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[November 17, 2020] On November 11th, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), in partnership with Chosun-Illbo, held the 11th Asian Leadership Conference (ALC) on ‘A Greater Asia-Its Role, Its Future, and Its Responsibility.’ With 200,000 viewers tuned into this session online, the conference featured CKGSB’s Founding Dean Xiang Bing; Founder and CEO of Fave and co-founder of Groupon Asia Joel Neoh; and Chairman of the Institute for Industrial Policy Studies Cho Dong Sung, sharing and discussing key insights on the topic of Asia’s role and responsibility in the global economy.
Dean Xiang Bing, a leading expert on global governance and the economy, shared his unique point of view on the significance of the Confucian Economic Sphere, a term introduced by the Dean in 2017, which includes Greater China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. He applauded these countries for their success in overcoming the middle-income trap and for their contribution to the global economy. “In 2015, the Confucian Economic Sphere emerged as the largest economic block in the world, surpassing the nominal GDP of the US and EU,” explained Dean Xiang. “In 2019, CES generated a real GDP of $22.7 trillion, representing 26.7% of the world’s total while contributing more than 56.6% of global economic growth.” Within Asia’s economic growth, Dean Xiang described in detail the rise of economic disruptions in China, as evidenced by its increasing number of billionaires and unicorn companies that are making global lists. He explained how China has gone from having one billionaire in 2001 to 389 in 2020, while Japan has gone from 29 to 26 in these respective years. Moreover, China has rapidly produced 122 unicorn companies, which comprise of 24.7% of the world’s unicorn companies. He emphasized the significant breakthrough that such companies will provide in digital transformation and social innovation, which will be led by the young generation.
Dr. Cho Dong Sung reiterated the importance of education for next-generation leaders. Dr. Cho expressed his view on how Asian economies should be led by the new generation who lead responsibly, while building resilience and sustainable economies. “Two-thirds of the population of the world is Asian. The growing number of the population is with the young generation, especially when compared to the aged-generation in other continents. This means that the future belongs to Asia and the young generation that will lead not only in population aspects, but also with respect to the economy, finance, and technology,” he explained.
Joel Neoh, who has over 15 years of experience in management and investment in startups, disruptive technology and digital platforms across Asia said, “Education is life-long. The reason why I started an Internet and technology company is because I had no opportunity to start an exporting company. I couldn’t beat my father’s generation in that. I chose a platform business instead of trading, and kept my eyes on learning. I studied at CKGSB for this reason and indeed, it really inspired me.”
ALC was a great success this year, focusing on the overarching theme of ‘Rebuilding global leadership for the next 100 years.’ Speakers of other sessions in ALC included the 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush; and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the China Li Zhaoxing; with former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attending the conference, among other influential figures. Launched in 2005 by Chosun-Illbo, ALC is a leading global event with over 170 world-class leaders gathering each year to review and resolve pending issues on diplomacy, security, industry and the economy.