A record number of regional heads of state or government will participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN in Hanoi, scheduled to take place on September 11-13 under the theme “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Vietnam PM (second right) attends the WEF on ASEAN in Phnom Penh in May 2017. Source: VNA
In all, eight ASEAN countries will be represented by their prime minister, president or state counsellor, WEF said in a press release.
Among the registered heads of state or government are President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines; newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad of Malaysia, meeting his regional peers for the first time on the international stage.
In addition, Aung San Suu Kyi, state counsellor of Myanmar, will participate for the first time since the meeting took place in her home country in 2013.
They and four more ASEAN government leaders including Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong will be hosted by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam.
They are joined by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka, as well as several senior cabinet ministers from the Republic of Korea, Thailand and other countries.
More than 800 leaders from business, government, civil society and media will join these heads of state and senior ministers to discuss issues ranging from the region’s geopolitical friction points to entrepreneurship and employment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. They will do so with the help of leaders of 100 early-stage start-ups, whose companies represent the dynamic nature of entrepreneurial spirit of ASEAN.
“The ASEAN region is currently one of the world’s bright spots for economic growth, and their presence shows the commitment they have to ensure this remains the case as the Fourth Industrial Revolution expands in economic scope and impact, and the geopolitical environment around them changes rapidly,” said Justin Wood, head of Asia Pacific and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum.