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First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation for your support towards the 11th Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative (HYLI), which was successfully concluded on January 13, 2012. It is only with your continuous support that we have been able to sustain this initiative.
When HYLI was conceptualised in 1996, we saw the importance of providing young leaders of Asia with a platform to learn and develop their potential. We believed it is our social responsibility to provide the young leaders with an opportunity to work together and to deepen their inter-cultural understanding, and most importantly, to raise their awareness of pressing regional issues. We also believed that to ensure the longevity and success of this programme, it would be imperative to sustain our efforts, and stay focused on our objectives.
Today, after 16 years and 11 chapters of the HYLI, we are proud to say that we have stayed faithful to the programme's core mission. It is now a significant regional youth programme which boasts a network of alumni who are active in various fields across seven Asian countries.
The recently concluded 11th HYLI marked our attempt to take one of Hitachi's longest-running corporate social responsibility programmes to the next stage of growth. And as one of the brightest emerging markets in Southeast Asia, we decided to hold the programme in Vietnam this time.
In today's world, it is acknowledged that regional cooperation and integration are vital to ensure growth. In a region as geographically, economically, socially and politically diverse as Asia, such items are not easily achievable, and more work is needed to bridge national agendas with regional priorities so that countries can fully benefit from the strengths of one another.
Furthermore, with an estimated 1.1 billion people living in the key Asian cities in the next 20 years, sustainable development and regional integration have become matters of vital concern for many Asian countries. Against this backdrop, the theme The New Stage for Asia ? an Asian Perspective on Managing Sustainable Development and Economic Integration was chosen for the 11th HYLI. This important topic was discussed by a line-up of high-level and prominent speakers. The programme had its greatest highlight when it received H.E. Hoang Trung Hai, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, as the Guest-of-Honour during the Opening Ceremony.
As many of you are aware, the 11th HYLI has also received an endorsement from Vietnam's Ministry of Education and Training. This is indeed an honour. Their acknowledgement is an indication of the significance and quality of the programme.
As a conclusion to the 11th HYLI, we have compiled this White Paper to capture the essence of the speeches and presentations of the regional speakers at the event. The Paper also contains the case studies that were presented by the 28 selected students at the 11th HYLI.
Finally, to the 28 remarkable young leaders who made it through the programme: the refreshing ideas you put forth were interesting and thought-provoking. I am confident that you will put the experience, learning and networks you have acquired through this programme to good use and will go on to shine and excel as Asia's next generation of leaders.
Chairman of the Board