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.
The HC-APYLS Logo
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.
The 10th HC-APYLS Logo
This year, HC-APYLS celebrates its 10th iteration.
For the past decade, the summit has been an annual gathering of delegates from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds coming together as one community of student leaders. And just as each part comes together to build towards the summit of the mountain, so the lived experiences, ideas and aspirations of our delegates culminate in this summit, an exploration of what the youth of today can do and should strive towards as they look towards the future.
The 10th HC-APYLS Logo pays homage to the HC-APYLS logo, and the ideals it stands for – diversity, cooperation, and a strong desire to surmount challenges. It also symbolizes what the summit hopes to be: an image of a mountain against a deep blue sky – poignant, relevant, and enduring.
The 10th HC-APYLS promises to be a summit of reflection and celebration, as it builds on the strengths of past summits, and scales greater heights.
The 10th HC-APYLS is a milestone.
And the best is yet to be.
HC-APYLS 2016 Summit Theme: Auguries of Growth
‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour’
- William Blake
Advancing growth and developments in sciences, communication and information, education, trade and cultures indeed hold high stakes across the world. International communities today face the rising pressures of change and new challenges brought about by a period of phenomenal growth.
The nature of growth challenges differs across nations, and over time. For some nations, the challenge now is to overcome stagnation and steer the economy onto a sustained path of growth. For others, therein lies the pressing need to cement social cracks address income disparities restore human dignity and annihilate exploitation. Yet, some others have to deal with growing threats and vulnerabilities reduce rapid environmental degradation urbanise cities and modernise institutions.
Whatever the story, at the heart of it all lies – not mere digits or data – but the dynamic lives of people. Growth is about people, growth is about human well–being and dignity. Growth is about real stories of the victims and the victorious. We seek to explore and understand these stories, not to make immediate changes in mammoth magnitude. But simply for a greater sense of understanding, empathy, and to bring home a renewed sense of commitment, to be a catalyst of change.
More than ever today, lasting peace and equitable and sustainable development requires international cooperation and friendships. At the 2015 United Nations General Assembly, President Obama remarked that “We live in an integrated world –– one in which we all have a stake in each other’s success. We cannot turn those forces of integration... And if we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences.” The refugee crisis, the rising trend of extremism, vulnerable economies, tyranny of corrupt leaders, ideological and religious clashes, territorial disputes and expansion and new diseases plaguing the world are all challenges growing in force and speed.
Cooperation in these areas has never been more urgent. These cooperative platforms cannot be built solely on economic or political arrangements – they must be constructed in the minds of people and cultivated through friendships. The rights and dignity of every individual must be the starting point to measure the success of growth. Let us be reminded that growth has to be inclusive growth has to be sustainable growth has to be a win–win. Maybe as William Blake wrote, one can aspire...
Let the auguries of growth be good for all