Introduction to HC-APLYS

The inaugural Hwa Chong Asian Young Leaders Summit 2006

The 21st century is often regarded as the Asian century with the Asian economies producing almost 40% of the global GDP- a figure set to rise with the emerging economies of India and Malaysia- while China and Japan follow closely behind US as the world's second and third largest economies. To reap the huge benefits of economic co-operation, Singapore has been intensifying its efforts to build strong ties with these Asian giants.

From 17 to 28 July 2006, HCI organised the inaugural Hwa Chong Asian Young Leaders Summit (HC-AYLS). The Summit took the form of a forum for promising Asian student leaders who clearly demonstrated a commitment to serving society. The project was initiated by the invitation of the most outstanding young leaders from China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

Hwa Chong Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit 2013

Global Inclusion, Shared Responsibility
"We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own."

-Cesar Chavez, Labour Leader and Civil Rights Activist

While 'progress' is commonly associated with advancements in the sciences and the arts, true progress transcends this description. To echo the words of Cesar Chavez, genuine progress must be inclusive: it is not about adding to the abundance of those who have much, but assisting those who have little. Hence, even as we celebrate mankind's myriad achievements, it is also essential that we focus our attention upon the social problems which still permeate in communities.

The Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit is a palette of global diversity: as mutual sharing of perspectives and learning takes place, participants should aspire towards deepening their understanding of the challenges that communities around the world face, developing cultural empathy as well as identifying with the universalities of the human experience. From the poverty cycle to human rights movements, young leaders should develop a keen sense of awareness about these social issues that we face as a global community, as well as review the efforts that have been made at addressing them. Subsequently, with this knowledge forming the bedrock of their understanding, young leaders should seek to translate their sense of responsibility and connection into innovative solutions for local and global challenges.

Ultimately, all of us have the potential to be catalysts of change. By proactively caring for our peers, the community and society, we contribute to a more peaceful and progressive world. This is certainly easier said than done, but there is power in a shared vision and strength in collective will. As such, we look forward to an inspiring summit where young leaders will recognize the key role they play in laying the foundations of global progress, and be empowered to create and actualize their visions for a better world.


As the word 'summit' suggests, HC-APYLS aspires to provide a platform for the best young minds of the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues pertinent to the region today. This pinnacle of Asian youth is embodied by the symbol of an upright triangle - grounded by a wide and firm base, and peaking at the top to chart a direction for the future.

The individual triangles represent the gathering of young leaders of diverse ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds, as marked by the different shades of the same colour scheme. All these are freely stacked to form the silhouette of a mountain, representing how leaders across the continent can build on each other's strengths to surmount common problems.

As a triangle always has a point that indicates an upward direction, the unity of these different nations despite their differences is reflected in how the triangles that make up the mountain ultimately point toward the same goal.

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