Dato Vijay Eswaran was invited to speak at the 9th ASEAN Leadership Forum held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit. He was a panelist on a session that discussed People Connectivity Through Education, Culture, Tourism and People Movement.
In his remarks on the panel, Dato’ Vijay Eswaran highlighted the importance of education and employment as an important strategy to enhance regional competitiveness and community building in ASEAN.
“Our Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his address at the Leadership Forum, aptly argued that knowledge is the connecting thread between us and deserves the greatest impetus. Thus education has to be our priority, and I urge member States to initiate concrete steps to enhance educational opportunities. We can begin by identifying our existing educational resources in Asean and cooperate bilaterally and regionally to develop it further.
“Being an Asean beneficiary myself, my contribution to this initiative is the Quest International University Perak, which the QI Group had set up in cooperation with the Perak State Government in Malaysia,” he said.
Following the Leadership Forum, in his keynote address at the Asean Young Leaders Dialogue, Dato’ Vijay who spoke on Being at the forefront of ASEAN integration, Think Business said historically, everyone travelled to Asia for both trade and educational purposes.
“They crossed turbulent seas just to get to this part of the world. What drove them was trade and business. Cloves, cinnamon and spices were worth their weight in gold. This is where the spice trade begun and kingdoms flourished. Universities were already in place in India during the Gupta dynasty, and in Indonesia long before the hallowed Oxford and Harvard. Angkor Wat and Borobudur temples were not built without architects. And the people who built them were not Western educated either,” he pointed out.
Stressing that there was already an Asean long before the present grouping was formalised, Vijay said:
“We have worked together for a long time when there were no boundaries. We are reconnecting now through Asean and this connectivity is critically important.”
The ASEAN Leadership Forum and Young Leaders Dialogue were jointly organised by Asian Strategic Leadership Institute with the Ministry of Commerce,Cambodia and the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce. The QI Group is a strategic partner of ASLI in Malaysia.