Working for the future of corporations between Japan and ASEAN

· Iqbal Abdullah

The ASEAN Japan Business Week 2023 was held from the 5th to the 9th of June 2023 via hybrid (in-person and online).

I was invited to speak as one of the panelists for the last panel discussion on the 7th of June, titled Towards a community of innovation through co-creation and human resource development. The session was moderated by Kazufumi Watanabe, Group CXO Executive Vice President and Executive Officer of SOMPO Holdings, Inc.

Other panelists were

We were also joined by two students from the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University as part of the panelist to give their thoughts on the topics, to represent the new generation of leaders.

Some of the key questions that were asked and discussed during the panel discussion were:

  • What are the common challenges that Japan and ASEAN should collaborate on?
  • How can ASEAN and Japan complement and learn from each other?
  • What is needed to harness Asia’s diversity for value creation and problem-solving? (Are We Ready?)
  • What are the soils and mechanisms for Japan-ASEAN collaboration?

Mr. Watanabe was an excellent moderator by presenting the stage for us to discuss these issues by showing data that points to the increasing influence of ASEAN as opposed to the waning leadership role that Japan has traditionally played within the region. This premise paved the way for us to discuss how Japan and ASEAN can and should cooperate, and a big part of that is to do it with a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.

It was an honor for us at LaLoka Labs to be given a place among the captains of industry to present our thoughts and ideas about the future of corporations between Japan and ASEAN. As a Malaysian who has professional and personal relationships in Japan and ASEAN, this topic and our success to work together affects me tremendously and is close to my heart.

I would also like to congratulate and thank the ASEAN Japan Business Week 2023 secretariat for taking my questions and requests on having a balanced and inclusive panel seriously. All too often we get panel discussions such as these that talk about diversity and the future without women or young people in the conversation.

You too can watch the panel discussion here.