The QI Group was a proud sponsor of the 2019 ASEAN Community Leadership & Partnership Forum – “Building Partnerships for a Sustainable and Inclusive ASEAN” held in conjunction with the 34thASEAN Summit – in partnership with the Kingsley Strategic Institute (KSI), a leading Malaysian Think Tank.

A delegation from the QI Group led by Executive Chairman Vijay Eswaran contributed to the two-day event in various capacities. Vijay Eswaran delivered the Special Address at the opening session of the Forum about the need for the ten ASEAN nations to get past their differences and work together to develop ASEAN as one common region and make it a key player in the digital economy.  QI Group Director of International and Public Affairs Vijay Poonoosamy was a panelist on Prioritizing and Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). QI Directors of Corporate Affairs Zaheer Merchant delivered the Vote of Thanks at the Gala Dinner.

With our corporate headquarters in Hong Kong, Operational base in Malaysia and a presence in Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, the QI Group is a strong proponent of the Asean. We believe that we must work together with all stakeholders in helping ASEAN region achieve its full potential. In his remarks at the opening session of the Forum, Mr.Eswaran stated that he had high  hopes that ASEAN will become a “Global Village” and we will truly achieve the ASEAN moto of having – “ One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

However, ASEAN still has a long way to go.  In order for ASEAN to grow sustainably and inclusively, Mr Eswaran stressed that ASEAN nations should be building more bridges, not walls.

“Our borders should be porous.  For ASEAN to work together effectively, bridges must be built, and walls brought down. Too many years of practice and tradition have kept us looking outward as opposed to inward. ASEAN must come together and make this a concerted effort in order to become a key global economic region,” he said.

The Forum was well attended by leaders from government, business and civil society including current and former Heads of State.  Dr Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minster of Lao PDR, Mr Anan Panyarachun, Former Prime Minister of Thailand, Dr Suphachai Panitchpakdi, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and Former Director General of World Trade Organization, Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand, Mr Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce of Cambodia and Mrs Khemmani Pholsena, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR were just some of the prominent speakers at the Forum.