DATE: 19th July 2017

TIME: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm


TOPIC: China’s Belt and Road Initiative in ASEAN: economic opportunities and ASEAN centrality On May 14th and 15th, China’s President Xi Jinping hosted the a Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. The forum was attended by world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippines President and current ASEAN Chair Rodrigo Duterte. The 1,500 attendees included representatives from 130 countries and 70 international organisations. Xi has promised to reinvigorate the old land and maritime silk routes through investment in infrastructure projects of varying sizes. He also promises that this is a “win-win” and inclusive project for the benefit of all countries involved, but to some it seems that China stands to gain the most from this increased global connectivity.

How will this ambitious plan of President Xi’s benefit ASEAN? Are there potential risks the region needs to be aware of? Will this new relationship with China cause a shift away from the pillar of ASEAN centrality? How will it impact the businesses and economies of ASEAN? How can businesses and the region best prepare for this much needed investment in infrastructure?


Pauline Loong
Managing Director, Asia Analytica Senior Fellow, CIMB ASEAN Research Institute

Pauline Loong is the managing director of the Hong Kong-based research consultancy Asia-analytica. She is also a Senior Fellow of CIMB ASEAN Research Institute. She has earned an outstanding reputation as among the best-informed analysts of China’s political economy. She authors the well-known “Loong on China” newsletter which has won accolades for its perceptiveness as well as its meticulous research and reliability.

Her distinguished career includes her role as senior vice-president and China risk analyst at CIMB Securities. She was responsible for alerting clients to the changing dynamics shaping China in the 21st century and what they mean for investment decisions.

Previously, she had been a director at Jardine Fleming (now part of JPMorgan) where she headed its China department. She also served as head of research at Jardine Fleming China, a venture backed by the World Bank’s International Financing Corp.

At Jardine Fleming, she successfully guided clients through the most tumultuous decade in modern Chinese history: the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, the death of Deng Xiaoping and the highly confrontational run-up to Hong Kong’s handover to Beijing in 1997.

Ms Loong’s Chinese Mainland connections are impressive and have been developed during three decades of close personal involvement in China’s economy – both as a market player and as a journalistic observer. Her Mainland experience as well as her expertise led to an executive position with CITIC Resources as it was developing its offshore business.

The foundations of her Beijing relationships had been laid when she had been among the first foreign correspondents in China in the 1980s as assistant editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review and Editor of its authoritative China Trade Report. In the early 2000s, she had extensive access to top policy circles in Beijing after her appointment as Editor-in-Chief of Euromoney’s stable of financial magazines in Asia.

Ms Loong’s awards include being voted “Best China analyst” in 1993 (representing Jardine Fleming) and being again ranked among the best analysts in 2007 (representing CIMB) in two global polls of fund managers by Asiamoney. She won Euromoney’s “Best Stories Award” in 2000 for her analysis on Asia’s growing hedge fund industry and in 2003 on the takeover of Jardine Fleming by Chase.

She graduated in English Literature from the University of Hong Kong. She was nominated by Jardine Matheson to undertake course studies on socialist economics and the Chinese political system at Peking University and at Tsinghua University in 1997.

Dr. Zhang Miao
Research Fellow, Institute of China Studies, University Malaya

Dr. Zhang Miao is Research Fellow at Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya. She obtained her PhD in Economics from University of Malaya in 2014. She has been studying China-Malaysia trade and investment, urban studies and institutional economics. Her research spectrum also extends to the fields of industrial policy and technology innovation. Her previous writings have appeared in a number of international journals such as Journal of Contemporary Asia, Habitat International, Cities, Journal of Asia Pacific Economy, International Journal of China Studies, Institutions and Economies and Asia Pacific Business Review.

Dr. Zhang has undertaken several consultancies for international agencies, including United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Japan-ASEAN Center and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). Dr. Zhang frequently contributes commentaries to Malaysian papers – Sin Chew Daily and Oriental Daily.

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Michael Yeoh
CEO, Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI)

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Michael O.K. Yeoh is a public intellectual, social entrepreneur and thought leader. He is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI), recently ranked as one of the world’s and region’s top think tank. ASLI was ranked no. 23 in the world among think tanks with budget below USD5 million and 22 in the world among think tanks to watch. ASLI’s Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) was also ranked 4th best in Asia Pacific región. Dr. Yeoh is also Founder Vice-Chairman of CPPS.

Dr. Yeoh was appointed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia to be a Member of the National Unity Consultative Council, the Advisory Board of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and a Commissioner in Malaysia’s Competition Commission. He was appointed by the Malaysian Government to be Malaysia’s Representative with Ambassador status on the ASEAN High Level Task Force on Connectivity. He has served two terms as a Commissioner in Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission. He is now Deputy President of the Association for Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM). He was recently appointed to be a Council Member of the United Nations ESCAP Business Advisory Council.

With over 30 years corporate experience, he sits on the Board of Directors of Pan Malaysia Corporation, Malaysia-China Business Council and MUI Properties and was a Director of Star Publications and the National Heart Institute. He also sits on the Board of Governors of the Wawasan Open University. He is also Chairman of the World Chinese Economic Forum and the ASEAN Leadership Forum. He was recently elected as the Secretary General of the Malaysia-Japan Economic Cooperation Association (MAJECA).

He graduated in Economics and Accountancy from Australia’s Monash University and has undertaken senior executive programmes at Harvard Business School and Aresty Institute of Wharton School. He was conferred a Doctorate in Laws (honoraris causa) by the University of Nottingham. He is a sought after speaker at international conferences and has authored several books on leadership, management and politics. Dr. Yeoh is also a member of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies London, a Fellow of the UK Institute of Directors and Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Management. He enjoys photography, reading and travelling.


Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid
Chairman, CIMB ASEAN Research Institute
President, ASEAN Business Club

Tan Sri Dr. Munir is the Chairman of CIMB ASEAN Research Institute and the president of ASEAN Business Club. He is also the Chairman of Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd, and has been on its board since 2008. He obtained his B.Sc (Econ) from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1971, and his PhD in International Relations in 1978. He taught at the Department of International Relations in LSE from1972-1975, and was an analyst for Daiwa Europe NV in London from 1975-1978.

On his return to Malaysia at the end of 1978, Tan Sri Dr. Munir joined The New Straits Times Press (NSTP) as a lead writer and progressed to become its Group Editor. He left The NST in 1986 to become the CEO of a small merchant bank, Pertanian Baring Sanwa (PBS), which then became Commerce International Merchant Bankers, the genesis of today’s CIMB Group. He left CIMB in 1993 at the invitation of the Government of Malaysia to set up the Securities Commission and became its first Executive Chairman until 1999. He continued with his illustrious career, serving in various capacities, including as Chairman of both Celcom and Malaysia Airlines System at different times. He was the founder and President of the Kuala Lumpur Business Club (2003-2008), and was the chairman of its Advisory Council. Dr. Munir, an Honorary Fellow, is Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS (Centre for international affairs, diplomacy and strategy).

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