20 NOV 2015
08:00AM - 02:00PM
Grand Ballroom, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel (392 Havelock Rd, S169663)

As 2015 winds down, it is time to look at what the New Year could bring. On one hand, there is optimism, particularly as we move closer to the Asean Economic Community. On the other hand, strategic competition is rising as the US, and major regional powers confront an assertive China. Meanwhile, regional economies are slowing. To discuss these, and other issues, The Straits Times is assembling a constellation of the finest minds in Asia to ponder the question: What lies ahead in 2016?


Event Fees and Highlights

Early Bird - $180 | Normal Price - $230
OCBC Credit and Debit Cardmembers (except Private Label Cards) enjoy 10% off the admission fee.

* Fee includes breakfast, tea-break, a 4-course lunch and a goodie bag.

Seats are limited. Register your interest by 16 November 2015.


Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Asia's economic and strategic challenges.

Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of OCBC Bank and Raman Singh, President for Asia-Pacific, Mundipharma on the prospects and challenges for Asian business as the Asean Economic Community approaches.

Prof Huang Jing of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy provides the inside story on China's struggles with its politics and economy.

Speakers Bio

Keynote Speaker

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Deputy Prime Minister &
Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies

Tharman is Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies. He is in addition Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapores central bank and financial regulator.

Tharman also leads the SkillsFuture national programme, which seeks to build the skills of the future, and empower Singaporeans to learn throughout life.

He was appointed by his international peers as Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the key policy forum of the IMF, for an extended period of four years from March 2011, and was its first Asian chair. He is also a member of the Group of Thirty, an independent global council of leading economic policy-makers, finance leaders and academics.

Tharman has spent his career in public service, in roles mainly around economic policy and education. He served as Minister for Finance for eight years (until Sep 2015), and was Minister for Education for five years.




Special Address

Ambassador Ong Keng Yong
Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Former High Commissioner to Malaysia and India &
Former Asean Secretary-General

Ambassador Ong Keng Yong is Executive Deputy Chairman of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Concurrently, he is Ambassador-at-Large at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, non-resident High Commissioner to Pakistan and non-resident Ambassador to Iran. Mr Ong also serves as Chairman of the Singapore International Foundation (SIF).

Asean's former Secretary-General, he was also High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia from 2011 to 2014 and High Commissioner to India from 1996 to 1998. Thereafter he was Press Secretary to the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Goh Chok Tong. Mr Ong graduated from the then University of Singapore with a LLB (Hons) and the Georgetown University (Washington DC, USA) with a MA in Arab Studies.




Mr Samuel Tsien
Group Chief Executive Officer
OCBC Group

Mr Samuel Tsien is a member of the Board of OCBC Bank and its Chief Executive Officer since April 2012. He joined OCBC Bank in July 2007 as Senior Executive Vice President, managing the Group's corporate and commercial banking business. In 2008, he assumed the position as Global Head of Global Corporate Bank with added responsibilities of overseeing the financial institution and transaction banking businesses.

Mr Tsien has over 37 years of banking experience and prior to joining OCBC Bank, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of China Construction Bank (Asia) and President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America (Asia). He is a Council Member of the Singapore Business Federation and Director of Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd. He was also the Chairman of the Association of Banks in Singapore from June 2013 to June 2015 and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles


Mr Raman Singh, President, Mundipharma
Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa

Raman Singh took over as President of Mundipharma Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, in October 2011. He oversees all aspects of the Mundipharma business across these territories which operate as a network of independent companies.

Prior to this appointment, he was the Vice-President of Commercial Operations for Emerging Markets at GlaxoSmithKline, based out of London, where he was in charge of overseeing all aspects of the brands commercial operations across its emerging markets. He previously held positions in Abbott as the Regional Director in Australia and New Zealand, and General Manager for Korea. He has also held various sales, marketing and strategy positions in Bayer. Singh holds an MBA from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management.


Professor Huang Jing
Lee Foundation Professor on US-China Relations &
Director, Centre on Asia and Globalisation,
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Prof Huang Jing is a Lee Foundation Professor on US-China Relations and Director of Centre on Asia and Globalization at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. As an internationally recognised expert on Chinese politics, Chinas foreign relations and security issues in Asia-Pacific, he has written three books and numerous journal articles, book chapters, policy papers, and op-eds on Chinese politics, Chinas development strategy, Chinas foreign policy, US-China relations, the military, and security issues in the Asia-Pacific. His book, Factionalism in Chinese Communist Politics, won the prestigious Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize in 2002. He is also a columnist for several English and Chinese newspapers and magazines.

Alongside, Prof Huang is on the Board of Directors of the Fujitsu-JAIMS Foundation Japan, the Board of Directors Keppel Land, the Advisory Board of the European-House Ambrosetti in Beijing, the Steering Committee of the NUS Research Institute in Suzhou, and the WEF Global Agenda Council. He also serves as a Senior Overseas Economic Analyst for Chinas Xinhua News Agency. Before joining the Lee Kuan Yew School, he was a Senior Fellow at the John Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution and also taught at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, MA from Fudan University, and BA from Sichuan University.


Dr Sanjaya Baru
Media adviser to India's former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh &
Director for Geo-Economics and Strategy at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London

A highly regarded commentator on political and economic issues, Dr Sanjaya Baru is the Director for Geo-economics and Strategy, at the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies. He was the Official Spokesman and Media Advisor to the former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh between 2004 to 2008 and is the author of the 2014 memoir The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh. He was a Visiting Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, between 2008-09.

Dr Baru previously served as Editor of the leading Indian financial newspaper The Business Standard. He has also been the Chief Editor of The Financial Express, and an Associate Editor of The Economic Times and The Times of India. He has been a Professor at one of the leading think-tanks in India, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi, and a Member of India's National Security Advisory Board in the Prime Minister's Office. And he is the author of two other books - Strategic Consequences of India's Economic Performance and The Political Economy of Indian Sugar.




Mr Warren Fernandez
The Straits Times

Warren Fernandez is Editor of The Straits Times, Singapore's largest selling English daily newspaper. He joined the paper in 1990 as a political reporter and rose to become News Editor. He later also served as Foreign Editor and Deputy Editor. He left to join Royal Dutch Shell in 2008 as a Global Manager for its Future Energy project, before returning to the paper in February 2012 as its editor.

He graduated with First Class Honours from Oxford University, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and also has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has written several books, including Lee Kuan Yew: the Man and his Ideas; Thinking Allowed: Fear, Politics and Change in Singapore; Without Fear or Favour: 50 years of the Public Service Commission; Our Homes: 50 years of housing a nation; Men for Others; and most recently, Lead Your Life! He was also part of the editorial team that assisted Mr Lee Kuan Yew with his two part memoirs, The Singapore Story.


Mr Ravi Velloor
Associate Editor (Global Affairs)
The Straits Times

An award-winning journalist, Ravi Velloor is Associate Editor, The Straits Times, Southeast Asia's most widely read and influential newspaper. The Straits Times is recognised for its Asian coverage and is among the last few newspapers to maintain a large network of overseas correspondents. Ravi was Foreign Editor of the newspaper until his elevation in February. A 35-year veteran in journalism, Ravi's career has spanned Bloomberg News, TIME Inc magazines and the wire services Agence France-Presse and United News of India. Ravi's interests span diplomacy, geopolitics and global business.


Mr Shannon Teoh
Malaysia Correspondent
The Straits Times

Shannon Teoh cut his teeth in print, web and wire agency journalism before joining The Straits Times in 2014, after a decade of covering everything from pop culture to politics, money to motoring. He took a one-year break from Malaysia news in 2009 after winning the Chevening scholarship to complete his postgraduate studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, focusing on political communication. After returning to Malaysia, he spent two years as an assistant news editor at The Malaysian Insider before moving on to become a local correspondent for Agence France-Presse in 2012. He's loved football, food and fiction all his life, and is still trying to figure out a way to combine all three in a get-rich-quick scheme.



8:00 am


Registration & Breakfast




9:00 am Inauguration of Forum
- Opening remarks byMr Warren Fernandez
Editor, The Straits Times


  Keynote address by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic & Social Policies


  Q & A session with Mr Warren Fernandez


  Concluding remarks by Mr Warren Fernandez


10:30 am Coffee Break and Networking




10:45 am Asia beyond the hype and the despair:
Overview by Mr Ravi Velloor
Associate Editor (Global Affairs), The Straits Times


  Special Address
The AEC, South China Sea and Malaysia at Crossroads
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong
Executive Deputy Chairman, S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies


Panel Presentations

11:20 am Will the AEC be a Game Changer for Asia?
Mr Samuel Tsien


  Will Business Prospects improve in 2016?
Mr Raman Singh
President, Mundipharma Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & North Africa


  The New China: Slowing Growth, Questions of Political Stability and a New Strategic Assertiveness
Professor Huang Jing 
Lee Foundation Professor on US-China Relations, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy


  The Other Asian Giant : Could India be the Next Growth Driver?
Dr Sanjaya Baru
Director of Geo-Economics & Strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies

Malaysia's Multiple Crises
Mr Shannon Teoh
Malaysia Correspondent, The Straits Times

  Ambassador Ong Keng Yong joins the panel for Q & A session
Moderated by Mr Ravi Velloor


1:00 pm Lunch


2:00 pm End of Programme


For Event Enquiry, please email at (Mon Fri, 10.30am 5.30pm) except Public Holidays. 

For Registration Support, please contact us at +65 6848 2472 or email at (Mon Fri, 10.30am 5.30pm) except Public Holidays.

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