agendas that the Forum aims to address. The Forum however has also involved participation of various stakeholders and representatives of the community, from presidents to religious leaders.
  • The WEF on East Asia in Jakarta this year will be under the theme ‘responding to the new globalism’.
    Globalism has much broader concept that what we believed and understood decades ago. It has moved beyond trade, industry and manufacturing. It covers a full range of human capital, environmental, cultural and socio-economic issues. But I guess the approach to respond to the globalism is more or less unchanged. It is about how global leaders work together to address global challenges that the world is currently facing.
  • The importance of the East Asian region highlights the role of the WEF in Jakarta to contribute to global actions. Developing Asian economies are forecast to grow by 8.4% in 2011; Indonesia with its estimated 6.1% income growth and its position as the Chair of ASEAN becomes the ideal country to host the 2011 WEF on East Asia.
    Several strengths of the East Asian region can be identified these include :
    Regional connectivity
    Strong domestic demand
    High levels of investment and technology adoption
  • Yet, many challenges remain.
    The growing population demonstrates concern over food security; increased welfare as indicated by increase income per capita adversely impact our environments; frequent natural disasters and climate change effects further increase global risks. These issues create enormous challenges for Asian countries in addition to old development issues such as poverty, unemployment, lack of access to education, and gender inequality.
  • The WEF on East Asia in Jakarta therefore aims to address four thematic areas:
    1) Managing Global Disruptions
    2) Ensuring Employment and Inclusive Growth
    3) Leading through Sustainability
    4) Exploring New Norms in Asia
  • In regard to managing global disruptions, our discussion should include some of the key issues as I highlighted on this slide: global risks, financial shock, natural disasters, ocean resources management and currency volatility.
  • We must not overlook a long-debated issues of unemployment. What kind of policy innovations needed to solve it, how we can ensure all Asian economies successfully achieve the millenium development goals, how we can improve women’s participation, how to respond poverty trap and ensure access to technology can be obtained by any users regardless their socio economic level.
  • The environmental aspect deserves more attention that it currently receives. Food and energy security, sustainable land use, sustainable spending and infrastructure bottlenecks are some of the key issue which require further investigation.
  • The dynamic of the East Asian region might also impact Asian norms identity. I guess one of the key solutions to accelerate development agenda is to promote people’s participation. This is where the role of social media becomes important and requires further investigation. I am hoping that this presentation can stimulate further discussion on various aspects I just presented. Thanks for watching this presentation.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Brief Overview of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Risti Permani (risti.permani@adelaide.edu.au) School of Economics The University of Adelaide *Presented at the PPIA Academic Workshop June 13, 2011
    • 2. What is the World Economic Forum (WEF)? The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
    • 3. History ofounded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German- born business professor at the University of Geneva; ooriginally named the European Management Forum; ochanged its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987
    • 4. Delegates at 2009 WEF in Davos
    • 5. WEF on East Asia Jakarta 12-13 June 2011 • The theme: “Responding to the New Globalism” • Globalism has moved beyond trade • How leaders come together to address current challenges?
    • 6. Background of the East Asian region o Developing Asian economies: GDP grow by 8.4% (Indonesia 6.1%); o Strengths: Regional connectivity Strong domestic demand High levels of investment and technology adoption
    • 7. Challenges o Risks to sustained growth such as unemployment, inflationary pressures o Over-reliance on trade o Threats to food security o Resource scarcity o Environmental degradation o Natural disasters impacts and risks
    • 8. Four thematic areas 1) Managing Global Disruptions 2) Ensuring Employment and Inclusive Growth 3) Leading through Sustainability 4) Exploring New Norms in Asia
    • 9. 1) Managing Global Disruptions • How would an Asian approach differ from current efforts to manage looming global risks? • How resilient is Asia to a future financial shock? • How can regional players effectively mitigate geopolitical risks? • How can the Asian region effectively leverage risk response mechanisms following catastrophic natural disasters? • How can Asia manage ocean resources while minimizing disruption to regional trade routes? • How can Asia manage currency volatility to maintain regional competitiveness in the global market?
    • 10. 2) Ensuring Employment and Inclusive Growth • How can policy innovations lead to greater entrepreneurship, employment and growth? • In what areas should Asia be leading the world with regard to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)? • How can leaders in the public and private sectors ensure that women are key drivers of economic growth in Asia? • How can Asia’s poor escape the poverty trap and become part of the region’s economic success? • How can bridging the technology divide equalize socio- economic differences between technology users in Asia?
    • 11. 3) Leading through Sustainability • How can Asia pursue long-term food security in an environmentally and politically sustainable manner? • From an environmental and political perspective, how can Asia ensure its long-term energy security? • How can public and private sector leaders ensure that adaptation efforts succeed in sustainable land use? • How can Asian policy innovations and new business models incentivize sustainable spending rather than conspicuous consumption? • How should Asian infrastructure be built to prevent bottlenecks in development and growth agendas?
    • 12. 4) Exploring New Norms in Asia • How can Asia’s trade architecture withstand global disruptions and promote development and growth? • How have social media in Asia evolved differently from the rest of the world? • How effective is “nation branding” at projecting and differentiating Asian norms and identity?

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