Harvard University’s Southeast Asia Trek 2012

22 May 2012 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

15 Harvard students visited Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on a trek


The Harvard graduate students from the Kennedy School of Government visited Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on a trek (Harvard lingo for a study trip). The theme of the trek is a “Cross-country comparative view on how countries in Southeast Asia develop sustainably and escape the middle-income trap.”

The study trip is a comparative study of how countries in Southeast Asia tackled the two biggest challenges of economic development (avoiding the middle-income trap) and sustainable development (in the face of climate change).

CARI hosted eight participants of the Harvard Southeast Asia Trek in Kuala Lumpur from 23-24 May, 2012. The mid-career graduate students learned about the importance the press with chief editor of the New Strait Times, Dato Syed Nazri. They also explored the financial landscape of ASEAN during discussions with Dato Lee Kok Kwan, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer and Head of Corporate Banking, Treasury & Markets and the Head of Human Resources, Puan Hamidah Naziadin. The Trek participants also gained a deeper understanding of Islamic finance during a meeting with Muzaffar Hisham, CEO of Maybank Islamic Berhad. They also covered logistics, by taking a tour of the AirAsia’s operations at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). During the CARI-Harvard dialogue, CARI CEO, John Pang led the discussion on future of ASEAN, regional integration, and the importance of emerging leaders in Asia. Before departing from KL, the Trek participants dined with the members of the Young Corporate Malaysians, laying the groundwork for potential partnerships down the road.